Monday, October 28, 2013


Me with my gift basket.
All the stuff in the gift basket. Ridiculous.

Hello family!
How are all of you? Hope you're doing well. This week was good. We had a really good lesson with Casandra early on in the week about the Book of Mormon. She defended it talking to someone else of another faith who was saying bad things about it. But she still hasn't read from it by herself and prayed about it. Just read the things we've read with her. She told us she would. Later on in the week we went over there to help her pack up. Her family and parents-in-law are moving out of the apartment they're in right now and to a house. So we were helping her pack and then we shared a scripture about the Atonement in Alma 7 and then she asked us if we could finish the chapter. She had lots of good questions. At the end she basically told us she believes The Book of Mormon is true. It was really good. I just love her so much. But really keep her in your prayers. She didn't come to church yesterday. She said she would but she didn't make it. They were moving this weekend so that might be why. But unless she starts coming to church she can't progress and be baptized. And she's so ready for the blessings of the gospel. She's just amazing. Hopefully she'll be able to come to church next week.
We really struggle with getting people to come to church. It's ridiculous. We'll have really amazing lessons with people where the Spirit is strong and where they tell us they'll come to church and then on Sunday...nothing. The elders are also really struggling with church attendance as well. I don't know what the deal is. 9 is really early for Samoans. But do it for the Lord! Anyway, all is well, though. Things will start to pick up I'm sure.
So we had fafaga with the Iosuas this week. We've never had fafaga with them before. Anyway, they're not your typical Samoans. Meaning they live in a nice house with their family. There's not 22 Samoans who are all kind of related in some way living in one apartment. So we go over there and there's china dishes on the dining room table. The food was very Samoan so basically I ate tons of rounds of rice for dinner so it looked like I was eating a lot. I just couldn't handle the pasta salad or the taro or the ribs. But at the end of fafaga their daughter comes out with gift baskets for each of us missionaries. It was insane. I'll send you a pic of it. Overflowing with things. It was like Christmas. I felt so awkward taking it. But Samoans love feeding us missionaries. They treat it like it's a huge honor or something and they like to give us stuff. They're all really sweet
Funny story. We went to visit Bishop's family one night this week just to see if there was anything we could do for them. They're a really sweet family. They have two little kids and a third on the way. Anyway, when we were getting ready to go Sina (Bishop's wife) said she would meet us out front. She went out the side door and was getting something from her car while we went out front. She tried to give us some money. She felt bad that she hadn't prepared anything for us to eat so she was trying to give us money so we could go get hot chocolate and something to eat. Oh my goodness. Samoans. We told her no but she handed it to us anyway. We were pretty much going back and forth for a couple of minutes when I just told her she could prepare something for us next time. Then we handed it back to her and pretty much ran from her. She started chasing us. hahahaha. It was so funny. It was making me laugh so hard. But quickly I realized I was running from Bishop's pregnant wife. Very amusing. But I ended up victorious--she kept her money. I was pretty proud of myself, not gonna lie. But we were just laughing so hard. Only in a Samoan ward do you run down the driveway from your bishop's pregnant wife trying to avoid taking their money.
But anyway, I gotta go. Love you all so much! Choose the right. Read your scriptures. The church is true.
Sister Veronica White

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I'm Staying in Samoa!

 My Mission Family--My Mom Sister and Daughter
 My daughter (Sister Smalley) Me and My Mom (Sister McBride)
 We got to go downtown for p-day
 I seriously love the market so much! I'm going to come back after my mission and spend an entire day there.
 Fuifui and me. Love that girl!
 The Gum Wall
 Pics of Pig for Savannah
 Tofu in honor of Bruce
 Me and Naomi
 We're with Samoans so of course we take the jumping picture.
 My Samoans. Oh how I love them!
 Dark photo of me and my comp.
 One night this week a member brought over cookies and milk for us. It was so sweet.
Talofa family!
I'm staying in Samoa! And I hit my four month mark out in the mission field. Oh my goodness! I can't believe it. This week was really good. There's been so much that has happened I don't even know where to begin. Hopefully I can get it all out. I don't have much time.
This week we had Zone Conference with Paul V. Johnson from the 70. It was so good! Oh my, I'm just so grateful for church leaders. The Holy Ghost was really strong and I was very spiritually fed. I learned a lot about what I can do to be a better missionary. He and his wife are just so amazing. And I love President and Sister Choi. They are so sweet. I love them. We got to sit with Elder Johnson during our lunch break and talk to him so that was really cool. He gave a talk in general conference (I think it was in the October 2011 session??) You should look it up and listen to it. It's really good.
We had our fireside this week that we planned. It went really well. But wow, I wanted to kick Satan in the teeth. He was trying really hard to have it fail but we kept faithful and optimistic and it all worked out. Thursday night we were making phone call reminders and Sister Timoteo one of the five speakers cancelled on us. Then on Friday at 3:30 Brother Toala cancelled. At 5:20 Trey cancelled. We were supposed to have a run through at 5:30. sister Smalley and I were running a little late so we pull up the church at 5:35 and only the elders' car is there. We walk in to find Elder Kenape frantically writing a talk and Elder Rasmussen eating chocolate ice cream. All there was to do was laugh. So Samoan. Three of the five speakers cancelled. They all had legitimate family things come up though. The elders were really starting to stress. I made some calls though and got back ups and it all went smoothly. I ended up having to play piano for it and Sister Smalley ended up giving a talk (she did a great job). By 6:50 there were about three people there. But we ended up having a great turnout from the ward. They were running on Samoan time like usual. haha. Casandra ended up coming to the fireside and she really liked it! It was all in Samoan except Sister Smalley and our Stake President so I couldn't understand all of the meeting but the Spirit was really strong. And our Stake President's talk was one of the best talks I've ever heard. It was so amazing and couldn't have been more perfect for Casandra. I really am just so grateful for good church leaders.
Transfers happened and I'm staying in Samoa with Sister Smalley. I'm really happy about that. Casandra is going to get baptized this next transfer! I'm praying for it and I know that it can happen. We just have to trust in our Heavenly Father and do our part and hopefully she'll start coming to church and reading from the Book of Mormon. That's her biggest struggle right now. Keeping her commitments. So really keep her in your prayers. She's so ready for the gospel and there are so many blessings that are just waiting for her. I love her so much.
Also another miracle. A completely inactive family came to church on Sunday. It was so awesome to see them walk through the doors. I couldn't wipe the grin from my face. Naomi was laughing at me. I didn't get the chance to talk to them after though so hopefully they enjoyed it. I never understand what the talks or lessons are about. So don't take church for granted. I know I did before my mission. We're so lucky to have the gospel in our lives and we need to really pay attention when we go to church and learn. And be grateful it's in English!
Well I have to go. I love you all so much. I feel a little rushed so hopefully this email makes sense and is not boring. Have a great week! Choose the right! Love you all!
Sister Veronica White

Monday, October 14, 2013

Last Week Before Transfers

 We were driving one night and we saw this great dane. At least I think it's a great dane.. It was kinda spooky. Just standing in the middle of the road in the dark. I tried to snap a pic for Dad and Savannah with my comp's camera but it was on a weird setting. So really it just makes it look even spookier.

Fui comes out with us all the time. I love this girl so much. She was baptized three years ago. She has such a strong testimony and is preparing to go on a mission for when she turns 19.
TALOFA AIGA! This week was just lovely. Being a missionary is the very best thing ever.
So you know how on Monday our car was broken into. Well Tuesday morning our vehicle coordinator calls us and tells us we can't drive the car because the registration was stolen. This of course was right after we had just finished planning our lessons for the day and most of the day was going to be spent in Des Moines (kind of far away). It was just really funny. I started laughing. Because there are like two Samoans that live kind of close to us. So we went and tried to visit them but neither of them were home. So we spent the day walking around and tracting. And of course it was rainy that day. I actually loved it though. We had Sister Tanielu with us. She's actually Samoan. She's waiting for her Visa to go to Australia and she's in a trio with Sister McBride in the Tongan ward. They had a leadership meeting they had to go to so Sister Tanielu got to spend the day with us! It was lots of fun. I really love her! So we spent the day walking around. I just kept laughing all day. I thought it was a really fun adventure. Sister Tanielu also thought it was fun. Sister Smalley.. not so much. She didn't complain though. She was good. Just not quite as enthusiastic as we were.
We walked over seven miles. By the end of the night our feet were pretty cold and wet and tired but it was an adventure! Something I'll always remember from my mission. We were spoken to in tongues that day. It was quite the experience. This lady was telling us that we needed to leave the Mormon cult. She was telling us about how the Book of Mormon wasn't true. But she's never read it. She just automatically knows it's not true. And she was fasting that day and telling us how she is filled with the Holy ghost so that she can speak tongues and not even she can understand it. Because that sounds like the Holy Ghost, right? Making us say gibberish that not even we can understand. The Holy Ghost is truth. Anyway, I'm pretty sure she might have cast a spell on us or something. It was pretty weird. Sadly, she was the only Samoan we talked to that day. But we did get some referrals for other missionaries from our long tracting day.
Siona was supposed to get married this Friday and then baptized on Saturday. So sad. He fell off date. He's not getting married this week. He's receiving a lot of opposition from his wife. I wish there was something more we could do to help him. He has a strong testimony and he loves the church but he can't be baptized until he's married. We just have to keep having faith. I know God wants him to be baptized as well and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost so we just have to trust in Him and His timing. I'm a little worried for him though because he didn't come to church yesterday. That makes about a month since he hasn't been to church. So really pray for him please.
I wanted to tell you about mission president interviews. They happened two weeks ago but I'm pretty sure I forgot to tell you about them. If this is repeat, lo siento. But during my interview with Sister Choi the Spirit was so strong. She is the sweetest woman ever. She was asking how training was going. She said "You're still really new in the mission and you're already training. Is it going ok?" I told her it was. Then she told me about an experience that she had that just touched my heart. She said she was praying to Heavenly Father about me. Specifically for me. Because she was worried about me. She told me she was telling Heavenly Father that she was worried because I was so young--in years and in the mission and that she was worried for me training someone who is matured. She didn't know if it would be too much for me to handle. She told me that in response to her prayer it was like God told her, "My daughter, do not worry. I trust her." Wow. This really got to me. In a few different ways. First of all, how sweet is Sister Choi. She is such a good, Christlike woman. Second of all, God trusts me so much. President and Sister Choi and God have put a lot of trust in me with training Sister Smalley. I want to do my very best and not disappoint them.
Well, I've got to go. I love you all so much. Today we get to go downtown for P day. So hopefully next week I'll have lots of fun pictures from the market, etc. I'm so, so excited. It'll be good.
Remember to read your scriptures. You should all read Helaman 5. I read it this morning and it was so good! Loved it.
I hope you had fun in California and were able to drive back safe. Choose the right. Love you tons!
Sister Veronica White

Monday, October 7, 2013

General Conference Weekend - Best Weekend Ever

My sweet planner. In honor of Dad.
We just had to record this momentous occasion. I think that's the brightest thing Sister Smalley has ever worn. She only brought black skirts with her. My goal before we're done being companions is to have her get a colorful skirt.
Hello family!
Hope you're all doing well. General Conference was amazing, wasn't it?! So, so good. I'm excited for when the Ensign edition of conference comes out so I can reread them. Enjoy watching them online again. Just slightly jealous that you get to and I can't. So be grateful for that and watch them often! And study them! Their words and messages really do come from God and they're exactly what we need at this time.

 I really thought all the talks were amazing. But some of my favorites... or some that stand out in my mind right now: Elder Oaks--so good! He was so bold. I loved it. It is important that we make God our first priority. He was also just so bold to the world about what we believe and how it's not going to change because it's God's laws and ways and God is the same. I was just so impressed by him. I'm sure he will receive grief because of his talk from nonmembers and even members, but he's not ashamed of the gospel and not ashamed to be on the Lord's side. I just thought it was so good!
Also the sister from the Young Women presidency. She gave such a good talk. I love how she told us we have to exercise the gospel principle before we gain a testimony of it. I thought that was so good. And so true. I see it with some of our investigators. They need to try it out first so they can gain a testimony of it.
Elder S. Gifford Nielson--I loved his talk! I think some of the people at the chapel thought it was a little weird or didn't like it very much or something, but I loved it. He was just so excited and animated. I loved all his "exclamation marks!" And his focus on ward members and missionaries working together. Ah, I just loved it!
Elder Christofferson's was amazing. And President Monson's. And Elder Dube. I could just keep going on and on. It was so incredible. My heart just feels so full of love. Love of the gospel, of the Savior, of my Heavenly Father, of these incredible men and women who serve us, of our Prophet--President Thomas S. Monson. I just feel so energized and ready to go do work. There's no doubt in my mind that this gospel is true and that this is the Lord's church. I love it with all of my heart and feel so blessed to be serving a mission at this time.
One year ago the mission age was lowered. And I am SO grateful for it. I know this is exactly where I am supposed to be. The Lord is aware of me and the people I'm serving and I've been blessed enough to get to serve here in this area in the Samoan ward right now and help people to come closer to Jesus Christ and apply the healing power of the Atonement. I don't think there is anything better in life. Being a missionary has been the greatest blessing ever and I know I say this all the time and I think I've used the word love already in this letter alone about 100 times, but I just LOVE being a missionary so much! My testimony is strengthened each day and I just want to be better. A better person and a better missionary so that I can help as many of God's children as possible come closer to him.
Do you remember me telling you about Casandra? She's back on date for November 2. We had another really good lesson with her and brought a ward member with us and they really seemed to hit it off. It'll be good for her to have a friend. She didn't come to conference this weekend but hopefully she'll be able to come to church next weekend. She really wants to be baptized. But she still hasn't really read the Book of Mormon for herself. She said she would. So keep her in your prayers. The Book of Mormon really is so important. We need to read from it everyday so that we can strengthen our testimony. It is God's word and Joseph Smith translated it through His power. I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon and I hope she can read it for herself and gain a strong testimony of its truthfulness for herself.
Other than Casandra we didn't have many lessons. It was really hard to get ahold of people this week. We tried a couple of different times but we were never able to get back in contact with Esekia. Hopefully this week.
The fireside we're hosting is going to be on the 18th. It's going to be really good! I'm excited for it. Now we just have to go and invite everyone! Hopefully we'll get lots of people to come.
A cool miracle happened this week. We were driving to the Siufanuas. They're a less active family that we've never been able to catch. The navigator was taking us there and got us lost. It took us to dead ends two different times. Anyway, we finally get to their house and knock on the door. There was no answer so we were just turning around and getting ready to go when a man walks around from the backyard. He was coming to the front to get nails from the garage. He had been working on the roof. Anyway, we got to talk to him for a few minutes and he invited us to come back and visit his family. It was just such a miracle that we were able to talk to him. If the navigator had taken us directly there we would've missed him. It was just a testament to me that this is God's work and He's aware of all His children.
So, last bit of news. Don't freak out at this though, ok? Last night our car was broken into. They took our miles monthly report, the gas credit card, Sister Smalley's wallet that she had left in the glove box, our bag of change, our GPS, and Sister Smalley's winter boots and my rain boots. I always lock the car every night so we're not exactly sure how it happened. But when we got out there this morning the passenger car door was slightly ajar--still latched but not closed all the way. Anyway, they had unloaded the console and the glove box and taken what they wanted. We called the police and the mission office and everything will be ok. They left all of our Finding Faith in Christ cards and Restoration pamphlets strewn about the front seats. They took two of my CDs too. So maybe they'll go to play it, find out it's church CDs and feel remorse for the wicked thing they did and then return all of our stuff to us. We can always hope, right ;)
I'm really sad about my rain boots though. I only got to wear them a couple of times and I loved them! Stupid Satan! Tempting people to make evil decisions. Oh well. Eternal perspective. The officer was really nice. He just told us: Welcome to the city of Burien. Anyway, we're going to be more careful from now on. But at least they didn't take more. They left my cardigan in the back seat. And they left Sister Smalley's granola bars so they must not have been hungry or cold.
Well, all is well. It has been a lovely week and this next week coming will be great as well. Hope you're all doing well. Remember to always do things that will strengthen your testimony. Ultimately that is the most important thing! Love you all so much. You're in my prayers. Make good decisions. Choose the right. The church is true!
Sister Veronica White