Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013

My water bottle tower that I created at fafaga. This took a lot of skill, let me tell you.

I don't know if you can actually tell from this photo but Sister Smalley has the smallest hands ever. And my hands are big. So whenever we compare them I just end up laughing so hard. I think it's so funny.

The night before Paul left for his mission for Mexico. He's going to be a good missionary.
Please excuse this photo... It just makes me laugh though. Sister Smalley and I had a pillow fight. Well, correction. I had a pillow fight against Sister Smalley.
So this could be my last week in Samoa. Transfers are next week. So we'll be emailing on Tuesday just to let you know. But I'm kinda nervous. I've been here for a while now. This'll be the end of my fourth transfer in Samoa. I kind of feel like I'll be leaving. I've spent 1/3 of my mission basically in Samoa. But I hope that I get to stay one more transfer. I feel like I've put so much work into this ward and it's been really hard at times and really slow. But it seems like things are finally starting to pick up. We've got a little more potential and even an investigator, Ana Mose, who wants to be baptized. It would be really hard to leave it. But I know that whatever happens will be right. This is the Lord's work and I know that wherever I go will be exactly where He needs me.
But on to the week.. Paul Toala left at the beginning of this last week for the MTC. He's serving in Mexico. I'm just really impressed with their family. His Dad, Brother Toala, is one of the nicest people I've ever met. Just a really good man. And his mom has cancer right now. She's doing really poorly. Can't go anywhere--in a lot of pain. The older sister actually moved back up here for a little while to take care of her. I saw her on Tuesday night and the whole left side of her body is swollen and she looked like she was in so much pain. It made me want to cry. Anyway, they're just such a good family. I know they will be blessed for Paul serving a mission. But that'd be so hard. To leave your family in that condition. I'm so grateful that you guys are all healthy and well. I just love you all so much.
We saw many miracles this week. We found a new Samoan guy that we got to visit with for a little while. He was really nice and pretty much invited himself to church. HE works graveyards though so his schedule is really hard. So he didn't make it this last week but hopefully this next week. He invited us over for Thanksgiving to eat bogipopo. Probably the only Samoan food I like. And it's a dessert. haha.
We also had a neat experience tracting. We were in the area of one of our potentials and they didn't answer the door so we decided we'd tract in that area. We weren't sure exactly where to go so we said a prayer and started walking for about a block when we saw this man washing his car. His name was David and he was from Mexico. At first he was pretty hard hearted and just tried to preach at us with all these verses from the Bible. But we sang I am a Child of God to him and said a prayer and he really softened. We talked to him about the Book of Mormon and I read a verse from it that talks about Jesus Christ. We were able to take down his information and send it off as a referral for the Spanish elders. It was just really great. To know that we were exactly where we were supposed to be--at the right place and the right time so we could meet him.
Things are really great. I love missionary work so much. I love the gospel and I really love the Book of Mormon. It is true and we can learn so much from it. Make sure you're reading from the Book of Mormon everyday. There is power behind that book. I love you all! CTR always.
Sister Veronica White

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013 - Another Week in Samoa Gone By

Talofa Family. This week was good. During our weekly planning session pretty much all of our investigators had to be moved to Former Investigators so that was disappointing. We seem to be struggling a bit to find people who are willing to progress. Or willing to hear our message. At least Samoan wise. When we go tracting we find quite a few referrals so at least that's good. I know that Heavenly Father will bless us for our diligence and effort though. The work will pick up. An experience from tracting though--we met Joe and Stan Omar. They are brothers from Saipan. They immediately invited us in and let us share a message with them. That's just the way of their culture I guess. Anyway, they were so nice. I really liked them. They were asking great questions and really listening to what we were saying. Stan said that he's been waiting for this. He thinks this might be his answer. He's been thinking about religion off and on for his whole life and looked into a few different things but nothing felt right. At the end of the lesson he prayed. It was his first time praying and he said he really liked it. Also, when we were talking to them about the Book of Mormon we read a few verses with them and they really liked it. Stan was even highlighting and taking notes. He said he's really excited to read it. It was such a cool experience. They were great. I'm really, really sad that we don't get to teach them. They almost look Samoan... at first I was really excited when I saw them. But no worries. The Burien elders are just really lucky! haha.
We were really blessed last week though. I can't remember if I told you or not. But Roy, the one who's leaving for Portland on his mission in a couple weeks went through the white pages one day at the library and made us a list of all the Samoan names he could find. 26 referrals!!! We've been trying them the last two weeks. Some of them the people have moved but we've been able to find out about more Samoan houses that we didn't know about so this is a huge blessing. Funny experience. One of them was pretty mean to us. We go and knock on the door and this fourteen year old kid answers the door. He told us his family doesn't go to church right now but he thinks he would like to. He was a nice kid. We asked him if there was a time we could come and talk to his family. Right as we asked that his mom who was downstairs asked who was at the door. He told them it was people from church. She just yelled "Not interested." Sister Smalley was in the middle of asking if we could just leave them a picture of Jesus when she comes and slams the door on us. We never actually saw her face. I felt bad for the kid though. So yeah, some Samoans are a little bit mean. Also, don't ever try and interrupt the Seahawks game. Nothing is worthy of interrupting the game when it's on. haha.
The Lord really is in our work though. His hand is over everything. We were able to get in contact with Olo twice in the last two weeks. He's a man who is really, really hard to get ahold of. But both times we went over there he was coming out the door. Even though it was to smoke. But hey, we'll teach him about the Word of Wisdom soon and all will be well. We're doing a church tour with Brother Toso, from the ward. Olo used to know him back in Samoa. They worked together. So this'll be really good. We're excited to do our church tour this week with him and Brother Toso and put him on date for baptism, yeah?!
Things are good. I love my Samoan ward. So much. The ward members are great. I'm so blessed to be out here serving. This is the Lord's work and the gospel is so true! Read your scriptures everyday! They're wonderful. Do good things. Make good decisions. CTR. Love you all!
Sister Veronica White

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 12, 2013

 My Samoans are very patient with me and my lack of volleyball skills. haha.
Seka was having struggles with her umbrella.
 At the temple with Val.
 It was very cold and wet, but really fun.
 My companion in deep thought.
Me and beautiful Seka.
Talofa family! This week was good. On Thursday we took Val (just baptized in August) to the temple and did a tour of the temple grounds. It was really neat. And then we sat in the waiting area or whatever it's called at the front of the temple and had a prayer with her. The Spirit was so strong and she's so excited to get her temple recommend and go do baptisms for the dead. It was amazing to see her in the temple even if it was just at the waiting area. She's doing well but she just got a job at Walmart that has her work most Sundays and usually during the time of church. So pray for her that everything will be able to work out so she can start coming to church every week. She was there this last week and was talking about how much she missed it and how she was really glad she was able to come. Church is so important.
This week we had Zone Conference. It was incredible. President Choi started out by calling us all to repentance and had us all kneel right there and repent. It really invited the Spirit and it was so good. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that we have to repent. I'm so grateful for the Atonement. It is such a blessing in our lives and we need to apply the Atonement every day and use it so we can become better people. The Zone Conference was really good, but not gonna lie. I pretty much felt like the most horrible person ever during it. There's a lot I need to do so I can become a better person and a better missionary and so that I can be the means of bringing more souls unto Christ.
So do you remember Sulu? She's on date for November 23 but we can't get in contact with her. We're trying again today but it's just sometimes really hard to know when and how often to try people because their family gets annoyed with us. And Casandra moved and we can't find her anywhere. Her phone is disconnected. We just really struggle to keep in contact with people. But all is well. We continue to work hard and I know the Lord blesses us. We're really praying to be able to find a family that we can teach the gospel to and I know the Lord will bless us. He wants His children to come unto Him and learn about the gospel even more than we do.
I'm so grateful for commandments. This last week we've talked with two different people who were drunk and in so much despair. It just breaks my heart. And makes me so grateful for the word of wisdom and all the commandments that our Heavenly Father has given us. He really does give them to us because He loves us and He knows what will make us happy. And those two individuals that we spoke to were not happy. The gospel brings so much joy and peace. It makes me so sad to see how much some people suffer. Everyone needs the gospel!
Seattle is an incredible place. We meet so many different people from so many different places. It really is pretty rare that we talk to white people. The other day we met someone from Iraq who just moved here after serving in the military for the US. He was Muslim but we sang him I Am a Child of God and he really liked it. He also kind of sounded like Mehmet so it made me really happy to talk to him .
I gave a talk on Sunday. It was just short but at the end I bore my testimony in Samoan. Oh my. The ward was so proud of me. It was so cute. I love my ward!
Well I hope all is well with all of you. I love you so much. Thanks for the rain boots Mom. They're wonderful and keep my feet much warmer!
Alofa Atu!
Sister Veronica White

Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4, 2013

The Halloween Trunk or Treat. Rona--who just got baptized in August.
 Sister Smalley and her new hair cut.  
The housing coordinators brought us nice, fuzzy blankets. It's one of the greatest things I've ever received. They're so warm!
 These are the blankets we had before. They were scratchy and horrible military/hotel blankets and did not keep you warm. I'm grateful for our new blankets!
 Our extremely awkward photos right after Roy opened his call.
 The real treasure to behold in these photos is the fact that Sister Smalley is wearing color. I think that's the brightest and most colorful thing she's ever worn in her life.

 Roy got his mission call. He's going to Portland, Oregon. He leaves on December 3. So soon!
Talofa Family!

This week was just absolutely lovely. So, so many miracles. The Lord was just pouring down blessings upon us this week. Yesterday we had such an incredible day. It was one of those days where you just know that you are exactly where you're supposed to be every minute. We were able to get in contact with so many people that we haven't been able to in a really long time... or ever before. And everyone was being so nice to us. I don't know what the deal was but I don't think we had a single person be rude to us yesterday. It was quite nice. We were able to set up a church tour with an investigator who we haven't been able to get in contact with for over a month. We have a return appointment for this couple named Mike and Vao and they were so friendly and nice. We finally caught a less active that we've been trying to catch for weeks. We tried a potential that we've tried many times before and have never answered. And last night they answered and invited us to come back. The miracles were endless. It was incredible.

Also this week we received 6 referrals! That's more than I've ever gotten on my mission so far. Usually we don't get any. It's just such a blessing. Sister Smalley and I have really been praying and fasting that we'll be able to find a family to teach and the Lord is hearing our prayers and opening new doors. He really is so involved with this work. It is His work. And He's laboring alongside with us. It's so neat to get to be a part of. I feel so blessed. We met Sulu a couple weeks ago before the fireside. She was taught by missionaries last year and then she moved to Alaska. She just moved back and was excited to find out that there's a Samoan ward. We finally caught her again and she's on date for baptism for November 23! But she's really hard to get ahold of and there's someone who's living in that house that really hates us missionaries so keep her in your prayers. She's a sweet girl. She's twenty years old.

This week Roy Ah Kuoi opened his mission call. His family was converted to the gospel three years ago. He's Fui's older brother. (Fui is the one who comes out with us all the time) They're such a good family. I'm just amazed by them and their strength. Anyway, he opened his mission call and he's going to Portland, Oregon. He leaves December 3. It's so soon. And guess what? He's reporting straight to his mission headquarters. He's not going to the MTC. I've never heard of that before. He's excited though. I'm excited for him. Fui wants to go on a mission too when she's old enough. She's 17 but she graduated high school last year. Just such a good family. I love them so much.

Do you remember Casandra? She moved and she sort of gave us the address to her new house but we can't find it. She gave us general directions and then we've tracted out the whole area and can't find her. And she's not answering her phone. So really pray for her, please. That we can get back in contact with her. She was really starting to progress and gain a testimony and it worries me that we can't get ahold of her. Hopefully all is well with her.

Well, things are just lovely here. So many miracles it's incredible. This church is true! The Book of Mormon is true. Read from it everyday. There's strength that comes from it. I love you all and pray for you everyday. Hope you're doing well. Alofa atu! Love, Sister Veronica White