Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

I bought myself a chocolate orange to stick to tradition. But actually it was one that had almonds and it wasn't very good. Oh well.
 During exchanges Sister Nudd and Sister Whetten made snow men and put them in our freezer.
Christmas morning. Sister Whetten bought me a bunch of little dollar store gifts for Christmas. One of the things she got me was a fake snake and she hides it around the apartment. It's really scary.
Her Mom made her this stocking. And then while we were cleaning out the elders apartment we found this stocking. So I got to be the elder.
 Scary glasses she got me.
Look at what I made for breakfast Christmas morning!
 I did a bunch of baking on Christmas and I sort of wilted the spatula that we have.
Christmas with the Etes. Oh, how I love that family! They are so great.
Sister Whetten, me, and Fuifui.
 We made fry bread one night for fafaga with the Taoipu family. It was so much fun.
 More fry bread pictures.
I LOVE Fuifui so much!
 Sister Whetten and me on Christmas!
 I love Sala so much.
Talofa family!
This was a great week. first of all it was so, so good to get to talk to you all on Christmas. Oh my goodness. I love you all so much! Second of all. What the heck happened to Joe's voice. He's become a little man. Third of all, thanks so much for the Christmas package! I loved, loved, loved all the letters. They made me so happy. And the scarf is great. So cute. Delicious fudge too. We had to give some of it away to elders because we were getting sick, but it is so good, thanks!
So I've become the ultimate Samoan stalker. I am so good at it, it amazes me. In the last week or so I've followed over three Samoans home and gotten their addresses. So yay for new Samoans! I kind of freak myself out with how good I've gotten at sensing them out and following them with just the right amount of distance so that hopefully they don't realize that I'm following. And I'm more familiar with the area now so I can go on back roads and come back to where they are.
So something gross. We have roaches in our apratment. They sprayed it but we still have them. We talked to the manager and she said they'd spray again, but gross, huh? Oh well. All is well.
We have a new investigator! His name is Jubi. We actually found him by following him home. We met him yesterday and he's so ready for the gospel. He's 24 years old and was so sincere. He was asking us questions about Joseph Smith and I shared the first vision with him. He said that he felt really good when I was talking about it and that he wants to learn more. He's really excited about reading the Book of Mormon. We left him 3 Nephi 11 to read and he asked us if he had to stop there or if he could keep reading. Oh my! I just love him so much! He's so prepared. He's on date for baptism and we're going to have another lesson with him soon at the church so we can actually be inside. This all happened on his doorstep. So it'll be amazing to have a lesson inside where it's more quiet and where he can feel the Spirit even more.
Cool experience. As I was sharing the First Vision it just touched me so deeply. I've shared it before and each time I feel the Spirit but this time there was just something so special about it. I have no doubt in my mind that Joseph Smith did indeed see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. And that he was called to be a prophet of God. He restored this church and I'm so grateful for all the sacrifices that he went through so that this gospel could be restored. I'm so grateful to have the gospel in my life. I love it so much! The gospel is true!
Things are great over here. There are miracles every day. The Lord really loves all of us so much. The gospel is true. Christ lives and the Atonement is real. Life is good! Missions are the best. Heavenly Father wants us to be happy. The Book of Mormon is true and I love it!
I love all of you so much. Thanks for everything that you do for me. Kick Satan in the teeth!
Sister Veronica White

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Talofa Family!
Well this'll be short and quick. We don't really have any time. But just a quick update from last week. We went on exchanges and I got to be with Sister McBride in the Tongan ward. Oh my, I so needed it. It was just so nice to be with my Mom. I love Sister McBride so much. She's one of my best friends out here. I'm really grateful that even though we haven't been companions for three transfers we get to still serve around each other. It was really fun. Their ward is doing really great so it was nice to actually be somewhere where we get to have lessons and people are progressing.
While on exchanges, Sister Whetten and Sister Nudd put Juliann on date for baptism! That's so exciting. She's on date for the fourth. She leaves for college on the sixth. She wasn't able to come to church though yesterday so we'll have to get special permission from Bishop to baptize her. But definitely keep her in your prayers. There's still a lot for us to teach her before she'll be ready for baptism and she can be difficult to get ahold of. But I know it can happen!
So I've been sick the last week or so. I pretty much have no voice. And when I speak I sound like a man. So pray that I'll have a voice to talk to you guys this Christmas. I can't wait to talk to you all! I love you all tons. Happy Birthday Savannah. And Merry Christmas! Choose the right! The gospel is true.
Sister Veronica White

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Manuia Le Kerisimasi!

Talofa family! Next P day isn't until Christmas so this'll be the last email to you before I get to talk to you on the phone. I'm excited. It'll be great. This week I hit my six month mark in the field. I only have one year left. Oh. My. So I can't eat fried chicken anymore. My body is rejecting it. I have eaten SO MUCH fried chicken in the last six months that I've been in the Samoan ward. I don't mean to sound ungrateful because I love the ward and their willingness to feed us and I know that's how they show their appreciation. But I just can't take much more of it. I've probably consumed 100 chickens. Ok, so that's dramatic. But in the last week I had fried chicken four nights in a row. I was gagging. I was contemplating ways on moving the chicken to my companion's plate but they were watching me the whole time. So I did my best. Heavenly Father definitely helped me because it was making me gag but somehow I still was able to get it down. Ugh.
But anyway, on to more important things. We had our mission Christmas party this last week. Half of the mission got together. It was so much fun. I really love all these missionaries. There are so many incredible examples. They did a nativity like we do every year so that was nice. It was funny. Elder Bailey--pretty much the only black kid we have in the mission played Samuel the Lamanite. I played the piano for an unexpected musical number that night. Luckily it was a song that I kind of already knew. I always end up playing for Zone Meetings and stuff but I promise they always pick hymns that I don't know so then I butcher my way through it. I should have practiced hymns more before my mission.
So last week I told you that Marcus and Ariana moved. They're meeting with missionaries up in Bellevue so Ariana will still be able to baptized. I'm just sad I didn't get to see it all the way through. But that's ok. I'm at least glad I got to work with them for a little while. They're great. For real, though. Everyone is moving! It's ridiculous. Even a referral we just got just moved. I don't know what's going on.
Do you remember me telling you about Nani last week? She was wonderful. Well on Tuesday night Mina went to go pick her up for mutual and she said that she wasn't allowed to go. She's not allowed to meet with us anymore. Her grandma hates Mormons. She wrote us a letter. It broke my heart. I'll just write some of what it said: Dear Sisters, Fuifui, and Mina, I am terribly sorry I can't see or come to your church any more. It is because my grandma does not like "Mormons" But I told her that it's the same thing as Christians but she continued to say no it's not and talk bad about it. She had asked me why did I like your church so much... I told her because when I am there with you girls I feel the loving energy I have never felt before. Last night you girls made me smile and laugh and made me felt like I actually belong. What breaks my heart is that my grandma is taking my happiness away. One thing she won't take away is my memories and prayers I have with you girls..." Is that not the most heartbreaking thing you've ever read? She really felt the Spirit. I love her so much! I know that when the time is right she'll be able to be baptized. It just makes me so sad that it isn't right now. She's had such a hard life and been through so much. I hope she's ok. We just have to trust in the Lord's timing of things. It can be really hard sometimes but He knows what He's doing, that's for sure.
We got to go to the temple today. It was lovely! Go to the temple. You feel the Spirit so strongly there. It's the best place ever.
We're moving into the other apartment this week. Apparently the elders left it pretty trashed. So we'll be doing lots of cleaning. Yay. It's all good, though. It'll be an adventure.
Well, Merry Christmas! Love you all. Hope you're all doing well. Choose the right and remember everything that Jesus Christ has done for us. Always turn to Him. He's the best ever. Love you!
Sister Veronica White

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 10, 2013

Talofa family!
This week was good. There were some disappointments, that's for sure. We're no longer allowed to go to Federal Way, Kent, etc. unless we have a set appointment. But Samoans are the worst at setting appointments. Most of the time their phones are disconnected so drop bys are the only thing to do. But we're not allowed to do that anymore. We still had some referrals to go to down there. And a couple of people that we had had a brief short lesson that had invited us to come back. And we had an investigator, an older lady Ana Mose, who had been on date for December 7. But both her phones are disconnected and she hasn't come to church and we have no way of getting ahold of her. So yeah, there was some sadness this week. I just love these people so much and it's really hard to not be able to go see them. But I know that the Lord already knew this would happen long ago and He's prepared the way for us to continue to do work in the Samoan ward here in our area--the Seattle mission. Another piece of sad news was that we found out Ariana hasn't been baptized. So we were excited to tell her because she wanted to be baptized. But on Friday they just up and moved to Bellevue. We have tried calling her dad to see what's going on and if they'd still be willing to make that drive to the Samoan ward but we haven't been able to get ahold of him yet. So we'll see what happens. Keep them in your prayers.
But, even with the couple of hard things that happened this week we have seen so many miracles. God is mindful of us and He loves His children so much, that's for sure. We met Nani this week. She's a fifteen year old girl that the elders would go and visit. They hadn't told me much about her. Just that she has been through some really hard things, she's unsure of her faith about God and Jesus Christ and that she wouldn't come to church. Well we took Fuifui with us Sunday night and met her. She's a sweet girl. We set up a church tour for the next day. And oh my goodness! It was just amazing. I love giving church tours. The Spirit is always so strong. She told us a little about her past. She's been abused and her Mom is a drug dealer. The worst thing for her, though, wasn't when she was getting hit, it was when her younger sister was getting hit. She said she just couldn't take it. She's part Samoan, black, and white. But recently she's been raised by the Samoan side. She's living with her aunt and uncle who are like her parents. Recently she's started believing in God more. She believes everything happens for a reason. We had Mina and Fuifui (both young women that come out with us often) there as fellowship. Oh my goodness. They are so amazing. I love them both so much. Members are incredible. They bore such beautiful testimonies and really made Nani feel welcome. Nani is going to mutual tonight with Mina and then we have another lesson set up for Thursday. Mina is going to pick her up for church on Sunday as well. and she's on date for baptism for January 3! It was such a miracle. Oh, it just felt so good! Really keep her in your prayers. She has had such a hard life. It breaks my heart. But she's so ready for the peace that comes from the gospel. Pray that her parents allow her to be baptized. She really wants it.
We finally got back in contact with Siona again, too! It was great. We had a really good lesson where we read the Book of Mormon. He still didn't come to church though. Ugh. People need to come to church! But pray for him too. Satan is so dumb! He's really working hard on Siona trying to keep him from the blessings of the gospel. Siona is so ready but he's dealing with opposition from his wife (who isn't actually his wife.. which is why he can't get baptized).
I'm playing Silent Night for Elder Flake this Saturday. It's for the stake Christmas activity. They do it every year and apparently they get a lot of people there. So that's way scary. We're both freaking out a little bit. Hopefully I don't completely mess up.
Sister Whetten is wonderful! We get along great and we're working hard. I've told her. This is going to be the hardest working transfer we've ever had. Since it's most likely my last in Samoa I'm giving it absolutely everything I have. We are going to have baptisms this transfer!
We're switching apartments next week. To the apartment the elders were in. They're closing ours. I'm kinda sad about that. I really like our apartment. And from what I've heard of theirs... not too great. But it's all good. This'll be the first change I've had in my mission so far with housing. Weird. I've been here so long, it's crazy.

 Well, I have to go. Sorry if this is really long and random. I always feel slightly crazy as I write this trying to get everything out. But hopefully it makes sense. It also doesn't help that I'm sitting here in the public library trying not to gag because the guy across from me smells really bad. And he was getting help from this librarian lady who has an accent exactly like Mom's fake Russian one. It's making me laugh. Anyway, love you all! CTR! Read your scriptures.
Sister Veronica White

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 3, 2013

This picture wall started out small but I may never leave Samoa so it just keeps growing... I love it though!
 My Aussie with all her Aussie things.
 So it was almost curfew Wednesday night but I realized I hadn't made a turkey hand this year. And Sister Smalley had never done it before. So I made her make one. I was trying to give her an as American Thanksgiving as is possible when you're serving in a Samoan ward.

Kinda blurry but here is our district.
Talofa Family!
Oh my goodness. This week was crazy. So busy and so much to tell you. But first and foremost.... I'm still in Samoa. Holy cow. I'm really, really happy to still be here. Especially for Christmas. But not gonna lie, I'm a little in shock. I thought I would get transferred. This will be my fifth transfer out. I've never been anywhere but the Samoan ward. At transfer meeting I saw a lot of the people that I came out to the field with and everyone was really surprised to hear I'm still here. But I'm grateful.  I LOVE my Samoans! Plus I have some unfinished business here to do. Like see another baptism! It's been too long. But here's the craziest news of all. Highline A (the elders that we served with) was closed. So there are no more elders in the ward. Just me and my new companion now. So we're taking over their area book. So I'm kind of in charge of Samoa. Well obviously really it's Heavenly Father, but you know what I mean. I'm a little nervous, but it'll be good. My new companion is named Sister Whetten. I'll try and get a pic this week to send to you. She's 20, from Arizona. Seems really sweet. It'll be good. I'm still just kind of in shock, though, that it's just us sisters in the ward now.
Thanksgiving was this week. It was good. We had a Thanksgiving activity with another zone and we played volleyball and basketball. It was lots of fun. Thanks to my Samoans I can almost play volleyball without completely embarrassing myself. I think I might just stay in the Samoan ward forever though so maybe by the end of my mission I'll be good at it. Sister Smalley and I went to the Etes. We were just supposed to stop by but I think they actually waited for us to eat. But it was really nice. I'm so grateful for the Etes. I love that family so much. They're my family away from you guys. I'm grateful I was able to spend it with them. Thanksgiving dinner was so good! They actually had some palagi food for us. I was so grateful. But then we had to go and eat a second Thanksgiving meal. I thought I might die. But luckily we got away with not eating very much. I missed the family's Thanksgiving food, but oh well.
We're starting to teach Ariana. She's living with members. She's a freshman in high school. Her dad has been inactive for years so the elders were teaching him but I guess we'll be taking that over. Anyway, we requested her records because she can't remember if she's been baptized or not. Oh how I love teaching the gospel! I wish I got to do it more often. That sounds silly for a missionary to say but seriously most of the time we're just going from person to person rejecting us. Or we'll have a great first lesson with someone but they're not Samoan so we have to refer them off. But all is well. It just makes having good lessons even that much better. Hopefully we'll be able to find out about her records soon. (things tend to move slowly in a Samoan ward) She said that she would like to be baptized!
Also, huge miracle! We got ahold of Casandra! We've been trying for over a month. We met her sister, Nika, who is not interested in the gospel but she gave us Casandra's new phone number. Apparently her father in law that they're living with told her that he doesn't want the missionaries coming to their new house. So sad. But we have a church tour scheduled this week where hopefully we can talk to her and figure out a little better what's going on. But please keep her in your prayers. I really love her so much and she's really struggling right now.
Well sorry if this is really long. And random. I feel like there's so much to say but I can't even say it all. Anyway, I love you all so much! Make sure to always pray and read your scriptures. The scriptures are true. I'm so grateful for you guys! Can't wait to talk to you in less than a month! Samoa is the best ward ever and I'm so happy! CTR!
Fa soifua. Love you!
Sister Veronica White