Well, another transfer is finishing up...and guess what. I'm training! I will also be headed back to Laie. I tried to trick President Warner into telling me if the sister that I'm going to be training is Spanish speaking or not but it didn't work. All he told me was that I would be happy:) There have been rumors for a while that a Spanish speaking sister was coming to the VC in August so I'm hoping. That would be so neat! I am a bit nervous to train and whitewash back at the VC after being away for a while but I feel like I am more prepared than I was before this transfer. I'm not even sure how to explain what this transfer has done for me. I feel like it is a turning point for me in a way. Sister Gleason, in combination with the area have taught me so much about what missionary work really is! It has been so hard. I feel like we have been humbled more and more each day and when things start getting better it happens again. Sometimes I wonder if I really am up to it all but then I get on my knees and somehow can find the small miracles that are all around me that make it all worth it. I feel so inatequate in so many ways, and yet I also feel closer to my Savior than ever before. I also look to you all for an example and am so grateful and know that Heavenly Father really is watching out for us. I am sooo grateful for this transfer!
This week was no exception. On Tuesday, we got to meet this wonderful Fijian lady who insisted on feeding us and then gave us a referral for the little old lady that she takes care of. We had planned to go visit someone else after that but we decided we should go visit the referral. The lady was so sweet and kept saying how wonderful we were. We were able to pray with her and with another Fijian lady who was there. They wouldn't agree to a set appt. but they wanted us to come back. We later found out from Suzanna (the first Fijian lady) that Colleen (the little old lady) is really struggling and she told us to go visit her because she hoped our message would bring her peace and some hope in her life. I truly am so grateful for the gospel.
So update on the 3 new investigators we found a few weeks ago, including Keith, the one whose sister referred him. We had been trying to get a hold of Keith all week. I think I told you that he had wanted 3 weeks to look over everything we gave him. We kept finding excuses to visit anyways. Well, Friday morning we get a call from him saying that he was in the Kahala area and was wondering if he could return the Book of Mormon to us. He said that he had been reading it and he didn't feel it was for him. Our hearts sank. We told him we would like to meet with him and asked if he had a few minutes to talk. He said yes and that he was across the street from the Kahala chapel. (Yeah who goes to the chapel when they plan to drop the missionaries!) We both started praying like crazy that we would know what to say and be able to listen to him and to the spirit. When we got there we said a prayer with him and then asked about his research. So he had spent the last week reading the Book of Mormon, reading everything on www.mormon.org, asking all his Mormon friends good questions trying to figure out how they got their testimonies, even calling his mom who is just about to be baptized and talking to her. He did everything possible. Everything that is, except ask God. I'm not even sure what we ended up saying to him. We asked him a ton of questions, bore our testimonies, listened some more, read some scriptures and testified again. All the while each of us were praying harder than ever before. He seemed to ponder everything we said. At one point we sat in silence for what I was sure was 5 or 10 min. I thought I was going to die! All I could do was plead with Heavenly Father to help him feel the spirit. We pleaded with him to just ask God. He knew he had nothing to lose. He had to know that he wouldn't receive his answer till he did, yet he felt that he had made his decision and did not need to ask God. He said he wasn't giving up on it completely but that someday he might have and "ah ha" moment and know it's true, and maybe not. However, he "respectfully declined" to learn more. I felt heartbroken for him! He is such a good guy and I can see so clearly how the gospel will bless his life and yet he rejects it. Long story short, with another one of our "new investigators" it was almost the same scenario. He was invited to read and pray, he asked if he could give us the book back, he said he had prayed and felt it wasn't for him. Yet he hadn't even read the book. In both cases we made them keep the books and testified to them that they were true and that someday they would need those and to not forget. I know that it is in the Lords hands now. I can now only imagine what the Savior must go through, who loves so much deeper than I, and who has sacrificed so much more for us, when he is rejected. It also testifies to me how important it is to read and pray together! We have been asked to do that for a reason! My testimony in this gospel and in this work is stronger than ever.
After that meeting with Keith, both of us were pretty depressed. We cried and prayed and continued on. The rest of that day was great though, and full of miracles. We were able to finally meet Kamaile again, someone Sister Hoskins and I taught for a while but we had to drop cause she wasn't keeping appts. She told us that she feels right now that her family is in a "waiting period" spiritually. Little does she know that they are waiting for the gospel:). She shared an experience with us about how she received an answer to a prayer once by "experimenting" and sort of testing the Lord. So we asked her to do the same thing with the gospel and bring her family to church:). She agreed although she can only go every other week because of work. It is a start though:).
Marie is still doing great! She loves having all the friends in the ward and is learning the importance of prayer and scripture study when going through rough times. It seems we are all learning that around here. She is desperate for a calling and for someone who she can go visit teach. We talked with the ward about it and she should be getting them soon:) She is really sad that I am leaving though. One good thing about serving here though is that it is not too far from the temple and the people here can come visit me there! Even if the drive is soooooo long for them:) It's so funny, I guess when you live on a small little Island, a beautiful drive 45 min out of town is rather a huge ordeal.
This week we also got to go to Pearl Harbor for service again. It is my third time doing that and it is always so neat. You know how much I love history:) It's cool to be able to step back in time for a few hours.
I can't believe it is getting cold there already! We have been melting here! People have really been spending a lot of time on the beach cause of it. I was tempted to jump into sister Nekotas pool when we went there on Monday. Don't worry, I resisted:) I absolutely LOVED the package mom! Thank you so much! Sister Gleason did too cause she has an obsession with going through pictures. It actually arrived right when we got home after our meeting with Keith, and I cried when I saw it:) I know I'm a big baby:) Thank you so much Alexa for the song lyrics too! I cried again when I saw your handwriting:) I think those talks that Tyson and Alexa gave would have been perfect for a few of our investigators. Do they want to come here and give them?:) The candy actually melted so it is mostly just big chunks of Peanut Butter and Chocolate, but we stuck it in the fridge and it still tastes delicious:) I can't believe how tall Tyson is and how big all the grand-kids are! Especially little Alex who I have never even met! He is so cute though:) I will be praying for Tonya to have her baby this week. I hope everything goes ok. I love you all so much and pray for you always! You are the best example for me and the best family EVER!
Les Quiero muchisimo!
Hermana Rowley (Shayla)
So the first one is Sister Curtis and I (We were on exchanges) cleaning Marie's house and putting contact paper on all her shelves...I no longer like contact paper...
The second is at a one year old birthday party...yes...one years old. That doesn't even show all the food there! They have a tradition here to through gianormous parties for one year old babies cause in olden days, if your child lived to be one than they would live long cause most children didn't live to that age. fun tradition I suppose but it gets a bit extravegant.
The last picture is with the Akionas and the Nakatsus. The Nakatsu's kids all have irregular "K" names. Kyrie, Kethan, Kayson, Kinsey, and Keean. They are spelled differently though. I can never remember them all. Sister Akiona is the one who texted you that picture. I love them so much!:)