Well another week has passed and it's the start of a new transfer, although for the first time in my mission it doesn't change much for me. The only difference is that Sister Moyes has gone home and is no longer our padmate. Sister Takatsu from Japan is sister Eaton's new companion and has joined us in our area:) She is so sweet and funny. She reminds me of a character off of a Japanese Cartoon. Not that I've seen any of those, she would make a good one though:).
This week we have been working a lot with Nina. She still is struggling to sincerely pray specifically about her situation. It's so hard to see the pain that comes when you don't live God's commandments. We are doing our best to help her to see how much hope there is when she does turn to God and trust Him to take her burdens and make everything ok in the end. Not to mention how many blessings He will then be free to bless her with. She is in a difficult situation but she is doing her best right now so that is really good. She has been coming to church and reading everything we have given her to read. We are praying so hard for her. Thank you for your prayers as well.
This week we continue to go through the area book to get things updated. It's funny how different the work is here compared to Honolulu even. Whereas Honolulu has a giant pool of nonmembers where we can go tracting through and find those who are elect, here we only have a few blocks in our area and we know pretty much all the non-members and they have all met or seen missionaries before, so our job is to get to know everyone enough to get referrals and ward trust and work with the less-actives, and update the area book as much as possible. So that is what we are doing. I have a testimony that the Lord blesses us when we do all we can. It's such a good feeling to know that even though I may feel like I should be doing better, therefore I'm not doing my best, I am working on improvement and that is what the Lord expects.
This week I have been studying a lot about gratitude. Not really on purpose, it just so happened that every talk I read had to do with that. I have learned that being grateful is such a great antidote to so many things. I started saying a lot of gratitude prayers and I have discovered that although I am still not perfect and I have a long way to go, I feel much more hopeful and I am able to notice even more the little tender mercies of the Lord in my life. It is so much better to be grateful!
This morning I had the wonderful blessing of being able to go to the temple again. I love the temple so much! I think it means even more to me when I am here testifying to everyone about how amazing that "big white building" is outside every day. I was sitting in the celestial room when I was reminded of this tour I took a while back. I had been talking to this lady about the blessings that come from the temple. I told her about how it was a place of learning and a place where we make covenants with our Heavenly Father. Then I showed her the picture of the Celestial Room and told her how it was a place where we go to get out of the world, pray, and receive answers to our prayers. How it represents our home with Heavenly Father. How the temple is dedicated to the Lord and so His presence is so strong in there and we can feel wrapped in his love. She then asked, "Is it just packed in there? It seems to me that everyone would want to be there all the time." What a blessing it is to have a 141 temples! It's something I'm sure we do take for granted sometimes, just like much of the gospel, but that is definitely another thing to be grateful for. Many times, people here will ask, "Well, can I go in the temple?" Yes! We hope everyone will one day go! That's why we do missionary work! I am so grateful for the blessings of the temple!
I'm so grateful for this work and for the many miracles that I get to see each day, whether it be in the Visitor Center, in our area, or even in myself. Thank you for all your love, support, prayers and examples. Thank you Chelsea for your gift!!! It was torture to wait over a week, knowing that your friends were coming any day. haha, I love the letter and and love the necklace! I had to go back and read that forget me not talk again:) I get comments on it every day:) Thank you so much. It feels weird to be one years old on my mission:) That's so sad to hear about Alie's dad. I do remember her from High School. I will definitely be praying for them. I love you all so much and pray for you always!
Les Quiero Muchisimo!
Hermana Rowley (Shayla)