Aloha Querido Familia
It's been another great, busy week here in Hawaii. As far as transfers go, I do get a new companion. Sister Cavalcante is going online and I get to be with Sister Kim! Sister Kim is super sweet. She is from Korea and she came on her mission the transfer before I went out full field and we were padmates for 3 weeks, then she went out when I came back so I haven''t really seen her in a while but I'm super excited. I'll see if I can post pictures here so you can see what she looks like.
More good news though, I get to stay in the area! This will be my 3rd transfer in one area, which has never happened to me before so I am super excited, especially since Nina agreed to a baptism date for Dec. 21st! It honestly was such a miracle! She still has a long way to go and needs so many prayers still. She is praying about it too, but says that so far she feels really good about it. She is excited and looks forward to that day when she will be able to go in the waters of baptism, knowing she has repented of all her past mistakes and be completely clean and new. Baptism really is such an amazing thing! The Atonement is an amazing thing! It's amazing to see the joy and light grow into Nina's life as she reads and prays sincerely. She has had some cool experiences with the scriptures too that have helped her gain a stronger testimony of them. We always give her something to read, which she always seems to get a lot out of, but the real miracles come from when she just randomly decides to read something else and it happens to be exactly what she needs to hear. For instance, we had asked her to read 3 Nephi 11 and then to kneel and pray specifically to ask Heavenly Father if that really did happen, if the Savior really did visit the Americas and if this record really was true, and then to write down the feelings and impressions that come to her. She did exactly as we asked and said that for the first time in a long time, after she prayed and asked, she felt a peace wash over her. She wrote down her thoughts and impressions and then decided to read Mosiah 1. As she was reading, Verse 6 stood out to her, "O my sons, I would that ye should remember that these sayings are true, and also that these records are true. And behold, also the plates of Nephi, which contain the records and the sayings of our fathers from the time they left Jerusalem until now, and they are true; and we can know of their surety because we have them before our eyes." We pointed out to her that that wasn't a coincidence and she was like, "I know, too many coincidences yeah?" That was the day she decided to pray about a date:) We were so excited we couldn't stop smiling all day! The Atonement is real and the gospel really does change lives, and the Book of Mormon is true!!!! Please keep praying though. I am so glad I get to stay in the area to continue to help her along. I love her so much!
Alex is still doing so great. The more and more we learn about her, the more we see what an amazing, strong young woman she really is. She has had a difficult past, but she is such a good example to all around her and it is so wonderful to see how much Heavenly Father had preparing her for this time to receive the gospel in her life right now.
This Saturday was really fun as we got to do a community service project. The wards in Sunset area want to have a chapel there so they are trying to build up trust with the community. So our whole zone got permission to join in on a giant service project. We all went to the rec. center and cleared out a ton of weeds and bushes and stuff to make it more beautiful:) We were all pretty excited too that we got to wear the "Mormon Helping Hands" jerseys:) I have always wanted to wear those:P After the service project, they told us they were feeding us lunch up at the elementary school and when we go there we found out that we missed seeing Jack Johnson (the singer) by an hour! Apparently he lives up there and was doing some community service thing as well. That would have been neat, but oh well.:)
This weekend was a pretty exiting weekend for the church here in Hawaii. It was a stake conference, combined with all 15 stakes in Hawaii and satellite broadcast from Salt Lake City. It was really neat actually. President Uchtdorf, Elder Bednar, Sister Reeves, and Elder Robbins of the 70 all spoke. It was funny because President Uchtdorf made us all say "Aloha" twice, as if it wasn't good enough the first time, even though he couldn't even hear us:). Their talks were so amazing though! I was so glad that Nina was there and got to hear them too. At times, I just knew that they were speaking directly to us! Elder Robbins spoke of the Book of Mormon and bore powerful testimony, and Sister Reeves and Elder Bednar talked about repentance and how to go through the process enough to have that change of heart and turn to God, and President Uchtdorf talked about the importance of relationships between a husband and a wife and how it is not something to be upgraded or taken lightly. It really was so good.
It's crazy to me that you are all Christmas shopping and everything! We did start putting up all the trees in the Visitor Center. (It was really cool actually because while we were in the midst of setting up the trees and there were ladders and boxes and lights everywhere, we had a ton of non-members come in, looking really confused, and so we got to take one of them on a tour of the Temple grounds and ended up giving them a Book of Mormon and got a new investigator:) The Lord works in mysterious ways) Anyways, the stakes all around will be coming to decorate the trees in the upcoming days and we will turn on the lights the day after Thanksgiving! I put my little tree and stockings up now that I know I will be staying in the area and I feel so festive now!:) I didn't really have to lug them around with me all this time. Being in Laie we don't move around too much so I can just stick it in a box and leave it be till I need it, which worked out perfectly:) I love you so much and I am so thankful for all your support and prayers! I am so grateful for this gospel and for everything I continue to learn here! I love you all and pray for you always!
Some pictures from service, and an old picture of Sister Kim, my upcoming companion:)