Aloooooha! and Happy Thanksgiving!
This week has been a great week full of a ton of food....I'm starting to get sick of the usual, "Sisters! Are you hungry? Come eat!" Of course "no" is not an answer. That's the true Hawaiian spirit though:) We ended up having 3 different thanksgiving dinners. I'm just grateful we had a car because our pad-mates were walking and on there way to and from there appointments kept getting stopped and ended up eating 5 different dinners! It was all very good though:) The Visitor Center was closed Thanksgiving Day and we were told to stay with missionaries or members the whole day. After our dinners we were so stuffed we ended up just staying together in our pad and doing children's dances from all our different countries. I discovered why Japanese are so little! The dances they do in Kindergarten are insane! It was really fun to see them all do the Hokey Pokey though:).
Nina has been doing better than ever! She is getting more excited as her date comes nearer and she even had the courage to start to tell people about it! She was nervous at first because she was afraid something was going to happen. It is amazing though to see how much her faith has grown and how much she has learned to trust in Heavenly Father. We have been going over all the lessons again, even though she has had them before, just to make sure everything is clear and ready. We went over the Word of Wisdom last night and we asked her, "is there anything in this that may be more difficult for you?" She replied, "no. I mean, there is always temptation and peer pressure and all that, but I know Heavenly Father will strengthen me." It is so neat to see her putting her trust in Heavenly Father now, more than ever before. She has been going above and beyond keeping the commitments we leave with her as well. You can just tell there is a different spirit about her. She is still nervous but she is doing all that she can and not holding anything back. I know Heavenly Father will help her as long as she keeps doing what she is doing. This will be the best Christmas present ever! Unfortunately both her and Alex chickened out when testimony meeting came. Nina wouldn't make eye contact with us the whole time and when she did I asked her if she was going up and if she wanted me to go with her. Her face got really red and she said, "I don't know..." haha:) It is a scary thing, maybe next time:) Alex just blamed it on her sore throat:)
Alex is still doing so good. She is such a great example to everyone around her. She did get really frustrated with the youth in the ward yesterday though because they all skipped Sunday School and went to Young Womens. She ended up scolding them a bit in class and told us that day how she was so frustrated with them because they were taking these things for granted. We taught her a bit about chastening with love:) but let her know that they see things a little differently than she does because they haven't had the same experiences as she has. They haven't had to experience risking her family's love and support by being baptized. They haven't had the same past experiences that she has had that has helped her see how wonderful and important the gospel really is. It’s a good start that they are even at church at all. Everyone is on different parts of the path to perfection. You may be far up in some areas, but lacking immensely in others. The point is that we are all on the path somewhere. We are here in this life to learn and perfect and strengthen the areas that are weak. Time, experience, sometimes heartaches and pain, but always life will help us to live more like the Savior each day, as long as we let it. She may not see it quite yet, but Alex has a strong influence among the youth in this area. I hope we all can help strengthen each-other and help each-other back home.
It's been fun with all the Christmas spirit here. Thank you so much for the CD mom! Thankfully, my companion likes it too so I can keep listening to it:) It's amazing to think about how much I have changed and grown since last Christmas! Missions really are quite amazing when you allow them to be. Just like any other experience in life, you do have to allow it to change and convert you. I am so grateful for these experiences, as hard as they may be at times, that make me a little more like the Savior, and a little more converted to His gospel, and a little more able to trust in Him when I am asked to do "walk on water" type things. Things that seem almost impossible at first. I am slowly learning that if He asks me to do it, I can do it, simply because He asked me. The best part is, if I fail, like Peter did when he attempted to walk on water, the Savior will never allow me to sink. He will always pull me up "immediately" when I call for Him and we will walk on water together. You can never sink when you are trying to do what He has asked you to do. I am so grateful for my Savior and for the Atonement and the Gospel. I love this work so much and I know that it is God's work! I love rereading the General Conference talks, especially when I find things in there that really help me teach my investigators with more understanding. I love the scriptures and the treasures I find each time I read them that help me through rough times. I love prayer! Isn't it amazing that we can talk casually to the creator of the earth and stars and universe?!
I love all of you and thank you for your support and example to me. Tell Maelie Happy Birthday from me!!! I knew it was around this time but couldn't remember the exact date:) I will send her a little something this week:) Isn't she 5 now?! So crazy!!!!! Sooo...as far as when I go home, I still am not sure. I am going to talk to President when he gets here for Zone Conference this week and see if it is even possible anymore. I'll let you know though:) I'm excited for my package:) I can't think of anything really, especially since I don't have too much longer, but I will love anything:) I got my word "Blast" from Sister Gleason:) I decided that it was a better word than anything else I've used and now it has become a habit. My favorite is when Sister Kim uses it with her Korean accent:) That is so sad about Lacy. Make sure you tell her I love her! Thank you so much for your prayers! I definitely need them, especially since I am sick again:( I have a really bad sore throat (maybe from Alex:() I have been doing all I know how, including drinking a ton of Pineapple juice! I will be fine though. I love you all so much and pray for you always!
Ps I was going to send pictures but forgot my chord, I will save them for next time:) Love you all!!!!!