Monday, August 29, 2016

Lose yourself in the work.

Reflections from this week:
I found out I would be training on Sunday, and since then, I have focused on making sure I am exactly obedient, because maybe I don't always know the right thing to say or the right thing to do to be the best trainer/ missionary ever, but the Lord does. I need to be obedient to have his spirit guiding me all the time. I have also made it my goal to witness a real miracle every day, and I happened!
Here is one of the miracles from this week-
On Tuesday, we went to visit this man who we taught before, and even though he seemed hard-hearted, he agreed to have us come back at a set day and time. We went back, and he wasn't there... surprise, surprise. BUT, his wife was there, and I heard she was a member before she married, but I never got the chance to talk to her. She wasn't that welcoming, but we just started talking to her on her porch. I was doing a lot of talking just trying to be friendly and get her to open up... and we talked about the Book of Mormon, but the conversation was pretty one sided... then I just stopped talking realizing I was wasting breath and the spirit gave me the words I needed. I said: "can I ask you one last question?" she said yes. then I said: "Do you believe?" and even though that was no creative question, it was what she needed to hear. She paused for a long time. I thought she wasn't going to answer, but then she opened her mouth and began sharing with us all about her life and her faith and how she really does want to come back to the church and she will encourage her husband to continue speaking with us. 
This was just one tiny miracle I experienced this week, and to some of you who read it, it may seem like nothing special, but I KNOW sometimes the simplest moments and the simplest words change hearts. That's what we are all about in this missionary work- changing hearts to turn to Christ.
I love you all, have a week full or miracles and I will do the same. Stay tuned for next week <3.

-Sister Bever 

Me and my new, fresh-from-the-MTC companion!!! Her name is Sister Ramsay. I know she looks palangi and her name is Palangi, but she is actually Tongan! born and raised. She is amazing!!!! She is sooo prepared. She was like the valedictorian for Liahona High School, and the student body president, and she studied at BYU Hawaii for two years before coming on a mission. I learn a lot from her, and I am humbled that the Lord chose me to be her first companion.

burning something on my 1 year mark! I guess its a thing and an old companion left me with a bag of old clothes that I needed to get rid of anyway... 

the consequence of following a dumb tradition... apparently the fabric is not organic at all, so it left this black sticky stuff on the pavement. We have been spending 10 mintues each day scraping it off. 

transfer #5 in Kolovai and Fo'ui... and I'm training!!

Hello Everyone,
Yes, I am finally going to have a brand new missionary to train! I talked to someone at the office and apparently all the Americans are training the Tongan missionaries from Tonga, so I don't know who it is yet, but I think my little trainee will help me learn a lot. I have not yet been companions with a Tongan who completely grew up here. As long as she doesn't try to hold my hand and touch me 24/7, I'm gonna love it :) (yes, idk why they do it, but tongan girls are VERY touchy... Audrey is laughing at the irony of this right now as she reads). 
Honestly, i am shocked to know that I will be spending another 6 weeks here in this area. It's a great area, but i have been here for a while and mentally prepared to move on after almost 6 months here, but the Lord has other plans. My work is not yet finished here. There are people who still need me, so maybe i need to work a little harder in this area than I have before if I will ever get out of here... hahaha :).
This week I learned about the power of sacrifice. We are starting a program with our members here related to the meals we eat with them every day. It is a program our mission president suggested. The members are supposed to have someone at their home for us to teach when we come to eat- a less-active member, or a non-member. If there is no one there, we don't eat their food, we say a prayer and bless their family for preparing food, but we begin a fast instead. The program was just announced yesterday at church, and for the first time, i actually saw the members motivated! they we all checking their calendars and looking for people to invite! Tonight will be the first experience with the new program. lets hope we won't be fasting. I am excited about this program because A) i know it will really motivate the members, because lets be honest this country runs on food and making the missionaries go hungry is NOT okay... B) i think some of the missionaries around here might lose some weight ;) and C) i know that the Lord will bless us and the members with miracles because of our sacrifices. 
One other experience- we had to postpone a baptism because our investigator was still smoking and did not tell us, BUT Kalolo, our investigator, is coming along sooo well :) We taught him about tithing and fast offerings this week, and even though he is not baptized yet, I saw him dilligently filling out his tithing slip yesterday at church. He is committed to quit smoking in 5 days even though he has been smoking for YEARS... so we are praying for him, and i really believe his desire is strong enough, so i am not worried about his baptism happening next week. I guess I am excited to stay here and see more of the fruits from months and months of our efforts. 
Challenge for this week- sacrifice a little more of your time for the Lord. Call the ward mission leader, or talk to the missionaries in your ward and ask them how you can help..... then FOLLOW THROUGH. 
Love you all <3

-Sister Bever

a picture from a resort where we had a zone pday activity last week. i just though it was pretty.

Sister Betteridge and I at the airport as she got ready to go to Vava'u. I guess Tonga couldn't handle the twins for too long.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Not much time, but here is a thought :)

No time to write another email, but this is a message i wrote to a friend this week, maybe it will help you all too. name has been changed. ooh and a few pictures attached... random one of our house.

Dear Jane,

I ran out of time last week and i have been pondering for the last 7 days over what i would say to you in reply to your email, and i pray that the spirit has guided my thoughts. 
I know this is a dark time for you, where you are tired of waiting miserably for things to get better, especially when they only seem to be getting worse. My thoughts go straight to another person in the scriptures who felt very much like you at a dark time in his life. Joseph Smith. While he stayed in Liberty Jail, he received revelation for sections 121-123 in the Doctrine and Covenants. I encourage you to read 122:7 and apply it to yourself. There is a phrase used in that verse that is used in almost identical wording 4 times in the scriptures- "all things shall work together for your good." (for more enlightenment on the subject, see Neil F. Marriott's coference talk from Oct. 2015.) Heavenly Father promises you and me and all of us, that ALL THINGS, the good/bad/everything in-between will work together for our good. Heavenly Father DOES NOT say it will all be good NOW, or next week, but he does say it will, in the future, be good for us. He knows exactly how strong you are. Honestly, sometimes when i am really challenged with disappointing weeks in the mission field, i take them as a compliment from Heavenly Father. If he gives you something really hard, it just means that there is great spiritual strength inside of you that will be accessed as you endure your trial well by combining your best effort with the Lord's power. In verse 9 of the same section, the Lord says, "for God shall be with you forever and ever." Turn to him through heartfelt prayer/ scripture study and look for ways to serve others every day, and this dark time will pass with the blink of an eye. It won't be like this for long. The sun always rises. Even after the darkest nights. Here is a picture of a sunrise a few days ago. I took it from my little missionary house. I hope it brightens your life a little. 
I hope you know that I love you and you will continue to be in my prayers for the weeks to come. Keep me updated on how you are doing. 

Love you always,

Sister Bever

Another Beautiful Sunset!

Emily's Remodeled Missionary Quarters