Hey so to start out! We got a call about transfers from President this morning...My sweet companion Sister Leiataua is leaving! :( She is just too good to keep in one place, and the rest of our mission definitely needs her example, so I'm not surprised she is leaving so quickly after one transfer. But with that said, I am gutted cause I love her soooo much- we definitely had a good hug and cry when we got the news, but that is where trust in the Lord comes in right? He truly does know best! With that said, he somehow sees that I need to be Sister Training Leader again.........That's not so cool, but what is so cool is my new companion, Sister Bailey! OH.my.GOSH. She is the best! She is from Brisbane, is the happiest most energetic person and is the greatest missionary! The best part about it too, is she has always reminded me so much of Collie! The way the jumps, runs, gets excited about things...ahhh they are pretty much the same person, and so that is a big tender mercy! She was my Sister Training Leader when I came to Australia and ever since we served around each other, we've always wanted to be companions so I am so excited! A lot of really good things are going to happen, and I'm already sooo excited to WORK!!!
This week has been...really hard haha, but really good! It was definitely the hardest week we have had this transfer...but with that said, I LOVE the hardest times, because it reminds me that great things lie ahead, so it really motivates me to just work even harder and push through! Our interesting week started when we got to the home of our less active family and just after started to help with the dishes that we saw laying in the sink, we looked up to see the mother crying into her hands...come to find out the father had just gotten into a fight with the 2 oldest kids and had hurt them...She cried and cried as she told us that she knew Satan was working so hard because they had been reading the Book of Mormon everyday! She was so right though, Satan attacks families, and especially when he sees them progressing! It was the saddest thing, but her faith is strong enough to get her through this tough time! I know that God will help them come out on top! Well just after we left their house we went to the next lesson (with a solid member) too teach a couple we were so excited about that we had just found the week before. Well when we got to the house we heard them yelling and fighting, so the male member we were with suggested we knock to break up the fight. Well they let us in, and come to find out they were super wasted on drugs and alcohol, and had gotten into a physical fight (yes knives included)...well the wife had ended up taking a LOT of sleeping pills to ease the pain and because of the number she did, we had to call the ambulance. Satan hates us...he is trying to keep us from God. He tries to get us to ease our pains in ways that cannot last, nor even help... The ONLY way to overcome trials and pains is through Jesus Christ, but we've got to humble ourselves enough to see this, because really the worldly ways cannot help!...Well, It broke my heart to see them like this, but I also learned a great lesson about prayer! While waiting for the ambulance my companion and I had to run back into the house to get the bottle of pills she had taken, and as soon as we walked into the house, the darkest, heaviest feeling fell upon us...As soon as this happened, I turned around to my companion and said to her, "We need to bless the house right now". She immediately offered the most sincere and powerful prayer I have almost ever heard. As good and evil battled, the good finally won as she said some very sacred words in the name of Jesus Christ, and as soon as she had it was as if all evil had disappeared...It was the most amazing feeling as peace filled the room!
The war between God and Satan is real, and it's scary...but If we put on our armor by reading the scriptures, praying, and keeping our covenants EVERYDAY, when we are put on the battlefield and when we exercise faith, GOD WILL CONQUEROR and Satan will not have victory over us! Prayer is powerful and miracles come from it when faith is combined! It was an experience I will never forget. Now besides those experiences, we were also dropped by a few investigators, and some of our investigators are starting to doubt, big time...it's so frustrating, but it's teaching me humility! It's teaching me that I shouldn't think my ways and hopes are better than the Lords, but rather...he has HIS plan, and I need to be humble enough to do what he needs done regardless of what his children choose. I am not losing hope, nor faith and MANY good things are still happening, but the past few days...hahah it's just kind of like, "is this really happening?". But it is so good, I am thankful that I am tried, because when I am I always find myself coming out stronger!
We still have 6 people working toward baptism which is really exciting, and a LOT of good things are happening in our area and ward, it's incredible! There are more and more less actives coming to church and this week, the Lord was able to rescue 2 more of them as they came to church to renew their covenants, it was beautiful!
We met a lady while following up with a former investigator, who when we first talked with her...claimed to be an atheist...As we shared with her about the cleansing power of the atonement, an the blessing God has given us to live with our families forever (on certain conditions), she was keen and let us right in! My companion and I shared the Plan of Salvation with her, and by the end of the lesson, not only had she had a countenance change, but she offered the most beautiful prayer where she talked to God like she was talking to a best friend. Just in the 45 minutes that we were there she had changed, and allowed the spirit to work within her. The plan of Salvation is real, and it's beautiful! When we really see the bigger picture, life holds a whole new meaning and what's really important, climbs to come to the top of our priority list. I've definitely seen that by "seeing the bigger picture" I strive to be better because I really want to stand before my maker knowing I've tried my best! I'm also so grateful to know that God's plan enables each of us to be free from guilt and pain, and also live with our families for eternity! How lucky are we?!?!
Another simple experience that happens often, but that I wanted to share with you, happened while on exchanges with Sister Chou Lee this week. We had planned a great day the night before and decided that back up for one of our appointments, we would pray about a street to tract on (and keep in mind we like NEVER tract, so it was eve inspired that we felt like we needed to). Well we prayer, and looked at the map in silence for a few minutes, and then when we came back together, we had picked the exact same street...WE had a whole suburb to choose from, but the spirit led us to this specific street. Well sure enough the next day our appointment fell through so we went to tract the street...There were only about 10 houses on it but wow...miracles galore! We found some really sweet potentials, and 2 amazing investigators! Maddie and Kaylee (the 2 new investigators) have a great relationship with God, but were keen to strengthen it...so as we taught about the restoration and the Book of Mormon, promising them that their relationship with God and Jesus Christ would be strengthened as they read it, they so anxiously took and sure enough they have been reading it! When we pray, and exercise faith, the Lord WILL lead us down the path that HE needs us to take! We may not understand why he is leading us a certain way, or why things didn't turn out the way we hoped...but God knows best. Everything truly will work together for our own good if we do our part of keeping the commandments and having faith in the Lord to go wherever he needs us.
This week while trying to help resolve the concerns of many of our investigators, I've also learned that WE DO NOT NEED PROOF RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR EYES OF EVERYTHING! If we had proof of everything right in front of our eyes, that would be far too easy! Everyone would believe and everyone would be so righteous! But that's not why we are here on this earth...we are here to have our faith tested...As I deeply think about the questions that investigators ask us...it brings me back to my testimony...to the things that I know to be true...and how do I know them to be true? By the power of the Holy Ghost! I am so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost that has taught me more about God and Jesus Christ and their way (which is the gospel). The Holy Ghost will teach us things that will stay with us forever, and that is because they are in our heart, which is far greater than things that are in front of our eyes!
I love the gospel, I love my Savior. I love that he will never abandon us and that when we are truly humbled, broken down...we can fall on our knees and RISE to a whole new level- and that's all possible because our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ! I have felt that his week, and am so grateful for it!
Well I have to go, but thank you for talking with me. You have no idea how much your emails encourage me and help me become a better Sister Ensign. I pray for each of you daily and cannot wait to Skype you on Christmas! December is finally here, so let the Holidays roll while remembering the TRUE meaning of Christmas, and make sure that your Christmas music is always on, ok?!?! Slow down this season, run the thought, "can't wait for this crazy month to be over" out of your mind, and take time to reflect on our Savior. Serve others, and help strengthen other's faith in Christ...it is then, that you will have the best Christmas season of your life! I love you and am eternally grateful for you!
Yesterday I sat in sacrament meeting thinking of the day when I will be released and have to take off my badge...I felt so sick to my stomach! I never want my mission to end, and hope that president will let me extend 50 more years! Think he will?!?! I sure hope so! Thanks for leading me on a course that has led me to being out here...On Thanksgiving day I layed on the couch after planning and just thought about how lucky I am to be out here. I would be such a different person had I chosen to stay home! This has been the best and easiest decision of my life, and I am so grateful for your support! love yous!
Collie you got to talk to mum and the family?!?! I hope my passport gets lost for some crazy reason so I get to do the same;) nahh jokes, but you sure a lucky:) Love you sis!