Monday, December 21, 2015

I'm Dreamin of a White Christmas

The weather here is very bipolar (kinda like Utah haha) but I think I've sweat more these past couple days than I have in my entire life. Just kidding, but it's been HOT! I think I've gained a couple pounds since I've gotten here but pretty sure I'm almost back to where I started thanks to my beautiful uniform :) 

This past weekend has been very spiritually uplifting. We got to watch a recording of President Peason's --president of the pacific area -- meeting with the missionaries in Tongatapu (the main island) and it was amazing. He talked about how we're blessed with agency which means there needs to be opposition so we can make choices. There's a difference between AGENTS and OBJECTS. And object has no choices, it has to react. However, we are agents. When someone's annoying we can choose whether to be annoyed or to acknowledge that they're being annoying but continue to love. We choose the fruits of the Spirit (love, peace, joy) or things that are not of the Spirit (anger, fear, frustration). When we partake of the sacrament worthily, in that moment we again covenant with our Father that we will keep ALL our covenants (20 year old covenants become new again every week) and He again promises His Spirit (which gives us power). In that moment we are completely clean and acceptable to our Heavenly Father. Then as we go throughout our day we are given choices and we choose to keep that Spirit with us or choose something else--because we are agents!

Yesterday, I was thinking about this a little deeper during sacrament and I felt the Spirit so strong and felt pretty emotional. President Tukuafu (not exactly sure of his calling...maybe was in the 70? I'm not sure but something higher than a Stake President) and the Stake Presidency all came to our meeting and right before President Tukuafu got up to speak he turned to the Brother conducting and the Brother got up and said that I (Sister Reid) would share my testimony first. I was a little surprised for like half a second and then I was filled with so much peace and I got up there and expressed my feelings and testimony in some pretty rough Tongan--mostly rough cause I was crying. But although it was a struggle, I meant every word I said and felt the Spirit so strong.
President Tukuafu got up and thanked me for my testimony and said that before the meeting, when he shook my hand and talked to me for just a minute, he forgot everything he was going to say in the meeting and felt impressed to have me share.

Well I'm not sure why that was the case but I definitely feel that it was a tender mercy from the Lord letting me know that he is aware of me and my desires. I love this work! 

I hope everyone has a very MERRY CHRISTMAS as you remember our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Sister Reid

Monday, December 14, 2015

Surprise Fakataha with Palesiteni and Sister Tupou

Sorry, I wasn't able to email yesterday--Pres and Sister Tupou (mission pres) came out for a fakataha (meeting) and they switched Pday to today. It was great! I'll tell you about it at the end of the email.

First, Sione got baptized! He made so much progress this past week (and didn't smoke at all). Also, they had a youth conference activity this past week that he was able to go to. And when Tongans put on activities they go all out. They had a mini MTC and all the youth got "mission calls" to the places where all the RMs in the ward served and had classes with them (cultural/spiritual). On the last day they had a tree of life activity. I wish I could've seen it 'cause it sounded sweet! They waited until it was getting dark and lit up a tree. They put blind folds on all the youth and had them hold on the rope that led to the tree. They played loud music, threw mud at them, and put a slip/slide under them with soapy water--once they made it to the tree they received fruit from the Stake Presidency. Sounds sweet right?

I love the Christmas season. It's definitely different being here where the sun is shining and not many Christmas decorations...but I hear a Christmas song here and there and it feels a little like Christmas. They have dances to celebrate Christmas season...but for the most part it doesn't seem that least here in Eua.

So...about President coming. It was a wonderful meeting and I learned so much! He talked a lot about the higher level of teaching and teaching as Christ taught -- using questions. We're not here to teach others as objects but that's what we do when we just preach. We are here to guide them as they are agents unto themselves. As we create a safe environment where they feel comfortable and we value their thoughts and ask inspired questions from heaven, the Holy Ghost can come in and teach them. When you leave, they remember more of what they say than what you said. 
He also shared his prayerfully sought out vision of (starting in January) baptizing 100 people in each stake before June, to celebrate 100 years of this mission! Yeah that's a HUGE goal and we're going to need a lot of heavenly help. But all the Stake Presidents have agreed and we're fasting and praying because that means 7 new converts each month in Ha'atu'a! 
After the meeting we were able to have interviews with him and that was really good because I haven't seen him or Sister Tupou since the first day I got here. At the end of the interview he said, "your Tongan is so good!" Although the meeting was mostly in English (Sister Tupou doesn't know Tongan and pretty much everyone understands English) we had done a role play of Lesson #1 in Tongan...which we've role played so many times...which was in Tongan. So that made me feel good but that's probably the best Tongan I've got haha and it's all because of the Lords help. I've definitely gained a greater capacity to study and learn and I still have a looooong way to go but I'm grateful for this opportunity I have to learn Tongan! It's really such a fun language and I'm blessed to have the opportunity to study it and share the message of the Restored gospel to the Tongan people.

I hope you're all enjoying the Christmas season and remembering our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Sister Reid

Monday, December 7, 2015

So Blessed.

The Lord has REALLY been blessing us! We had two baptisms (Kulisi & Sepesi) and it was such a sweet experience! They bore their testimonies and it was the cutest. We have a potential baptism with Sione...he relapsed with his smoking but he got rid of all of his Tongan tobacco so we're helping and praying for him. 

I got 4 new dresses this week! A lady from our ward went to Tonga so I gave her money for fabric and she sewed them for me :) Thanks goodness because I was down to 2 (we're not allowed to wear black anymore and my other one got lost). So that was so great! 

The weather is so perfect here right now. It's pretty breezy and warm. So blessed to be in Eua! We've been eating a lot of pineapples and drinking Otai...Tongan punch with fruit shredded in yummy! I love the simple life on this island. I hear it's a lot different from Tongatapu (the main island) and I really do love it here!

I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve my Father in Heaven and be a representative His son, Jesus Christ. I am so humbled. So inadequate. But I know that I have been called of God and he qualifies those he calls. There's a song called "Grace" by Laura Story that summarizes my feelings. How grateful I am for God's grace (Ether 12:27)!

Ofa Atu
Sister Reid

Monday, November 30, 2015

Let the Little Ones Come Unto Me

"...and becometh a Saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father" (Mosiah 3:19).

I've felt the reality and importance of this scripture in such a tangible way this week. It's been a turning point for me. A mission has made me vulnerable in ways I couldn't quite anticipate and in some aspects I've resisted it. There have been times it has been hard to completely let go of things I feel comfortable with and totally rely on God--trusting in His great power and goodness. 
I had certain expectations for my mission, certain challenges I anticipated, and goals I'd set of what I want to happen. But I'm realizing that some of those things have been overshadowing all that God wants my mission to be. He knows me better than I know myself. It's difficult when good desires are different from God's will and timing...But that's the beauty of submitting to God and watching him make more of me than I can make of myself. The experiences I am having and will have are so perfectly crafted for me to learn and grow if I trust God and do my best. Submitting my will and everything to God has made all the difference...I thought I had "submitted my will to God" when I came on my mission. I was ready to give it all to the Lord. But I've realized this week it's an everyday, every hour, every minute thing and it's only when I trust Him, let go of pride, and lean on my Savior that His grace can work in me.
D. Todd Christofferson (2002) said, "Surely we will not be one with God and Christ until we make submitting to their will our greatest desire."

I am also grateful for such sweet examples of the attributes listed in the scripture above. The children here are straight tender mercies from the Lord. I've been able to talk to them a lot more this week and my language is improving! There is one family of Wesleyan children that follow us everywhere we go and so I try to talk to them. There dad thinks it's hilarious that they follow us everywhere but their mom doesn't like the church so we can't really teach them.
The member kids are also adorable! They always play at the church and sometimes when appointments fall through or when literally almost everyone has left to go to Uta ("the bush") we go there and role play with them. And they are so sweet to come and be investigators! Children have such a special spirit. They crack me up!! 

We have 3 investigators that will be getting baptized this Saturday if all goes as planned. One of our investigators (16 year old boy named Sione) is trying to overcome his smoking addiction so we're praying for him to stay strong so he can be ready!

This week has been good. We've also had great fafangas. One more wealthy family bought this HUGE crab (like $100) for us to eat. TOO nice. But it was delicious. 

Hope you're all doing well!! You're in my prayers.
Sister Reid

Challenge for this week: Listen to conference talks while getting ready in the morning! It's a good way to multi-task, start your day off right, and to remind you of what was taught in the past conference! 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

There are some weeks that are just super rough...and this week was one of those weeks. We've knocked on like every door..twice..the members are super nice but not the most helpful when it comes to giving us referrals (but we're setting up a program to help with that) and there was a funeral this week and in Tonga it lasts for like a whole week and no one is allowed to play sports or play loud music and everyone goes over and helps the family of the person who died. Also, on Thursday night when I came home there was a HUGE spider (the size of the palm of my hand) at the foot of my bed. It took me like ten minutes to get up the courage to smash it..and I missed and it went behind my bed..and I couldn't find I prayed like the whole night...and I am, thankfully, still alive haha and also the mites are no longer in my hand! Hallelujah
But it's weeks like these that you just need to turn and see all that you've been blessed with. So that's what I've done (plus, it's Thanksgiving...) 

I am SO grateful for:
MISSIONARY WORK it's such a humbling experience to be here on a mission. Everyday I realize the great blessing it is to have the gospel.
MY FAMILY their support means the world to me and I love them so much
CHICKEN it's always the best meat at Fafanga
SUNDAYS IN TONGA nothing is open (it's against the law), no one can play sports, and pretty much everyone goes to church!
TONGAN HYMNS the Tongans don't sing with a piano and they sing with their whole souls. They also make up their own tune so it sorta sounds like the songs I sang growing up but I am learning to sing them in the Tongan don't judge if I come home and sing the hymns with the wrong tune!
THE BEAUTIFUL ISLAND I AM ON There are palm trees and beaches, rain forests and hills, cliffs and ocean, pine trees, and the most beautiful sunrises (the first sunrise in the world is seen here!)..seeing the sights on Pday is amazing!
MY COMPANION She's so sweet and way fun and super sassy. She takes a lot when it comes to me learning the language. She learned Tongan from just listening and so although she can't answer my grammar questions, she's good at knowing if what I am saying sounds right haha
THE "SHUMMWAY BOOK" It's a language learning book that has all kinds of scenarios with sentence structures and it is so helpful! 
THE SPIRIT Ultimately, I can't do anything as a missionary without it. It guides me, teaches me, comforts me, and testifies of truth to our investigators.
THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST I think about the situation I am in right now and from the surface it isn't totally my ideal. There isn't always water and electricity. Lots of bugs. I sometimes feel like a child in my braids, no make-up, and not always being able to communicate for myself. There are struggles, at times, with my companion--not always seeing completely eye to eye. No one really wants to listen, etc. And then I wonder why I don't get discouraged, why I don't just quit, and why I am actually EXCITED to get up everyday and walk in the sun for hours while most of the appointments we have fall through. It's because of the LOVE I have for my Savior and the strength I receive from His atonement. It helps me want to improve. It's when I do the work for Him, rather than for myself, that I feel the real reward. It's hard, but the atonement strengthens and carries me. Let's be honest, nothing in this world is a stronger motivator than charity. I know that as we love God we will feel love for those around us and we will find pure motivation to do all that is required of us--and in that we find pure joy.
AAAND yesterday the Returned Missionaries brought some people to church and we taught them...and there are two people getting baptized next week :) MIRACLES HAPPEN <3 the blessings come after the struggle. 

Love you all!!! Ofa Lahi Atu!
Sister Reid

Monday, November 16, 2015

Grateful To Be Here

We found out that we have less time to email my emails are going to be shorter. 

This past week a Sister in our district finished so we've been in a trio with her companion (Sister Latu). It's been cool because she doesn't really speak English so it's been fun doing language study with her. But  it's been a little difficult being in a trio...she was kinda sick and loves taking it was a struggle.

Also, I had my first dream that had some Tongan in it! It wasn't very much but a step in the right direction...haha

Aaaaand I got some mites in my hands and feet (SO GROSS)...they're like little bumps under my skin that get itchy at night, there aren't that many (thank goodness) but we went to the hospital and got some cream...and the mission doctor said it should be gone by next nothing to worry too much about :) The hospital was pretty sketch though, like definitely not sanitary, so I am grateful I only had to go there for cream!

I am going to try and send some pictures (it takes forever to upload) so sorry this is so short! But I love this work, it is wonderful. God lives. Christ is our Savior. And the Holy Ghost can be our constant companion. 

Ofa Lahi Atu!
xoxo Sister Reid

Monday, November 9, 2015

Rain for dayyys

I learned how to do an inside-out braid this week and it's actually way easier than doing a normal braid...why have I never done this before?? haha

Also, I forgot to tell you...but I ate DOG (kuli) a couple weeks ago! I didn't have very much but it wasn't too bad.

It rained a lot this week...which makes it a real struggle especially with the dirt roads. On Friday evening, we were walking and all the sudden it started pouring rain so we went under a big tree and waited for it to calm down but it just rained harder. So we got a plastic bag from the house next door, put our bags and ta'ovala s in it, and walked out into the rain. We were soaked in like two seconds. Everyone was outside playing and they told us to stay out there with them so we just watched them play..nothing we could really do. But now we're friends with all the Weslyian (Methodist) kids!

Most of the people in our area have been baptized at some point in their lives but have fallen away and now attend another church. I've been thinking a lot about why that's happened to so many. During a lesson this past week we asked a less active we were teaching to read the Book of Mormon. She used to be a really strong member of the church. But as tears filled her eyes she said couldn't because her preacher said she couldn't and that she was just happy with the church she was in now.
The next morning I was reading chapter 5 in Preach My Gospel and it says, "The Book of Mormon, combined with the Spirit, is your most powerful resource in conversion." I'm beginning to recognize more completely why the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion--it's through reading the Book of Mormon that we can know for ourselves it is true. Did a young boy write this or is it an ancient record that has been brought forth and translated for our day? And if it is true then the gospel is true...and what are we going to do about it?
We must read the Book of Mormon EVERY SINGLE DAY so we can gain a deeper testimony of this Gospel, our Savior, living day prophets, the Priesthood, etc. We cannot afford going a single day without reading from its pages...things are going to get hard, they already are, and we need to have a testimony that is firmly planted...when questions arise, we need a testimony of the Book of Mormon that is continually being fed so that we can tolerate the uncertainty we feel while staying true to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must be willing to experiment upon the word (Alma 32:27-28) and we must desire to know and be willing to act.

Hope you're all doing well. Ofa Lahi Atu!
<3 Sister Reid (Ridi (reedee), Liti (Leetee), Red, and everything else I've been last name has never been a struggle before)

Amanakilelei = Hope (Amanaki-to expect/expectations) (lelei-good) =to expect good or good expectations

Monday, November 2, 2015

Vilo Hoa

Malo e lelei!! 

On Wednesday and Thursday we went on splits with the Sister Training Leaders and it was such a wonderful experience! I learned so much. The heavens were opened and miracles happened. I went with Sister Pakalani (she's actually from our area! and she knows English pretty well...thankfully!) and she has become one of my heroes! We went to her neighbors house and asked the man there (Timote) if he was available to hear a message...and he said he was. We decided to teach him the first lesson and when we started talking about Joseph Smith, he told us he didn't believe Joseph Smith was a prophet. Sister Pakalani asked him if he'd asked God. He said that he hadn't. She went on to talk about priesthood authority and the Book of Mormon. At the end, when we committed him to pray and read Moroni's promise, tears filled his eyes, and he said, "I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and I want you to come back on Saturday to make sure I prayed and read..." It turns out that he actually was baptized when he was little but never really knew the doctrine (this is the case with A LOT of the people in our area). He told us he hoped his baptismal record was lost because he wanted to get baptized again but by a palangi (white guy) haha. But the record was there. 

Several experiences like that happened during the next day. I learned so much from her. She truly teaches by the Spirit. She loves the people and that makes all the difference. When she taught, even though I didn't know everything she was saying, I felt so emotional and the Spirit was so strong. 

A little bit about our area: It's pretty small...we can walk across it in like 5 minutes and it would take less than an hour to walk up and down every street. There are a lot of pigs and dogs that wander around and everyone has 2-3 feet high fences around their houses that we climb over every day (it's a struggle...haha) When we go to someone's house we usually just call their name and they come and whenever we go into someone's house we take off our shoes. We usually sit on the ground on mats when we teach. When we go over for meals, they don't eat with us. They either leave and we find them when we're done to thank them, or they sit there and talk to us while they watch us eat. There are four areas in Eua and ours is the smallest but we're over two wards and everyone else is over there are a lot of members in our area! 

This month, the mission read "On Being Genuine" by Dieter F. Uchtdorf and it is such a wonderful talk. I really liked one part in particular, "I pray that we will resist the temptation to draw attention to ourselves and, instead, strive for a far greater honor: to become humble, genuine, disciples of Jesus Christ......Such artificial discipleship not only keeps us from seeing ourselves as who we really are, but it also prevents us from truly changing through the miracles of the Savior's Atonement. The Church is not an automobile showroom--a place to put ourselves on display so that others can admire our spirituality, capacity, or prosperity. It is more like a service center, where vehicles in need of repair come for maintenance and rehabilitation. And are we not, all of us, in need of repair, maintenance, and rehabilitation? We come to church not to HIDE our problems but to HEAL them."
I love this so much. We can't just go through the motions...we need to open our heart and change to be more like Christ. It's not an easy road but it was never intended to be. We need to consider our purpose in everything we do and make sure we are being "genuine". As a missionary, I recognize that this work is not about me but rather about the Lord and His work and I am simply an instrument. 

Love you all so much!! Ofa Lahi Atu!
Sister Reid

Monday, October 26, 2015

Truck Tire Popped

So here's the thing...I have less than a half hour to email because the tire popped on the truck we were riding in on the way back from the hike and it took forever to I probably won't have time to reply to any one but I will read everyone's emails :) Sorry!

It's getting to be summer here in Tonga but luckily Eua is the coolest of all the islands so I lucked out there even though it's pretty hot!

This week was great! I love 'Eua and the people even though it's like straight camping haha. We had Zone Conference this week and the Assistants to the President rode the boat out here. It was good! We learned a lot, role played, and ate food.

Everything is going good. Not being able to say what I desire to say is SO hard though...especially in lessons. I desire so bad to speak and say the thoughts that come to my heart but they're all in English...and it's hard cause I can't really understand what the investigator is saying..but for some reason I can read Tongan and understand pretty well haha. But I know it'll come and I know that my smile and simple testimony count for something now.. :)

Yesterday, the two wards we are over had their primary programs and they were adorable!! The kids have such sweet spirits about them and many of them cried...they have been practicing every night for the past couple weeks! One of the wards had all of the kids dress up like missionaries and it was absolutely adorable!

OFA LAHI ATU!!!! You're in my prayers always.

Sister Reid

ps Apparently an ant bit my face two nights ago because I woke up and it was a little puffy haha..embarrassing..but it's gone now thankfully!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Miracle Baptism

"It takes broken clouds to make rain.
It takes broken ground to make grain.
It takes broken grain to make bread.
It takes broken bread to remember Him.
It took a broken Savior to provide the Atonement.
It takes a broken us to accept His offering.
The Lord loves broken things--cause we're all just a little bit broken,
But the Atonement of Jesus Christ can heal broken things."
(Elder Nielson, from the Presidency of the Pacific Area, shared this
with us this at 'Eua's Stake Conference)

This past weekend all the members in 'Eua prepared for Stake Conference and for the change in their Stake Presidency. They looked their very best, some of them washed their cars, and they all arrived like an hour every meeting. Elder Tukuafu (from the 70) and Elder Nielson came and spoke. It was great because Elder Nielson spoke in English and it was translated to Tongan so I understand everything he said! In a meeting with the stake leaders we were invited to, he talked about the importance of educating ourselves in every area of our life.  As leaders, we must be educated in order to help the younger generation. He later talked about member missionary work and how the Lord doesn't want us to necessarily WORK HARDER but to WORK SMARTER. And of course, we had a huge feast after all of the meetings of really good food.

Middle part. Braids. Black Ribbons. No Make-up. Uniform. Flip Flops. This is my life. Very low Maintenance. Very different. But I think I actually like it.

Anyways, this past week we got two baptisms! It was a miracle. We thought we had no progressing investigators but then some members informed us that there were two kids who had been taught by the missionaries a couple times but were unable to be baptized because their grandma wouldn't let them (even though the mom, who attends the Church of Tonga, said it would be okay). The members have been working with this family for many years. But somethings played out and the grandma gave the "okay"! We taught them all the lessons again to make sure they were ready for the interview and Malei (8 years old) and Keio (10 years old) were baptized. On the day of their baptism, the font wouldn't fill up (it took 2 hours to fill up 3 inches haha) so we moved it to another building-and it all worked out! The kids were so tough because the water was freezing! Love them so much. We're going to work with their mom next :)

Our neighbor across the street receives boxes from her family in America each month of food and stuff and she shares it with us because she doesn't like sweet things! So when fafanga (our food appointment) falls through we go over and eat Nutella and pancakes and Syrup and ice cream...if I get fat, it won't be from the Tongan will be from their kitchen ;) But the Tongan food is actually pretty good! And the members are SO nice to feed us twice a day!!! They are very nice people and I'm so grateful to be here!

Always so much to say, so little time...hope you're all doing well!!!
Love you all so much! Choose the right.

Ofa Lahi Atu!!
Sister Reid

p.s. the internet is too slow to send pictures...but I'm going to keep trying :)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Malo e lelei Eua!

I made it to Tonga...aaaaaand got assigned to the island of Eua (Ha'atua)!! And it is beautiful. I am the first palangi (white) sister to leave the main island of Tongatapu! It was a struggle trying to get ONE bag down to 50lbs to fly here to Eua. The plane ride was hilarious! The plane was had like 15 seats. The runway was some field haha. It was difficult to adjust the first couple days (not being able to speak the's a real struggle!) but I love it!

My companion, Sister Vaa'i, is Tongan but she's from Australia so she learned Tongan here. She is so funny and she has a lot of family in our area so she's able to connect with everyone super well. Our area is pretty small and most everyone is Mormon or Wesleyan. The area book hasn't been updated for over 5 months and so we're kinda starting fresh. The members are super on top of the missionary work here though so I am grateful for that!

The water in Eua has problems and sometimes just shuts off. Luckily, the missionary quarters has a huge water tank that fills up with the rain water and filters it so we've been able to shower out of a bucket and drink from that. That was a real interesting experience but not as bad as I thought it would be!

Clothes have been something to get used to. A girl gave me a couple outfits in the MTC and now we're working to gather some more...haha

This weekend, we were able to listen to conference in Tongan so even though I didn't understand a lot of it, it was fun listening for the words I do know.

Today, for Pday, we were able to go see some of the sights in Eua and it is BEAUTIFUL!!!! I'm going to try to send pictures but the internet is super slow so it might not work.

This work is amazing and I'm so grateful to be here! Alma's an amazing missionary chapter.

Ofa Lahi Lahi Lahi Atu!!
Sister Liti (Reid)

(Comment from our family letter)
We ride in the back of trucks haha and it's so fun and everyone is nice. And I met the missionary couple from Gram's ward :)

(Missionary couples' letter to Tiff's grandma/attached pic)
Sister Bearce and I were having a wonderful experience on our mission in Tonga. We were at the mission office last night picking up a van when we ran across someone you love. Sister Reid was right there.  (Tuesday when Tiff just got to Tonga)

Someone told us there was a new Sister from Orem and wondered if we knew her. The answer was no, but we know her grandmother.
What a small world!
She is going to an island east if us called Eua. It is a forested island and has a logging industry. She will do well there. Her companion is from Australia but is of Tongan descent. I think she will train your granddaughter well.

I hope you enjoy the photograph.
Elder Bearce

Working for the Lord in Tonga!

John 13:34-35
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Tonga, here I come

...In two days I will be on my flight to Tonga...Ahhhh! These past couple days have been filled with emotion. I've felt SO much excitement and joy as I look forward to the opportunities and experiences that are before me but I also feel a little broken hearted over the fact that I have to leave all my friends here and leave the comfort of being in Provo. Also, this morning was the last time I got to go to the temple. I didn't think that would be so hard...but I haven't missed a week going to the temple for just over 21 months. I have seen such huge blessings come from attending the temple. But I know that my work is with the living and I know that will be such a blessing! I really am so excited!!

On Sunday, it was our fast Sunday because of General Conference. I had the opportunity to bare my testimony in Tongan...although it wasn't super long, I felt so much peace in the words I spoke because I really do know that this gospel is true! It brings me so much joy. I am so blessed to know of these wonderful truths. Aaaaaand I am so excited for General Conference!!! I think we will probably be able to watch conference next weekend too--my first week in Tonga--cause it takes a week for them to translate it! Yay. I hope we all take advantage of listening to the words of our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and the apostles and prepare so that we may hear what the Lord has prepared for us!

Yesterday, we had in field orientation and it went really well! It was so helpful! Last night, my teacher (Brother Fisher) showed us pictures from his mission and wore his Tongan missionary attire! It was so cool!! It made me think a lot about my humanitarian trip to Fiji last year...honestly, one of the most wonderful experiences of my life (shout out to HEFY!;)). I know that my mission in Tonga is going to change me and I'm going to love it so much!! 

Tonight, our Zone will sing goodbye to us. We sing in Tongan, Fijian, Marshallese, Kiribati, and Samoan! I LOVE singing with all of's so beautiful. Pray that I can keep the tears from coming haha!

So this past week I shared a poem in Zone prayer, that I had found right before I came into the mission field, by an Elder serving in Texas. It's called "He's Been There Before". It touches my heart so deeply each time I read it and I hope you will take the time and read it too (I'm going to attach it at the end)! It helps me remember that we have nothing to complain about. We are never alone. There is someone who understands EXACTLY how we feel. He truly has been there. He's been in the darkest depths of life and in the highest places of joy. He's with us every step of the way. I hope we never forget that. 

I'm grateful for my opportunity to serve a mission!!

Ofa Lahi Atu!!!!
Sister Reid <3 <3 <3

By Elder Troy Whittle,
Texas, Houston Mission

The alarm rings at 6:30; I stumble to my feet.
 I grab my  companion's bedding and pull off his sheet.
A groan fills the room, is it  already time to arise?
 It seems like just a second ago I was able to  shut my eyes.
The morning activities follow - study, prayer, and  such.
When it's time to leave the apartment, you feel you haven't  accomplished much.
"We have a super day planned," my comp says with a  grin.
 I lowly utter a faithless breath, "Yeah, if anyone lets us  in.
"With the word of God and my faithful Schwinn, we ride off in the  street
Prepared to face another day of humidity and heat.
It's 9:30 in the  evening, the day is almost through;
My companion and I are riding home, not  accomplishing what we thought to do.
We ride up to the mailbox, hoping to  receive a lot.
Only to look inside and hear my echo reverberate "Air  Box."
We go up to our apartment, the day is now complete.
The only thing  to show for our work is a case of blistery feet.
It's past 10:30 PM, my  companion is fast asleep.
Silence engulfs me all about and I begin to  weep.
In the midst of sadness, I kneel down to pray;
I need to talk to  Father, but I'm not sure what to say.
"Oh, Father," I begin, "What happened  to us today?
I thought we'd teach somebody, but everyone was away.
My  hands, my aching hands - worn, hurt and beat;
If our area was any smaller,  we'd have knocked every street .."
"Why on missions are the days so much alike?
The only difference about today was the flat tire on my bike.
Will  you send some cooler weather? The heat is killing me.
I sweat so bad, it gets  in my eyes; It's very hard to see."
"Why do I have to wear a helmet, isn't  your protection enough?
People always laugh at me and call me stupid  stuff.
Please send us investigators so I may give them what they lack;
I  want to give them Books of Mormon, the weight of them hurts my back."
"And  what about my family? They don't have much to say,
I'm sick of not hearing  from home, day after day after day.
Oh Father, why am I here, am I just  wasting time?
Sometimes I just want to go home, I'm sorry but that's on my  mind."
"My companion, Heavenly Father, what are you giving me?
The way he  rides his bicycle, I don't think he can see.
Now you have it, I can't go on  I don't know what to do;
That, my Father in Heaven, is the prayer I have for  You.
"My prayer now finished I stand up, then jump right into bed.
I need  my rest for tomorrow; we have another long day ahead.
Sleep starts to  overtake me; I seem to drift away,
Then it seems a vision takes me to another  time and another day.
I'm standing alone on the hill, the view is very  nice;
A man walks towards me and says, "My name is Jesus Christ."
Tears of  joy well up inside, I fall down to His feet,
"Arise," He states, "Follow Me  to the shade - you and I need to speak.
"My attentions toward the Savior,  total and complete.
He says, "Your mission is similar of what happened to  Me,
I understand how you feel, I know what you're going through;
In fact  it would be fair to say I've felt the same as you."
"I even know how you felt when no one listened to you.
At times I felt not quite sure what else I could  do.
I know you don't like to ride a bicycle, for you a car would be  sweet;
Just remember the donkey I rode wasn't equipped with 21 speeds."
"I  understand you don't like sweating, in fact it's something you hate;
I  remember when I sweat blood from every pore, oh the agony was great!
I see  you don't like your companion - you'd rather have someone else.
I once had a  companion named Judas who sold my life for wealth."
"It's hard to wear a  helmet and have people make fun of you.
I remember when they put thorns on my  head and called me King of the Jews.
So you feel burdened down by the weight  of your pack.
I recall how heavy the cross was when they slammed it on my  back."
"Your hands hurt from tracting and knocking on doors all day.
I  guess when they pounded nails into mine, I ached in a similar way.
It's hard  not to hear from home when your family's not there to see;
I lost my  communication on the cross and cried, "Father, why hast Thou forsaken Me."
He  embraced me with His arms, His light filled me with His love,
With tears in  my eyes I watched as He went back to the Father above.
I stood with awe and  wonder when a beep rang in my head,
I listened and heard the alarm, then  realized I was in my bed.
My companion let out a groan, "6:30 already, no  way!"
I sat up and said, "Come on, I'll even carry your scriptures  today!"
No matter what we go through, when we feel we can’t take  more;
Just stop and think about Jesus Christ. He has been there before.

Friday, September 25, 2015


I never thought this day would come...but it has! We got our flight plans and will be leaving next Sunday the 4th (Conference Sunday). I am SO stoked! This also means I get to talk to my family on the phone ;) yay! We leave the MTC at 1:00pm, fly out of SLC at 4:55pm (get to LAX at 5:55pm), leave LAX at 9:00pm (get to New Zealand at 6am on October 6th because of the International Date Line...I will never live October 5th haha), then we have a 11 HOUR layover and leave New Zealand at 5:00pm. We arrive in Tonga at 7:55pm Tuesday night. So crazy! I LOVE flying though, so I am looking forward to it :)

On Sunday, I got to give a talk in church. But in the MTC you don't get much warning. They don't announce who is speaking until right before you have to go up and speak. Luckily, I had kind of prepared something and it only had to be 3 minutes!

We got two new sisters in our room who are going to Fiji aaaaand one of them in Tongan! I LOVE the Tongans here they teach me so much and they are HILARIOUS! I'm super grateful we have her in our room for this last week before we leave!

This past Tuesday for devotional, Elder Craig Clayton (I think that's who it was...), spoke to us. In honor of the passing of Elder Richard G. Scott, he shared us a thought Elder Scott told him a couple years ago. Elder Scott said something along the lines of, "don't let your strong feelings get in the way of the Spirit." Meaning, that when we have firm testimonies about a particular subject we tend to push those strong feelings on others. As missionaries, we may feel passionate about a certain gospel principle or a certain way to teach, but we must to be open to the Spirit so that we might know how to touch the hearts of our investigators. We must know what our investigators need to hear and it's going to be different every time, so we need to listen to the Spirit. Teach People, Not Lessons. 

Also, there's a devotional that Elder David A. Bednar gave at the MTC a while back entitled Character of Christ (they still play it at the MTC on Sunday nights). It is go look it up!! It talks about how the Atonement was only possible because of the Christ's character--who He is! Our tendency is to turn inward, but Christ ALWAYS turned outward. I am striving to develop a character like Christ's.

I learn so much everyday here! This week I memorized the First Vision in Tongan...I am still working on polishing it up! I love the Tongan language because you can dissect words into other brings so much more meaning to every word! I am so grateful to be learning a language even though it is SO stinking hard! haha

Hope you all have had a great week!! Remember to always share God's love with everyone you meet...we're all children of a loving Heavenly Father. Oku ou ilo oku ofa ae Otua kiate kitautolu. Oku ou ilo oku tali e he Otua etau ngaahi lotu (I know God loves all of us. I know God answers our prayers). 

Ofa Lahi Atu!!!!!!

Sister Reid

More people I've seen at the MTC: Sister Sara Lowry, Sister Kate Mitchell, Elder Cade Young, Sister Hailey Egbert, and Sister Amy Slater (my visiting teacher)!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Hurrah for Israel

This week was wonderful! I love being at the MTC. I was sick for a few days but it wasn't too bad. I had a little fever but I went to class anyway (even though I dosed off a couple times) and took a nap during gym time and after that I felt fine! And I've been mostly better ever since...except it made me lose my voice so I have sounded like a man this week. 

FUNNY STORY: Sister Medina (my companion) was putting tabs into her Bible and when she was almost to the end she said, "there are so many WEIRD named books in the Bible! Like, Charts. Who has ever heard of Charts?!" I looked at her for a second wondering what that book was and then I realized that there was a tab for the Charts in the back of the scriptures. I almost died. I couldn't stop laughing. 

This past week for choir we sang "Hurrah for Israel" - a song written by prisoners for Elder Groberg (the Elder from the movie the 'Other Side of Heaven') when he went to visit them. It made me super pumped for Tonga!

Our Online Coordinator calling is going really well! President Willes checked the reports and said it has improved a lot! I think there was a lot of misunderstanding before with the missionaries. At the MTC, no one tells you what to do (internet, dress, study, going to bed on time, etc) as much as I thought they would. You really are on your own for obeying.

The Sisters going to Fiji are leaving on Monday and although I am excited for them, I am super sad! They're like my best friends. Two of them are from Tonga and have helped me with the language so much. Tuesday night at zone prayer the four sisters going to Fiji sang for us in Fijian and it was beautiful! We were all in tears (I promise I don't cry that much...really...but at times these Polynesians bring tears to my eyes...haha) I am so grateful for their wonderful examples! They are so funny and so sweet!!

The language is coming along...slowly but surely...Sister Medina and I pray in Tongan at every meal together and we've made a goal to bare our testimonies in Tongan to six times to different people each day. This has helped a lot. So far, we've memorized (in Tongan) our name tag, the Missionary Purpose, and the Baptismal Invitation! Now, we're working on the First Vision. I pray for the Gift of Tongues and for the ability to understand the language all the time and I know eventually I will be able to speak it...I appreciate your prayers for me so much!! So thanks. Elder Bednar promised missionaries when he came to the MTC last year...something along the lines of...that we will speak our mission language and receive the Gift of Tongues if we pray for it, work hard, and ask all of our family and friends to pray for us to :)

One of the highlights of my week is going to the temple! Each time I go I feel so much gratitude for the ordinances that are performed there and the covenants that are made. This week Sister Medina and I did Sealings. My heart was filled with gratitude for the knowledge that I can be with my family forever. We must always be faithful and do what we know to be right! I am grateful for the ordinance of the sacrament that we get to partake of each week! It is the only ordinance we get to continue doing for ourselves! It is such a beautiful ordinance. I am so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and for the opportunity I have to be a representative of Him!

Oku ou ilo oku mo'oni 'ae ongoongolelei 'o Sisu Kalaisi. Oku ou ilo oku ofa 'ae Otua kiate kitautolu. 
I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know that God loves all of us.

Thanks for all the love!

'Ofa Atu!

-Sister Reid
 p.s. I never have time to read through my if they don't make sense...sorry haha

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Falala - Trust

Malo e lelei! 

Time is flashing before my eyes!! We leave 3 weeks from Sunday and it feels like I just got here! But I'm loving every second.

On Sunday, Two of the Elders from the Fijian district, Sister Hosea, and I sang "We'll Bring the World His Truth" in Sacrament Meeting. It was amazing. Sister Hosea has THE most incredible voice and she had us sing a little bit of a different arrangement...some Polynesian arrangement...SO beautiful!

A Little Bit About Everyday Life at the MTC:

GYM: Mondays and Wednesdays we do a little workout (squats, crunches, push-ups, calf raises, etc.) and on Tuesdays and Thursdays we go to the gym and play volleyball and run. It feels so good to move after sitting in the classroom all day!

CAFETERIA FOOD: I eat a bagel and fruit every breakfast, a salad or wrap for Lunch, and either another salad or the main course for Dinner. I can't eat the main course too much cause it feels like there's a brick in my stomach for the next day. But they have delicious salads so I'm happy about that!! 

CLASSROOM: Personal Study/Companion Study/Personal Language Study (all focused on preparing to teach our investigator later that day). When our teacher is there, we work on sentence structures, some vocab, and then we teach our investigators. Learning the language is a struggle but I am seeing fakalakalaka (progress) everyday! 

Sister Medina and I got called to be the Online Coordinators for our Zone. On Thursday, forty new missionaries came into our Zone (which is a ton!!) and so we trained them all on how to use the internet properly, what training and language tools they can access, how to write the Branch President, and what sites are appropriate (AKA don't get on social media, etc...) there's been a big problem with that at the MTC. We're going to re-train everyone the beginning of next week. 

Throughout my mission, I have a goal to work on a Christ-like attributes each month (18 months=9 attributes...go through each of them twice). Thank you Anna Nielsen for the idea! This month is FAITH. I've loved reading about Faith. My favorite resource on any simple truth of the gospel is the Bible Dictionary! Everyone needs to go read Faith in the B.D.!!

We just got three new international sisters this week from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand. They are WONDERFUL and have strengthened my testimony so much! A couple nights ago, after Zone prayer, I was talking with Sister Wamura (the Sister from Papua New Guinea). I asked her how she liked the MTC. She started telling me how grateful she is to be on a mission but how hard it has been. Her eyes filled with tears as she went on to tell me how she worried if her family had anything to eat and if her siblings were able to sleep at night. She said that she helped provide for her family and wishes that she could keep helping them. She made $7- $9 each week (and she was diligent in paying her tithing even though people told her she needed to save money for mission clothes...her suitcase was full of clothes and shoes when she left for her mission). Then she looked at me in the eye and said, "But I know that because I'm here serving a mission the Lord is taking care of them." What a great example of tui and falala (faith and trust). She then shared her testimony about how she knows this church is true. It made me cry. She said that she doesn't care if she has money or clothes but as long as she has the gospel she's happy. Her Spirit is so strong. She told me about her experience of praying to know if the First Vision really happened and how she knows that it did. 
Yesterday, she got sick and had to go back to her room. She was supposed to go through the temple this morning (they don't have a temple where she's from) so we went to check on her to see if she was going to be able to go. When we asked her if she wanted to rest and wait till next Friday, her eyes filled with tears and said, "I want to go to the temple tomorrow. I know Satan is trying to keep me from going and I'm going to go." This morning she went through the temple and it was such a beautiful experience to be there with her and the Spirit was so strong!

I am so grateful for such incredible examples of Faith and Love! I am so blessed to be apart of this work and have the opportunity to share such precious truths with our Brothers and Sisters!!

Ofa Lahi Atu!!

Sister Reid

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Everyday is a Good Day

"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life" (3 Nephi 5:13).

I am finding more and more each day what my call as a missionary really is. President Willes shared that scripture with us and it reminds me everyday, along with putting on my name tag, who I represent. I am so blessed to be a missionary. President Willes is an amazing man and I feel so much love from him every time I talk to him. He told us we can choose to feel that "Everyday is a Good Day" and it's so true. Our attitude makes such a difference. I found out this week that he is President Hinckley's nephew...and he looks just like him!! His wife said he looks more like President Hinckley than President Hinckley's own sons do. 

Language: Learning the Tongan language is a lot of fun...but SO hard. I learn a lot every single day. There are days when I feel like I am really progressing but other days I feel I have hit a large bump in the road and it takes a while to get over it and continue progressing. This past week we taught our investigator (our teacher Brother Maikolo) in Tongan but we could use notes...tomorrow night begins teaching in Tongan but with no notes. I am a little bit terrified but it'll be good for me! I memorized the baptismal invitation this week and we have studied a couple sentence structures so we're going to use that!  

My teachers (Brother Fisa (Fisher) and Maikolo (Michael)) are so wonderful and I learn so much from them everyday! They are so patient with us. The Elders in our district can't sit still for longer than 2 seconds but Sister Medina help them stay on task ;)They are all the oldest child in their families so they tell us we're the older sisters they never had. I will admit, it can be a little rough sitting in the same little room for hours each day. The people at the MTC are my best friends. I love everyone here. 

GUESS WHAT?! Elder Dallin H. Oaks came and spoke at the devotional on Tuesday and it was so wonderful! It was broadcast to all the other MTC's. I sang in the choir and afterwards everyone told me that they zoomed up on my face haha. The meeting was so wonderful. A couple things I liked: --He talked about the importance of always having the Spirit with us. We must always be worthy of it and that's why taking the sacrament each week is so important. 
Almost all sins can be forgiven and that offers reason for the hope that is within us
When teaching or talking to others...Don't Assume too Much...We must Ask Questions!

In our meeting with President Willes this week he had us study D&C 88: 118-125. Thoughts we discussed from a couple of the verses:
(vs. 119) - replace the word "house" with another word (for example, we replaced it with "district")
(vs. 121) - "lustful desires" - what are we having a hard time letting go of for our missions (tv, phone, music, etc) he had us write it on a piece of paper and we ripped up the paper and put it in the garbage.
(vs. 125) - mantle = like a cloak, charity = pure love of Christ, we are trying to be like him, Be Charity...let it be in your very nature.

Thanks for all the love and support...I really am SO blessed to know so many incredible people!

'Ofa Atu!
Sister Reid