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.

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