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

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