Monday, August 29, 2016

A Year of Miracles

This week was wonderful. Sister Malu left on Monday night and Sisters were in and out of my MQ (missionary quarters) until Thursday when we got our new companions. On Tuesday night there were 5 of us there which was a lot of fun and I got help in my area so that was also a plus :) So yeah, I said new companionS cause I got two haha. There were so many sistesr in the new intake that I'm training two at the same time--Sister Aluesi and Sister Mafuataimi. They're both from Tonga (one from Vava'u) and both prepared very well before the mission. It's different being with Tongan companions but it's gonna be a great experience, I know. Sister Mafuataimi is actually "tali visa" meaning that she's supposed to go to the Philippines but her visa didn't come so although she hasn't gone to the MTC yet, she'll be working in Misiona Tonga until her visa comes--which could take up to 6 months. 

So their first full day out in the mission field was my one year mark. We worked hard and talked to a lot of people. They have a lot of energy to do the work and I love it! It's been a cool thing reflecting on this past year of my mission. Little did that sister missionary know, one year ago, when she was walking into the MTC what in the world was ahead of her. How grateful I am for her faith, for taking that step into the dark, and moving forward even when things were difficult. Looking back I am SO incredibly grateful for the humbling experiences I have had. My heart has changed so much. I have so much further to go, but I feel such a greater joy and peace in my life than I've ever had before. How important it is to walk forward with faith, do things we don't always want to do, and give ourselves for the one who has given everything to us. I am so thankful to my Father in Heaven for the opportunity He has blessed me with. I know this is His work and I am simply an instrument. Fakafeta'i ki he Otua. 

Hope you all have a wonderful week!
Ofa Lahi Atu!
Sister Reid 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Training Ki Ai

It's hard to express all my thoughts and feelings in an email once a week but I'm going to try my best to share just a little piece of the experiences I've had this week. 

First off, we've kinda been the sister motel this week and it's been a lot of fun! After the sisters from 'Eua left, Sister Faux (who just finished) came back from Vava'u and stayed with us for a night. Then since Sister Medina's companion just finished she's been staying with us since Friday and we'll be together until we both get our new companions on the TRAINING MEETING. Yeah...Sister Malu is moving to town and I'll stay and train in Veitongo/Ha'ateiho. I'm gonna miss my Aussie. I'm not sure who my companion will be yet, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a Tongan and so that'll be fun. 

I'd like to share about one of our investigators, Taniela. Taniela is in his 30's and we found him from one of our members (we had set up a family plan and they committed to invite someone to listen on a specific day and that's where it started). The first lesson was very spiritual and uplifting. When we came back the second time, he shared with us that he's visited with a lot of missionaries before in Fiji and he's talked to a lot of Bishops but he has a few questions that none of them could answer. He then promised that the day he understands the answers to those questions he'll be baptized. He then went on to ask questions but when we went to answer he'd ramble off about something else. He told us he really wanted to know if what we were sharing was true but we were having a difficult time helping him understand 'cause he just wanted us to prove everything through the Bible and stuff. He had prepared to be a preacher in the Presbyterian church several years ago but then got into a lot of bad things and hasn't gone to church for years. Through the next several lessons we testified to him, we gave him commitments, we taught him that we need to use our Faith and God will reveal the truth of our message through the Holy Ghost. 
He came to church last week. He started reading the Book of Mormon. And on Friday night when we talked to him, he shared with us that he prayed to ask God to know if it's true. He asked us to explain the Book of Mormon again to him. We read 3 Nephi 11 with him (when Christ comes). He said he believes it's true. Then we all started crying. He told us that he feels something really strong and that he feels like he's kinda shaking. We bore our testimonies. Sister Malu invited him to stop smoking, with tears in his eyes and even though we hadn't even taught the Word of Wisdom yet, he said, "Yes, I'll stop smoking. I'll stop drinking alcohol and drinking kava. And I ask that you allow me to come to all your church meetings". The Spirit was so strong.

It's so true that understanding doctrine really does change behavior faster than teaching behavior will change behavior (Boyd K Packer). This is a testimony to me that God declares his gospel through the weak. It's so true when they say that when you lose yourself you find yourself. From teaching people and serving others I feel myself changing every single day and I'm understanding better who I am. We're helping Taniela to stop smoking and he's excited to make any change to his life that he needs to. God is a God of Miracles.
I love this work. 

Hope you all have a wonderful week full of tender mercies from the Lord.

Ofa atu ka moutolu,
Sister Reid

Monday, August 15, 2016

100 Years of Misiona Tonga

Just a few quick highlights of what happened this week:
Monday: The sisters from Eua came to stay with us for the week.
Tuesday: We went to the King's Palace (sat outside) and Shumway (palangi-he's famous to the people here because of how good his Tongan is) was able to give a speech and I got a picture with him :)
Wednesday: We had MLC. They changed it so that just one of us is Sister Training in a companionship so Sister Mo'unga (from Eua) and I went together. We went to the temple before and it was so amazing. We talked about teaching repentance and I've thought a lot about Alma 5. I love the questions it asks. 
Thursday: We went to Liahona because there was a huge feast and all the kaingalotu and less actives and investigators were all able to go! TOO MUCH FOOD! The Royal Family came as well. 
Sunday: Ha'ateiho stake had their stake conference (one of our wards is in one stake, and the other two are in another). A member from the 70 came and spoke to us. Afterwards we got to join him in eating a big feast. He asked me a lot about the uniform and was wondering if I really had to wear it and the braids haha. It was cool talking to him.  
We had a fireside that night for all the members to close off the celebration and we were so happy 'cause one of our tough investigators came!!
This week has been so full of events and excitement. I love this work. My testimony has been strengthened this week and I'm so grateful for the things I've experienced. 

Ofa Lahi Atu!
Sister Reid

Monday, August 8, 2016

Happy Birthday to Misiona Tonga and Myself :)

This week started out wonderful, we decided to set up some missionary family plans with some of the members on Monday night. One of them was the Relief Society president and their family. When we got there, they had an investigator there (Lipina) and the whole family was sitting neatly on the couch. The husband shared about their family and how they were happy we were there and how their family has a lot of problems (shared some background) and then said we'd start with a song a prayer and then turn the time over to us. I got a distinct feeling that we needed to share with them the Gospel of Jesus Christ (lesson 3) rather than going with our normal "family plan" set up. It was beautiful. We committed the Lipina to baptism (she's been taught most the lessons and was just waiting to get permission from her parents and has gone to church for months, but now it's her decision and she really wants to get baptized next month on her birthday, I think she's already ready haha but we'll see what happens). And then when we were talking about "Endure to the End" and the mom raised her hand and shared that we were an answer to her prayer. There's a lot of family problems and she wanted to give up. But the spirit just told her that she needs to hold on and "endure to the end" as she continued to share the kids were crying, her one boy holding his head in his hands, and it was evident that this family needed some healing. She expressed that they had started out reading the scriptures and such at the beginning of the year but they hadn't for a while and she new that's why the problems were seeming unconquerable. It's the little things every day that counts. The husband said that they needed someone to intervene and remind them of what is of most importance. God sends people to intervene in our lives sometimes. He looked at us and said, I want you to come back a year from now and when you sit in my family you're going to see something different, we're going to get back and start doing the simple things. It was evident that they had taught their kids and were a good family, but they'd lost focus. Satan is attacking all families and we must protect them by doing what's most important.

This week MISIONA TONGA is celebrating it's 100 YEARS! Most of the mission presidents from the past have returned and there are a lot of visitors and returned missionaries! They're doing huge celebrations and festivities. We'll get to march tomorrow but that's the only thing we get to be involved with. But go online and see if you can see anything about it!
We did a service project this past week at the hospital (picked up trash and painted the fence) and Sister Malu and I got interviewed on TV. haha they said it was broadcast to America but I don't know if I believe that...but it was cool. 

On my birthday, we went to our three wards..and it was the best because we had a baptism on Friday (Fe'ao, we started teaching him a couple months ago and then he wanted to be taught by the Elders so they finished the lessons but since he lived in our ward boundaries he had to get baptized in our ward) and so he got confirmed on Sunday. It was beautiful. We ate food at the Matu's family's house (baby Reid's house) and it was delicious and they gave me chocolate. Some of my old missionary companions called. The Assistants dropped off the birthday package from my family (Thank you so much! I loved the letters...they made me cry:) I love you all like crazy), the Zone Leaders came to pick up our president letters and dropped off a gift from Sister Medina and sang, andmy companion wrote a sweet note and gave me her watch (such a sweetheart), we also attended two ward it was quite an eventful day! 

I got to go, but love you all and hope you have a great week! Keep being you :)
Sister Reid

Monday, August 1, 2016

Let Us Be Faithful

Just a couple highlights from the week:
-It was good getting back to work! We worked hard and got some new investigators! 
-We went to Stake Conference yesterday and the HEFY group was there. It was a lot of fun talking to them and brought back some awesome memories from the time when I went to Fiji. Our ward choir sang and it was SO beautiful. I love it every time.
-We're doing a "read the Book of Mormon in 30 days" challenge as a mission. I've thought a lot about Nephi's faith this past week,especially the time when he was getting the brass plates. What a great example of diligence. How many times are we willing to try and do what the Lord has commanded us? How many times will you go and invite people to listen to the gospel? I hope we'll be like Nephi and say, "As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us. Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord" )1 Nephi 3: 15-16
-We got to speak in our other ward yesterday which went really well. I'm excited to work more with the members!

Sorry this was so short..don't have much time. I love you all so much!

Ofa Lahi Atu,
Sister Reid