Monday, December 29, 2014

Last Two Weeks of Emails


Of all my Christmas', this probably wins when it comes to favorites. I had a wonderful Christmas day where I felt motivated to work the second our call had ended. Last Mother's day, my emotions were weighing me down so much. To the point where during our studies, I napped instead because I didn't want to feel so homesick. I've never done that since on my mission, but man, my heart just ached. I was so nervous prior to the call that the same thing was going to happen, to the point my stomach felt sick all that morning. I was relieved to find out that I could handle it much more smoothly and optimistically. The Lord really blessed me with emotional strength and motivation to pursue the best Christmas I've had.

I apologize that I was so clueless on Skype, I was seriously at a loss for words yet I couldn't bring myself to pull away from our conversation ha. I'm satisfied with how it went, lets hope that next Mother's day I will actually be obedient and keep it under an hour ha. 

The rest of our day was great, we spent a lot of time with members, we roasted smores, and we went to the ward Christmas Party. (Below is a picture of the Liava'a's. Latu is right next to me, Nehasi is on the end, and Irie is in the middle. Latu and Nehasi are brothers and Irie is their cousin. I would've attached a picture of Siosi, but in every picture, he's making ridiculous faces haha!) 

The rest of our weekend was pretty good. We decided to take Rudy and Tita out to dinner for a wedding gift and had a lesson at the restaurant. It was fun. Then we were able to talk to Agnes on Saturday. Awesome news! Agnes really wanted to join our pizza party but she was too tired last time, so we set up another pizza party for this Wednesday. Also, for Christmas, she got us a $30 Coldstone gift card!!! She's so awesome. She said she really wants to take us to get seafood on the pier in San Pedro. She doesn't quite know our boundaries obviously ha.

Today is the beginning of a new transfer and I personally am very excited to be spending another 6 weeks here. Elder Thompson on the other hand... not so much. He's been in this ward/zone for a while, he was really hoping to get transferred and I am one to conform to other people's feelings, so if you will do me a favor and pray for him to draw upon diligence. I love the ward and the work so much, but it's not fun working with a burnt out companion. But I do know the Lord has us here for good purposes. I mean, we are supposed to have 3 baptisms this upcoming 6 weeks, so we are stoked. Plus, Rudy's brother said he wants to have a lesson with us, so things are going very smoothly. I really don't know what we're doing to deserve all this good news! 

This week is going to be good. We are seeing Rosie today to re-establish her baptism, we're running district meeting on Tuesday in Barstow, New years Eve is on Wednesday, we have a Zone leader meeting on Friday, and weekends tend to be really good for us. I'm looking forward to many great things! Have a great new year! Love you! (:

- Elder Bennion

Mom, Dad, and Koriann,

I would make this email detailed like the last one, but you've all stated the obvious, that in a few short days I will be seeing your lovely faces!!! As I type I get super shaky because I'm so anxious and excited at the same time!

I will share a couple highlights/news from this previous week.

We had a fun pizza party with the Liava'a's, we had a very good lesson on temples. Understandably, they were more excited about the pizza, but they all seemed to enjoy the lesson. It was an interesting topic to them, especially since Tongans are all about family first. If it were up to them, I know for sure they'd be doing baptisms for the dead and encourage their parents to get sealed.

On Wednesday we had our Christmas devotional with all the missionaries in the desert, and that's when I realized that a lot of my friends are in the valley! It was a slight bummer. But Lucerne Valley made all the missionaries beanies and Phelan bought us scarves, it was so nice of them! 

On Friday, we started teaching a member's friend named Nancie, but she goes by Sissy. She accepted a baptismal date of January 17th and she's really excited! I'm excited too, President Hobbs just has a slight fear of non-Polynesians getting baptized in a Tongan ward, and I understand why. The ward will eventually try to shift her over to the Adelanto ward, which will be good.

Saturday was Rudy and Tita's wedding and they wanted a very small wedding, and they did get what they wanted ha. It was in the relief society room and there was about 20 of us ha. Which is very abnormal for Tongans. Chris and Jasmine's wedding was way different than this one. But it brings them one step closer to baptism, so that's cool! 

Speaking of Chris and Jasmine, they got callings on Sunday! So rad. We taught Rudy and he's not ready to be baptized because of WOW issues, but he's working hard! and Rosie has been funny lately. We haven't seen her in a week and a half and she's out of town for the week, so her baptism is getting moved once again. It's alright though, we just gotta be patient!

We've been in a trio since Friday because a guy's companion went home and Elder Fernando and I have been in the same zone twice, so I'm cool with having him for the week. It's made things kinda stressful though trying to stay on top of 2 areas and he is from the Philippines, so the time zone for this Christmas is WAY different. It'll all work out though. 

Because Tongans aren't super into technology, we're gonna have to do the same thing we did at the Rich's. The Nau's only have facetime available for their tablet. I'm not sure how that works, but if there are any complications, I still remember your guys' phone numbers so I can receive permission to call you on a member's phone and get it figured out. I assume I can call Dad's phone on the tablet, that way you can see my face as if it were skype. I hope that made sense. We will be skyping at 12 p.m. PST, so 1:00 p.m. in Utah! I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you all. I'm sure that when I see you guys, I will be tear-filled, but I am so excited for Thursday! I love you all so much and will talk to you then!!!

- Elder Bennion

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