The Church is True

July 27, 2015

Talofa mis amigos!

So Monday after emailing Sister Smith and I went back to the beach with Elders Valdez and Tavita so that he could teach us Samoan. Obviously we failed. But that’s okay, because you, Mom, are a genius and given 8 weeks, your resources, and the power of God, which I hear is pretty amazing, I’m going to be able to speak it.  At least, sort of speak it.  Right?

After our “Samoan lesson” we headed out to Mililani for a party.  Not really a PARTY, but yes. A party.  It was at the adorably cheecky Sister Lauano’s house with the Fetuao family (her son, his wife, and their 6 kids), Elders Samoala and Downey (yes, the one who was waking up at 5:30am), and another relative of theirs from the Samoan ward in Wainae along with their two elders.  See, a party.  The food was wonderous and plentiful.  I took just a little bit of each thing but it was still loads.  Finally I finished. Then they brought out pan i popo: a truly heavenly dessert.  I am honestly saddened to think that so many of you mainlanders have never had the opportunity to experience it.  Someday, someday.  Oh, then they brought out one of the biggest bowls of ice cream I’ve ever seen.  Elder Downey’s was a little smaller, and he offered to trade. Why didn’t I accept it?  That’s the question of the week.

Unimportant side note: Were it possible, I might in another life have a crush on Elder Downey.  But alas, I have no feelings, so no worries.  What’s a crush anyway?  I wouldn’t even know.  Sister Smith keeps on making fun of me.

So Coco Samoa… you make it into this delicious drink thing.  It’s like chocolate tea. Elder Tavita had made a bunch so we went by their place to get some to take home. Firstly: NICEST HOUSING IN WAIPAHU.  Secondly: for some reason they don’t have lids to fit any of their containers.  So I had to hold chocolate tea in an uncovered thing all the way home.  With Sister Smith driving.  It was crazy stressful!  She was laughing the whooooole way.  Which made me even more angsty. But alas, God blesses his missionaries and we made it back alright.

Haha… so we went on exchanges this week.  I was with Sister Willardson who is awesome.  We were running late that night and it was about a 40 minute drive from our pad to theirs,  so we got back around 10:30. Whoops.  Then we were getting out of the car and I reached into my skirt pocket to get my planner and pulled out our phone. Whoops. Again.  So we drove all the way back to Waipahu the next morning.  And all the way back.  It was an adventure!  Then we went to Mcdonalds for an appointment and after we went to the bathroom, but there was no toilet paper in the open stall.  Me being me, I said, “That’s okay, we’ll wait.” We silently died and then quickly left to use the restrooms over at the BK Lounge instead.  So good at awkward.  So good.

Then at dinner we were talking about Tongan vs Samoan and how the languages differ. Apparently they’re less similar than most let on. Uma in Samoan means finish or end. In Tongan it means kiss. Again, me being me, I said, “Wellllllll I guesss maybe it’s because you kiss someone to finish a date.” It’s a talent, folks. Can’t contain it.

Anyway….. 2 people asked us if they could be baptized this week. We hadn’t been through all of the restoration with either of them before they brought it up. Crazy how families think so alike.  Alex (mid 20s) and Paulo (13) are brothers, but we’ve been teaching them separately, just whenever we catch them at home.  They have an amazing family– we’ve met with and spoken to them all–but I’m terrified that their parents aren’t going to let them because they’re Catholic.  My heart is already breaking.

Paulo is 100% ready.  We met him 9 days ago.  He’s already been to church 2 times and loves the ward.  Alex has a little further to go.  We ran into him Saturday.  Completely drunk.  We knew it was going to be a problem, but also that he really wanted to overcome it.  So we talked a bit like usual and then left to an appointment. When he shook my hand goodbye he gave me a gold cross.  I said, “It’s yours. You need that.” He said, “Nope. I have 2.” and then began walking away.  As Sis Smith was backing the car up I said to him, pointing to the can in his hand, “So that’s the last one, right?”  He just looked down and said, “That’s why I love you guys.”

I knew this would happen on my mission, but I didn’t realize just how quickly.  People kill me sometimes.  Especially Alex right now.  Seeing him like that just tore me apart. But it’s okay, because Sister Smith is a rock, thank goodness.

On a happier note, today we went on a hike! we woke up at 6:15. We left the pad at 6:30. It was a swift morning….. It was super super fun and I love my District a lot. Elder Valdez is being Emergency transferred later today. So that’s a bummer. Anyway, I’ll write a letter about the Hike, because it deserves more detail, for sure:)

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Love you all! And thank you sooooo much for the package.  The hymn book?  I needed one, but I forgot to ask!  You’re genius.

In the future (at least for the next few months) feel free to send my mail directly to 94-923 Lumioahu St. Waikele, HI 96797. It’ll be much faster!

Waaaaaait. My reason that the church is true this week!  Food. I ate Poke, tuna, taro, muscles, crab, ox tail, turkey tail… Just, lots.  Never would’ve guessed that mere months ago it took me 20 minutes to get a piece of fried shrimp from the plate to my mouth… Oh, good times.

And the mosquitoes are back, by the way. I’m getting better at not itching though! Must be God’s doing. Seriously. I have 9 bites from the elbow down on my right arm.

Alofa, Aubrey

P.S. Is there any way you could send a few SNIPPETS and pictures of my past updates to Megan?  I’ll start sending her these ones now that I have her email, but she’d love a little bit of catching up.

And for reals, what do bed bugs look like?!

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