Hello Kane’ohe

22 December 2015

Talofa lava mum!

I miss speaking in Samoan. Also, I’ll probably be calling you on the phone sometime in the next few days to set up our Christmas Party. 😉

Moving on.

So much has happened this week I feel like it should’ve taken 14 years to pass by. Instead it took no time at all.

Lately everyday is another wake up call. I have so much to learn and what feels like no time to learn it. Every now and again I start thinking too shallowly and look forward a little more than I should to returning back home. Then two seconds pass by and I’m having a near panic attack because the end of my mission somehow appears too close already. I’ve thought about it quite a bit and what I’ve come up with is this: the longer you’ve lived (mission life or other), the shorter it all seems. Whenever I see missionaries “die”, honorably or otherwise, the emotions are infinitely heightened. I think that’s what happened this week, several friends– okay, two. One here, plus my dearest Sister Nielsen 🙂 — have since passed on to the next life and it’s just…. yeah. Hard. I mean I knew Megan was coming home, but it was okay with me because she’s been gone for roughly six lifetimes now, so it makes sense. Then when her Dad emailed me I was so thrown off. In a matter of blinks it went from feeling like her mission, and by proxy, mine, was ages long to feeling like 18 months ago was more like this morning.

Just so weird. The more experience I gain, the more confused about everything I become. Life is just so tricky!

Back to the now. Kaneohe is 100% different than Waipahu, which is good, but depending on what part of the day we’re at, very sad, too. Thankfully the new Samoan Elders call about every other hour to get information from me. Most of it’s already in the area book, of course, but I’m not complaining!

Random facts: The island on this side is freezing. I recognize it has a significantly different meaning to me than to you all, but that doesn’t make it any less real! No need A/C. I wear my socks and sweatshirt and blanket for studies and still shiver. I think that means I’m local now. But yeah, the wind here has nearly resurrected my childhood fear, mom. Our pad’s jalousies howl like nothing I’ve ever experienced before! It’s definitely taken a few days for me to get tired enough to sleep through it. Other than that, our pad is heavenly. (Haven’t even seen one ant!) Think New Girl, but miniature. We’re working on getting it perfected over the next bit. Maybe someday I’ll remember to take pictures.

More facts: My companion and I actually whitewashed a ward here. That was a surprise, so it’s been quite the adventure working from what was practically a literal blank slate. The members are so amazing though I couldn’t be more excited! The sweetest High Priest group leader, Brother Long, has already given us six LA/PM referrals. I think the weirdest thing for me so far has been being around so many Hauli (Palagi) people. Missions are weird.

Sister Smith is adorable though. 🙂 Especially since I chopped her hair with Fiskars. Ha, nah. We have good times! On our way back from transfer meeting, for example, we got lost and may or may not have accidentally crossed into Waikiki. Thank goodness the Atonement is real! Anyway, she’s from Athens Georgia. Talks normalkine, though, so you’d never guess it. I like her a lot because she’s very outspoken and well spoken. I’m excited to sit back and listen a little more for a change.

I cut my companion’s hair with safety scissors. It was supposed to be four inches… but the piece that I started with was way shorter than the rest of her hair so things ending up happening. Looks good though, yeah?

IMG_0179IMG_0188IMG_0190

Something I keep coming back to this week is just how much we must rely on sources other than ourselves. Christ is real. He must be or I wouldn’t be here. And I have had too many experiences that testify to me that His love is the only eternal source of strength. More days than not I think myself inadequate, but the constant humbling is what turns us to Him. So twisted as it is, I’m grateful for my weaknesses. Good thing, since we all know they are many!

Love you all, Hope your Christmas is perfect! Give everyone hugs and Thanks for me. 🙂

Aloha, Aubrey

p.s. I went to MLC (Mission Leadership Council) yesterday so that’s why I get p-day today. I love being a sister trainer!

 

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