4 July 2016
Aloha and Happy Independence Day!
Amanda told me briefly about the dance studio excitement recently. It’s hard to imagine, not being there and all, but I know that Sergiu and Beth only make good decisions, so I trust there is much to look forward to.
Anyway, sounds like y’all are managing quite well back home; I miss you a lot. But it also gives me anxiety to think about leaving this place. It’s rough.
The work is not perfect, because neither are we, but we are trying. It is moving, and we are blessed to experience perfect moments along the way. We made goals, our own covenant kind of thing. But also not, really, because we know it is all God’s will and who are we to set the terms? But Sister Taufu’i and I have a list of the things that we will do, you know, sacrifice our little weapons of rebellion, like turning out the lights at 10:35 instead of 10:30 or finishing up breakfast while simultaneously studying, in order to be more exactly obedient. On the other side we have a list of things that we will pray and hope for God to do. It is pretty awesome, and I am so grateful for the feeling of assurance that comes when you know you are doing all within your power. That is the blessing and comfort we obtain by obedience. It is truly glorious and it is available to each and every one of us. How, agency is a bugger though, yeah?
My favorite blessings of the week:
- That moment when my best member bud gave our investigator a bro hug and accidentally licked his shoulder. Literally could not stand upright when he told me about it five minutes later.
- Aunty Billie role-playing inviting Sheri to the 4th of July breakfast. With Andrew as Sheri. So on point!
- Our new friend Charmaine’s son’s father’s family are members. Years ago her son’s grandma asked if he could be sealed to her and his grandpa. She declined because she didn’t understand what it meant to be sealed. We taught her about the power Christ used when He was on the earth, how it was lost, and how it was then restored through Joseph Smith, and we’re taking her to the Temple Visitors’ Center on Friday! Shoots.
- Failed at finding the trailhead for our sunrise hike this morning so instead of going back to sleep I climbed out onto our roof, ate plenty strawberries and tried catching up in my journal. Wasn’t entirely successful, but I’m closer than I was before, so that’s good. I love the early morning hours so much. It’s so much easier to hear yourself think, or even just to sit and allow yourself not to think at all. Breathing is enough. I learned a lot this morning; God is really good.
- We met President and Sister Bekker on Friday. I already love them; they are God’s people.
- It had been a while so we thought maybe to go to Patrick’s house Friday night to invite the family to the pancake breakfast. Two major things have happened since we dropped him: 1) He had a heart attack (recovered alright), and 2) He dug out his suit so he wouldn’t have that excuse anymore for staying from church. Oh, I nearly cried in happiness. It seems so small, but it is really so big! He asked me when my expiration date is, I told him no one knows but God, but the next transfer is three Sundays away. He told me he’d see me at Waikalua chapel before those three Sundays are up, and ima hold him to it. I love that man, so much. Though he needs to work out some priorities, there are few more charitable than him. His self-expectations when it comes to to-do lists remind me a lot of Dad, actually.
- Chauncey. I cannot explain these things in words, it’s just too much to encompass, but I have been so thrilled to experience teaching him and watching the cogs begin to fit together and turn. I really feel like he’s finally got traction in the gospel and the tools he needs to connect the dots that before were not connected. We had a happy meeting with him last Thursday. I say happy because it was lucky we got to see him anyway, as he wasn’t supposed to be off work until Sunday the 10th. He’d already completed the assignment to read all of JSH (Joseph Smith History), which we’d intended to be a two week long endeavor, you know, just being realistic.
So we talked about it some. Sister Taufu’i and I had been at somewhat of a loss as to what we should teach to him this time around. It has been an amazingly fun and growth fostering experience to teach him since his situation is so unique and he knows enough that we really can safely teach exactly to his needs using any of the church resources. He’s lived with these things for nearly a decade. He knows how to navigate LDS.org better than most of the members I know because he’s explored it so many times!
So Thursday, we had a few vague routes to take but we ended up reading with him some from Alma 32. Speaking of the experiment on faith, we helped him to understand that these nine years have been an experiment of faith whether he knew it or not, then we dug a little deeper with him and his wife to find what changes and blessings they have seen over the years. I love my job. We talked about forever families. Who doesn’t want one of those? And with all of the spiritual excitement we had the thought to challenge them to make a pros and cons list, the blessings of him being baptized, and the perceived negatives–meaning getting a calling. We’re confident our next visit will be pretty fun! But the miracle was this: He works every other Sunday and he wasn’t supposed to come this week, but we saw him and the kids pace up just as the sacrament began. How, the happiness and anticipation and curiosity were so enlivening! I tried to stop myself but in my head I practically imagined him getting up to bear his testimony and announcing to the entire congregation that he told his boss he can’t work on Sundays at all because he’s ready now to make the covenant.
Didn’t happen, but what we learned from talking to Anuhea his wife, after the fact was, to me, just as hopeful and significant.
Chauncey did go into work yesterday, but on the way, he got into a car accident. He’s completely unscathed, his car, though, not so much–Miracle #1. Miracle #2, first thing he did when he got home to his family was ask if they could say a prayer. He offered it. And then together they headed off to church.
God only shakes us for good reason. My prayer is that Chauncey will allow himself to feel the message God has sent and continues sending.
Tell all the family I said hello. I would list names, but I don’t want to get carpel tunnel or anything. 😉
Love you and miss you,
Much Aloha, Aubrey
P.S. An all day pday is such a dreamy thing. 🙂 I feel so blessed! Blow some things up for me tonight please. 😉 Also, the church is true.