Monday, December 1, 2014

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble...

The downfall of people knowing that your Samoan, is that when Thanksgiving comes around all I hear is "Sister Efnor....we know you want moooore."  I literally almost passed out at the dinner table because I was far past my capacity.  Aside from the lack of sleep Thanksgiving night, because I had a whole turkey in my stomach, it was great getting to visit other families and hear what everyone was thankful for.
Last night we had the baptism of Soo and Yeageon, literally my favorite Koreans on this planet. 

Teaching them has been such a blessing in my life, their testimony's are beautifully simple.  Its been a reminder to me of the true simplicity of the gospel.  Even with the Thanksgiving weekend and most students being gone, quite a few of the ward members came and supported them both.  Everything went over without a hitch, but my favorite part of the baptism was when Soo received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Before anyone could start to form a circle or put their hand on his head, he was sitting on the chair, arms in his lap and his eyes closed.  He looked so peaceful, just waiting there with his eyes closed, preparing himself to receive this special gift. After the baptism Sister Curtis was talking to Yeageon and he said that Saturday night he and Soo stayed up till all hours of the night talking about how their life was going to be different after Sunday.  They would be living a different life style when they go back to Korea and there would more beer. lol 
Wednesday, we met with a recent convert Kendra. She has been a member for all of about 2 months and is already teaching in gospel principles.  We went over to see if we could help her prepare for her lesson.  In that same gospel principle class there is a girl that we have been teaching for awhile, its been such a blessing to have Kendra in that class so this girl can see the progression that Kendra is making and how being baptized has blessed her life.  A couple weeks ago during the class Kendra was asked if she felt ready for baptism, her reply was " No, I don't think I will ever fully feel ready, or feel like I knew everything I needed to know."  That was perfect for the girl we have been teaching, and perfect for me!  I'm never going to truly have a full knowledge of the gospel, not in this life.  It had been somewhat frustrating to me recently that I cant always answer all the questions that I am asked.  I cant rebuttal most of the anti Mormon stuff that gets thrown at me either.  I know that it doesn't make the gospel any less true.  There was a talk by Elder Holland that I have referenced quite a bit called Lord I Believe  "When the infinite fulness is poured forth, it is not the oil’s fault if there is some loss because finite vessels can’t quite contain it all.10 Those finite vessels include you and me, so be patient and kind and forgiving." 
Monday night on our way back from playing volleyball with the zone Curtis and I get a phone call from a guy in one of the wards that we cover.  He just got out of the slammer, and has roughed up his body pretty bad with drugs, he doesn't know where his family is, but he is wanting to come back to church.  The night before we gave him our number on a sticky note.  So, we get a call from a Pennsylvania area code, its RJ asking if we could find him shoes.  He got locked out of his house and he didn't have any shoes.  So we called the elder quorum president to see if he could help out, he was at work.  I figured since RJ was shorter than me that my Nikes would fit him.  So we drove over to his house.  He was just huddled up on the side of the road because it was so cold.  I got out and gave him my shoes, he put them on and said, "Oh my gosh! These are so comfortable and warm!  Thank you!"  He doesn't have much and the only reason he called us was because he had the sticky note in his pocket still and had to ask a stranger passing by if he could use their phone.  I learned a lot of different things from this experience, the first...Be so stinking grateful for all I have!  During a sacrament meeting that I went to yesterday there was a talk given on charity..the girl gave an example of what she has found charity to be.."Its not giving money to the homeless man, its definitely not thinking "I'm not going to give him money because he'll only use it to buy something that i don't approve of."  Charity is seeing the homeless man and understanding him. Charity is thinking about all the things he has had to go through to now be standing on the corner homeless. Charity is wondering what life has done to bring him to this point." I had never thought of it that way.  This story isn't to tell everyone that I gave RJ my shoes, because shoes are just shoes.  It's to share the experience that I had in seeing that helping someone and having charity toward them is much more than giving of material things, but seeing where that person has been..understanding them..and loving them anyways as Christ would.

I was thinking last night how if I hadn't made the decision to serve a mission, none of this would have happened!  I wouldn't have met these people, I probably would have learned these principles, but not in this way!  If you are reading this and are thinking about going on a mission..NIKE that stuff and JUST DO IT! 
I love you all and I hope that during this Christmas season we can all find a way to implement more Christ in {CHRIST}mas.
Sister Efnor 
 I sure am going to miss Sister Curtis when she leaves!!  So grateful for all that she has taught me!!

Ok... A week late but I got it up and ready to read!!

Sunday morning..take a shower..go to put on some the blinds to get some light to see my clothes...quickly shut the blinds........its snowing.  I still cant fully wrap my mind around the fact that this is my life now, I'm going to wake up and there is going to be white fluff everywhere and there is nothing I can do about it.  This Arizona girl needs some heat!

Once again we have been richly blessed with a week full of teaching, serving, and testifying. 
Sister Curtis is going home this transfer (2 weeks) and I have really been stressing about taking over this area.  There is so much work going on, so many things to keep track of, precious souls we are teaching and I don't want to mess it up.  I can truly testify that He does qualify the called.  Each day there is something that happens that is a clear sign of Him preparing me.  This week was full of those moments.  We were blessed with two more people to teach on top of the handful of people that we are already teaching weekly!  What a blessing!

Tuesday night Soo and Yeageon (our Korean investigators) made a full on Korean dinner for us at a members house.  SOOOO GOOOD!  Afterwards we taught them about the Word of Wisdom.  When asked if he believed this was a commandment from God Yeageon said, "Yes of course, because I am his son and he doesn't want me to be harmed."  I LOVE IT!  They both felt that it was true, but something had been troubling them.  In Korean culture I guess drinking is a big portion of business, I think its like a sign of unity in business.  They want to live the word of wisdom, but they want to know how they are suppose to do it in Korea.  We bore testimony of how God will provide a way, and then scheduled an appointment to meet with the bishop for a lesson since he does lots of business in Korea.  He had great experiences to share with them of how deciding not to drink actually had a positive effect in his business relations.  People respected him for sticking to his beliefs.
There was a Korean girl from the ward that has been coming to lessons with us with Soo and Yeageon.  At the end of the Word of Wisdom lesson she told us that Soo and Yeageon are very important, and since they are going to go live back in Korea they need to be fully integrated into the church before they leave so they can continue to build the church in Korea.  It was just a really cool thing to hear, we aren't just teaching, those that we teach or going to share their testimony's with others.  Its going to be a continuous cycle.  The effect we have in this world i think often times wont be seen, but that doesn't mean its not there.

I don't have much time left so I'm going to finish with this last experience...last night we were heading to dinner.  I had the thought to go visit someone who lived on the same street that we were heading down.  We talked about visiting this person and then decided we weren't gong to because we would be late to we were about to pass her house I found myself stopping and parking the car.  Even though we had just decided to not stop at the house.  We say a prayer, and go knock on the door. The situation that we walked in on, lets just say wasn't what we were expecting.  We were able to share a message and bare testimony.  I learned two things, don't ever disregard promptings, and building your faith is an on going process, a process that can never be neglected or one day we might wake up and be somewhere we never thought we would be.  Serving in YSA has really opened my eyes, temptation in this world is real. 

Don't ever disregard a prompting from the spirit, you never know who might be in need.

Sister Efnor                         So my comp loves kittens.  SO- i guess i do too! haha...
I have been getting boxes all month because it's my Birthday Gra month!  Thanks Denice, Debbie, Mom, Dad... and even Ronnie!  Oh, and my favorite Linda Grams- just all of you that wished me a happy birthday!  It was wonderful and I could feel the love! PS...Thanks for the new Nauvoo boots Mom!