Week 21: Sister Slumber Party, Christmas on the Beach, New Year with New Companion
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! It has been such a great week for me, including being able to Skype my family for Christmas (best Christmas present ever!!).
Christmas morning my companion Sister Lewis pounced on both Sister Reynolds and I at about 5AM to open Christmas presents. Sister Reynolds had planned to wake me up before Sister Lewis so we could pounce on her 1st, but sadly that didn't work. After opening presents, Sister Reynolds made us french toast for breakfast (my favorite!!) then we got ready for church. Church was only an hour for both wards so they could spend the remainder of the day with family, but both sacrament meetings were amazing!! We had special musical numbers and talks centered around Jesus Christ. You can't get any better than that!! Afterwards we went to the Baptist church to help with a Christmas feed for those in need. It was such an amazing turn out. About 150 attended. I took pictures but it's on my other SD card at the flat, so I'll have to attach them next time. Then we got to spend the night with Sister Loefke and Sister Toraipi. They stayed the night since Sister Loefke needed to catch the bus the next day to go home to her family. So we had a super slumber party of 5 sisters!! Sister Loefke is one of the best missionaries I know. If I could become a missionary like Sister Loefke, I'd be the happiest person!!
The next day was boxing day!! Which is considered to be New Zealand's Black Friday. I'm not sure who decided to have all the deals be the day after Christmas, but guess it all works out. That was the day that I also got to Skype my family!! I was so happy to be able to hear their voices and see their faces. The time flew by!! Even though the time was short, I'm grateful I had the chance to talk to them.
Thursday was transfers!! I spent most of the day helping sisters get to and from the bus stop. Then at 8PM I got to meet my new companion!! Her name is Sister Jabeque. She's from the Philippines and comes from a family of 5--one older sister, one younger sister and both her parents. She's super cute!! I tried to do a little bit of decorating in the flat as a Welcome gift. She spent 44 days serving in the Philippines waiting for her VISA to come to New Zealand. Her favorite color is yellow and she loves to sing just like my companion, Sister Johnson. :) She's such an amazing missionary. She has super powerful testimonies, is super obedient, and is really good at the BINGO game haha. I can't wait to see what kind of adventures we'll have together.
I wanted to take time to mention Elder Latu. For those of you who aren't aware, Elder Latu was serving a mission in South Africa. He recently got in a car accident and has passed away. The other three missionaries that were in the car with him are in critical condition. He's from here in Auckland, New Zealand. He's an only child and his mom is completely heart broken. I was lucky enough to spend some time with Elder Latu in the MTC. He was actually in my District at the MTC. He was such a fun guy, who always had a smile on his face and just wanted to make others laugh. He made a great missionary, and had such a unique way with the spirit. He's going to be terribly missed. Please keep Elder Latu's family in your prayers this week. I know that the plan of salvation is real and that there is a life after death. I know that I'll be able to see my family that has passed away again. Elder Latu is doing great missionary work in the Spirit World, and I know that this gospel is true.
I love and miss you all so much!! I hope you all have a good holiday season, and that you take some time to be with the ones you love. Remember the reason for the season and how much Christ has blessed each and every one of us. Thanks for all your love and support!! Hope you all have a good week and a Happy New Year!!