Thursday, June 26, 2014

Week 30: "Ofa atu!"

June 17, 2014
Dear my ridiculously gifted and good-looking family and friends, 

This week has been a busy one! First off, Thursday was Sister Fiefia's birthday! What better way to say, "Welcome to North America" like throwing as many parties as possible? One Thursday, we did a surprise district lunch for her. We also ate at our Stake Patriarch's home. What an amazing couple. They had served a mission in Tonga for a few years, and so Sister Fiefia felt right at home with their pictures and home decor. They know plenty of people she knows! As we left they called out, "Ofa atu!" which means, "I love you!" in Tongan! That made her cry. (But in a good way.) It was a lovely night. Friday the ward also threw a potluck dinner party for her! A handful came, but it was a good night. 

Sister Fiefia has had some pretty incredible experiences. I would love to share one of my favorite stories she tells. A group of Tongan Elders and Sisters who were about to serve missions (about 10) went to Fiji to obtain visas. One of the days when they went to the shopping center (It was called Taboo House) to go buy mission clothes, they were stopped outside by four men, covered from head to toe, holding guns. They stopped the group, and one man said, "If you don't answer my question, I will shoot you." One of the Tongan Elders replied, "If the question is from the scriptures and the Bible, I will answer it. That's what we are here to study. If it is not, if it is about the world, we will not answer." The man then asked them to answer how many spokes were on a bicycle that was nearby. The Elder speaking replied,  "We are not here to count how many spokes are in the bicycle. We are here to serve our missions. If you want to shoot me, shoot me." The man said, "Go." So they went. 
She's overcome more than just a few closed doors to stand up for her faith, that's for sure. It's inspiring. She's definitely an example. 

We also had the chance to do a HUGE service project for Joe. He's not a member, but he's one of the coolest people I've met out here! Our entire district stayed at his acre lot from 8am to 4pm moving 6 cords of wood. (And that was only about 2/3's of the entire wood pile we were hauling!) We're talking about 7 or 8 years supply of firewood. It was awesome! My arms were aching by the end. As a matter of fact, they're still probably recovering. We get to finish up this Saturday! 

We made a goal on Wednesday to set aside a time where we just walked, and talked with EVERYONE that we came in contact with. It was awesome! I'm not a shy person, but I definitely can get out of my comfort zone more. The funny thing is, once I do it, I realize it's not a hard thing at all! 

Thursday morning we got up early to go play basketball. It was great! There was mostly Elders, but a girl from the area who plays on a college team joined us! It was a blast! Afterwards (since we went up against each other) we didn't even introduce ourselves, we just hugged, and said, "That was awesome". It was so much fun to play a good game of ball, especially when everyone is playing well. (Our team won the first game and lost the second.) What a good day. 

Lastly, this weekend our ward is throwing a Dutch Oven party. I can't wait! It's going to be delicious, and we've been inviting members to invite their friends to join us. :) Also, they asked me to sing! I'm still figuring out all the songs, but I know for sure that Sister Fiefia and I are going to sing a Tongan hymn together!

Well, I love you all! Best of luck, and make the best of the summer! It goes by way too fast!
Peace and love,
Sister Bennett

Doctrine and Covenants Section 18! 

The Service Project:

I lost.

My fierce companion. :)

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