FIRST WEEK AT THE MTC DONE! MIDDLE OF THE SECOND WEEK NOW!
Whew! Is all I can say. But WOW is a close second. Okay so just to briefly explain really quickly I only get 1 hour a week to email home and that hour is given to me during P Day. Also our P Day ends every Saturday at 6PM because we then have class after dinner and then a service project after class. Okay after I emailed everyone last week I went to the temple and that was such a beautiful experience! It was my second time EVER and I couldn't stop thinking about what a blessing that is. I was so grateful! It made my first super busy P Day calm and beautiful. So much has happened to me this second week I don't even know where to start! Its crazy!
Okay I will begin with what I was struggling with. At the beginning of the week I was really missing my family. My Mom and John specifically. My heart was very heavy and I was feeling a lot of anxiety in quiet moments with myself that just weren't getting better. I was working hard at learning Tagalog and I was putting a lot of effort into what I was studying and also pondering the things that really touched my heart but in the back of my mind I was worrying. Worrying for my mom and worrying for the welfare of my brother. I know what everyone is going to say and what you all are thinking, and that is to let it go and put my trust in the Lord. I know this too. But there is a process to this blessing and I am going to share mine with you. Every night when I got down on my knees, to pray to my Heavenly Father in the privacy of my room, I was almost always in tears by the end. Because I my whole prayer would be for my family and those I loved. I was literally putting every ounce of faith, and every bit of love that I felt for my Savior and for my family in those prayers. I would pray for their safety, and for their well being, I would pray for them to know how much I love them and so that they would actually be able to FEEL it. Every Tuesday we have a devotional and before that devotional elders and sisters are invited to join the choir. Naturally my kasamas (companions) and I volunteered and took our jolly selves to the Marriott center early to sing our over stressed little hearts out. The devotional was beautiful and touched on many points that I am still pondering and still studying. When the devotional was finished our district met back at the classroom with the branch president to discuss what we had learned and make new goals. When our meeting was finished my branch president asked one more time if we anyone needed to talk, that whole week I had been feeling like I should talk to the branch and ask for a blessing. So just as he was walking out the door, I called out to him. We found a quiet classroom and he asked me what was wrong. I started to tell him how my week had gone and then I told him about my worries. By this time I was crying and almost sobbing. My heart was breaking and I didn't know what to do! He counseled me and reassured me the way all good branch presidents do. And then before I could ask he asked me if I needed a priesthood blessing. I jumped at his question and passionately said "YES!" He smiled at me for a moment and then asked me if I was comfortable asking one of the elders in my district. I gave him a sort of "um you're kidding right?" sort of look and he just smiled at me again. Now some of you may be thinking what a cow I must be but let me explain first! Lol all the elders in my district are either 18 or 19 and none of them have ever given a blessing before! Now in all of my pride and glory, I was slightly offended! My thinking was some where along the lines of, "UM HELLO, I HAVE A SERIOUS ISSUE RIGHT HERE. I need some GUIDANCE. From an experienced priesthood holder so that I can feel better about this situation!" Now after what I am about to tell you I do regret those thoughts greatly. For many reasons, but also because I was "turning in" when I should have been "turning out." These terms are from Elder Bednar and the Talk that they come from is called "The Character of Christ" it is a truly magnificent talk and touches upon the pride of the natural man and the humility in the character of Christ. I urge all of you to take an hour out of your day to please! READ IT! Or listen to it! You won't regret it! I promise! Wow okay now back to the story. Now after those unrighteous thoughts passed through my head I took them back immediately and agreed to ask one of the babies in my district. My branch president and I thought of the same person and that was answer enough for me. The person we both thought of is the free spirit of our district. He just turned 19 and he's always singing and dancing. He distracts EVERY ONE but he also makes us laugh and has the kindest spirit out of all the elders. He actually reminds me a lot of John. Anyways we ended with a prayer and I was able to sleep just a little better that night. The next day in the morning I asked him. He looked at me for a second and then asked me if I was sure. I told him with a smile on my face that I was and that I had faith in him. He looked at me again with tears in his eyes and said okay, and then started walking back to class. When it was time for personal study him, and the 4 other elders in our district went to the book store to buy oil for the blessing. It was the most precious sight in the world. Because by that time they all knew some how. And they were all so nervous for Elder Haymond, they were being supportive and doing everything as a group. Lol it was hilarious and adorable all at the same time. In no time at all they were back. They had to consecrate the oil 3 times because they kept forgetting words, their hands were sweaty and shaking and their voices were quivering. I witnessed it all in utter amazement, and gratitude. They were making all of this effort for me. And sparing no thought for themselves. When they finally got it right I went to find a quiet room with kasama ko (my companion) and Elder Haymond and Elder Lethaby. The other 3 elders slowly crept behind us wide eyed and nervous for their fellow missionary, and friend after just a few days. They respectfully told me that they would stand outside the room for the blessing and I laughed and invited them in. I briefly told Elder Haymond my reason for the blessing. I told him I really just needed to hear some comfort directly from my Heavenly Father. And that I was worried for my family. I didn't go any further than that, I kept it brief and simple so I wouldn't over whelm this already overwhelmed missionary with anymore of my issues. I told this again that I had faith in him. And that he should trust himself and trust the Spirit. That whatever words come to his mind no matter how strange and foreign they may feel, to just say it. Well as Elder Lethaby sealed the blessing his hands and voice were shaking and I felt the spirit slowly building. When Elder Haymond put his shaking hands on my head and started the blessing, he brought tears to my eyes immediately. His voice was strong and powerful, and full of emotion. In the middle of his first sentence he was crying also. The words that came out of this 19 yr old missionaries mouth were not his own by any means. They were from my Heavenly Father. And I can testify of the truthfulness of that. He comforted me and reassured me in things that I told no one about not even my branch president. They were things that were kept only between ME and my LOVING Heavenly Father. I was in awe of the strength from the Spirit I felt. I was in awe of Elder Haymonds faith! And the trust that he put in Heavenly Father to be able to reassure me about things that I told no one, accept my father in Heaven. He truly became an instrument in the Lords hands that day and he taught me more than I can even express in words. He showed me the way, and he taught me how to truly begin to trust Heavenly Father.
I have a scripture I would like to share with you all, it is in D&C 84:85. I truly do love this scripture. For so many reasons! The first being that I have seen the evidence of this scripture so powerfully in my life this week. Elder Haymond is not what most people would think of when they think of a missionary. But he has learned one simple yet vital part of what it means to "endure to the end." And that is to TRUST Heavenly Father! After that beautiful blessing that he gave me I promise you that every day since then, I have been able to put my trust in Him. To let more and more go and to just have faith that everything is going to be okay. Why? Because I am doing what is right. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, because my Father in Heaven LOVES ME. I have FELT that love for me. And I have been blessed with His tender mercies. More and more I realize that I am nothing with out Him. And more and more I realize how much more I have to do. But this thought isn't daunting. And I am no longer weighed down, with how impossible enduring to the end feels. No I have hope! Hope for my self! And hope for the people that I have been sent to teach! The more trust I put in him the more CAPABLE I feel! And the more I understand my purpose, as a missionary and in life! I truly do not feel worthy of these blessings. But I am so grateful that I have them! And I am so grateful that I am where I am. The knowledge that you are EXACTLY where you are supposed to be and that you are doing EXACTLY what you are supposed to be doing brings a happiness I have never felt before! But that I have been searching for my whole life. I love this Gospel with everything that is in me. I stand as a witness of Christ. Not because I am a missionary and its what I am "supposed" to do. But because I have FELT love and happiness and pure unadulterated JOY! Not because I am going to be blessed, and definitely not because I expect anything, its simply because the more I understand how to give myself to him the more I grow. And the more I grow the CLOSER I come to Him. I am so grateful for this Gospel. I am so grateful to my mom! For teaching me these things, and instilling in me these simple yet eternal principles from a very young age. No matter what has happened to me because of her diligence and because of HER FAITH I am here serving the Lord with all of my heart, might, mind and strength. I can only hope to be as righteous and as valiant when I am a mother. And my gratitude towards my mother will never end. Simply because I know that for the rest of my life I will reap the blessings of her righteousness and her obedience. I hope to do this for my kids. To teach them the way my mother taught ME. And the way my SAVIOR teaches me every day that I resubmit myself to him. These blessings and experiences continue to change my life and I am so grateful for the opportunity I am given to write to my friends and family every week! I love you guys! With all of my heart and I pray for all of you every day!
Sister Fonua :)
P.S. Please if anyone has anytime please send me letters or maybe a package on dear elder? They lift my spirits so much! And they help me get thru every day. I carry them around with me every day in my scriptures to remind me of the love that my family has for me. I love you guys! And I miss you! But not that much ;)