just over here loving the fallish days... waiting for them to get a liiiiitle cooler though. Jordan and I went on a "Sunday drive" the other week... which he had apparently never heard of the idea before (what?!?) how has he been married to me for almost a year and we've never gone on a sunday drive together. I've failed. also WE'VE ALMOST BEEN MARRIED A YEAR. time flies guys. but anyway the leaves weren't colored yet. :/ and I totally thought they were going to be. haha so sunday drive round two shall be coming up soon.
anyway. I've been through a whirl wind of emotions living through my sister Julia the past couple months. she has had a difficult companion. who had very much disliked Julia during their time together and went to no effort to hide it. I WAS SO MAD. be nice to my sister! Who loves everyone and has been a friend to EVERYONE her entire life. she wants only to serve! I was feeling frustrated and angry feelings toward her companion throughout this time and last week Julia sent this letter to the family. I was in tears. she is so positive. so forgiving. so sweet! I had to share her letter.
read more letters from sister Anderson on her blog page HERE.
Kia Ora whanau and friends!!!
Ahh so much change, I feel like I did the first week of my mission. New calling, new area, new faces, new flat, new EVERYTHING. Except the difference this time is I am pretty much HALF WAY DONE. What in the world where has the time gone??
Ahhh. Okay where do I start?? Welllllll I guess I will start from the last time we talked and everything that has happened since…. Monday and Tuesday were spent saying lots of goodbyes. I can not express the love I have for Feilding and the people I grew so close with there. Levin was special because it was my first area.. but Feilding had such a different feel, I feel homesick for Feilding.. how weird is that? Like I don’t think ahhh I miss home.. I think ahh I miss Feilding hahah. So many special people that I KNOW I was supposed to meet. So many baptisms I won't be able to seeL but it's okay. I'm grateful I was at least there to watch it all start with so many people.. Faith's family, Katies family, Deb, Jude, Aphena, Mellissa, ahh so many people.
Tuesday was Zone Conference and as you know Sis K was there.. I was kinda nervous to see her but I know that it needed to happen sooner or later.
(Sis K was her previous companion, julia was driving with her and she jumped out of the moving car... it was totally traumatizing for julia, they had an emergency transfer right after.)
We saw each other and I gave her a hug but nothing else was really said. She wanted to exchange back that day and spend my last day with me in Feilding but I just didn’t feel ready… I wanted to I just didn’t feel like I could move on that fast and act like everything was all good… so I said no. Me and Sister Farr spent the rest of the day saying goodbyes and packing and getting the flat all ready for the new sister to arrive. The Sononu family a special member family had me over on Tuesday night, they made me dinner and had me stand up in front of everyone, they wrapped a lavalava around me and a Samoan bracelet and sung “God Be With You Till We Meet Again” It was a great end to a great 4 months spent serving in that sweet little town.
Sooooo Wednesday.. Sister K returned to Feilding with Sister Taula..I decided that I just needed to let go of what had happened and be kind and so I was, we showed her everything she needed to know about the area, and right before I was supposed to leave she said “ Sister Anderson can I talk to you?” And I was like “ya” so we went into the bedroom and sat on the beds. And she just broke down… okay so sister K has never cried in her life. Never. And what happened next was the biggest miracle on my mission so far. She apologized for EVERYTHING. Okay she has never said sorry in her life. EVER. To Anyone! And it wasn’t just a normal sorry to be nice, it was a sincere sorry coming from a broken heart. She had so much to say.. It's like everything she ever wanted to say but was too stubborn to say it just poured out. She apologized for every mean name she called me, she apologized for being disobedient and disrespectful, she aplogized for putting me through so much. She said she never imagined she would feel the way she was feeling, like she couldn’t believe she actually felt bad for something! She's never felt bad for anything. She balled and balled and just couldn’t say sorry enough. She kept saying that she was soo heartbroken to hear I was leaving.. all she wanted was one more week to show me that she had changed and to prove to me that she loved me and appreciated everything I did for her. She didn’t want me to leave. She said she was gonna miss me so much and she never thought she would miss me. She had so many regrets.. she wanted so bad to go back and change everything that had happened, she felt so horrible for what she had done. So I looked her in the eyes and said “sis. I forgive you. For EVERYTHING. I have no hard feelings towards you at all” I told her that I wanted her to forget about the past and to stop wishing she could go back and change things. I told her I didn’t need to work with her for one more day to know she had changed. Then I said okay sis. Remember how you are feeling right now. And hold on to that!! Don’t ever fall back to who you use to be. I said choose right now who you want to become and never ever give up until you get there. And then I had her promise me that she would never ever ever give up. And she promised. She thanked me, we hugged (for the first time ever) She gave me a bracelet with her name on it and said I never ever give gifts like this to anyone.. only to special people that I really love. And then she handed me a note and I read it later that night. I just want to share a few lines from it “Sister Anderson you have taught me a lot, you have changed me and now I am a completely different person. I know that I have gotten angry a lot but you have helped me with that a lot. From now on I am going to change and be a better Missionary. You have taught me so much and I will always remember you. Thank you for changing me. I will miss you so much. 3 months with you has really shown me who I really was and now you have made me see that I don’t want to be that person anymore, you have always seen the good in me and now I want to become that person. I am so grateful that you were my first companion. There is a lot of things I did or said that I wish I could take back, but you have been the best trainer to me and I will always remember that.”
Really she should be thanking the Lord, because I know that it was Him who made those changes in her, not me. But I have such a special love for that girl. Different than I have ever felt.. I can't explain it, like it's like all of the hurt and negative feelings I was feeling have just been wiped away. I am so grateful we were able to finally end on a sweet note. Sad that it took what it did to get her there but I wouldn’t change the past 3 months for anything. I would do it all over again for her. I have such a sense of like protection over her now.. I hope and pray her new companion is kind to her and lets her continue to change for the better. Wow an amazing trial but so worth it.
And on to my next adventure. Serving in Hawkes Bay area in a warm little town called Flaxmere. Fruit trees and barefoot Maoris everywhere you look. My companions name is Sister Gonzolaz, been out 10 months, from Cabo Mexico. She is a sweet heart. She has been SO SICK since I got here though so I haven't been able to meet many people which has been hard staying in the flat.. it's so funny sometimes when you're super busy you're like “oh I wish I could just rest” then when you have to rest all day your like “GET ME OUT OF HERE I WANT TO WORK” but it's okay because I've been able to unpack and get all settled in. And we've set a lot of goals for this transfer and we are going to work so hard!! This area has SO MUCH WORK. It's awesome! This is where the church started in NZ so there is heaps of members and they are all very strong. We cover two wards. Flaxmere 2nd and Korongata. It's beautiful, and warm and the sun is shining in my soul. Still just figuring out my roll as an STL and praying I can become who Heavenly Father needs me to be. We were able to have one lesson with this couple named Jeff and Nikki this week, they were both members when they were little and both had been excommunicated. They just lost there daughter a little less than a year ago in a car accident and that woke them both up and gave them a desire to come back to church.. we were able to teach them the Plan of Salvation. Jeff has a great understanding and is so ready to be baptized again.. and Nikki is just still trying to heal from the pain of losing her daughter. They are an amazing couple and I'm excited to work with them!
Wellll I think that’s just about everything. Thank you for the prayers. I can feel them every day.
I am grateful for my purpose. I'm grateful for this gospel. I love being a missionary.
Kakite anooooooooooo XOXOXOXO