hello everyone! it's been a crazy 2 weeks since I last emailed. I am in Hawaii now! I am serving in Pearl City. it is so beautiful here & the aloha spirit is real. everyone is so kind. the Hawaiian culture is very different and I'm still getting used to it. first, instead of saying "ma'am" and "sir" they say "auntie" and "uncle" but you have to be careful who you say it to because those names also mean you're classifying them as old hahaha. secondly, they use the term "haole" a lot (pronounced like "how-lee") and it means people who aren't from here. so people like me. everyone is so nice and so when they see a skinny haole like me their first thought is that I don't have enough to eat so they always try to give me food hahaha. they're so nice. my first meal here was big enough for a family of 4 AT LEAST. yikes. better than no food though right ;) the food here is.... interesting. they have this dish called poi and its actually the most disgusting thing I've ever eaten. it's a starchy plant similar to a potato that they mash up with water and serve. the texture is like elmer's glue and pudding mixed together. and it's like light purple... yeah not a fan. no idea why they like it so much. Hawaii is cool because everyone takes off their shoes before they enter a house. so that's how we as missionaries know if someone's home- if there's shoes by the door. I already have some pretty weird tan lines & sunburns from being in the sun all day haha. I love it here in Hawaii! (just not the poi)
My companion is named Sister Makihele. She's been out for a year. She has already taught me so much and I'm lucky to have her as a trainer.
A cool experience I had in the MTC was being able to meet Elder Holland (one of the 12 Apostle's for our church. Basically he's superman in a suit.) I didn't know this, but he is my old companion's (Sister McCann's) grandpa. How crazy is that!!!! He came and talked to our district for like 30 min. One of the mission rules is that you can't hug anyone of the opposite gender, and when I went to shake his hand, he gave me a big old grandpa hug. So I broke a pretty major rule already, but it was with an Apostle so I don't think it's too horrible hahaha. He was so kind. It was a neat experience. :)
I don't have much time left but I want to leave you all with my testimony. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and that He is mindful of us. I couldn't be doing what I'm doing without His help. being a missionary is the hardest thing I've ever done, and it's not always kicks and giggles, but I know there's nothing else I would rather be doing right now. A scripture that really helped me this week is in the Book of Mormon (read this book it seriously is the best book.) Anyways, Mosiah 7:33- "But if ye will turn to the Lord with a full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage." this week has 100% been the hardest week of my 19 year old life. but I know that my Heavenly Father is there for me. I am going to serve Him with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. I love you all so much and am grateful for the support from back home on the mainland. (yikes I'm already using Hawaiian lingo.) If you ever have a problem or a trial or a hard time, pray to Heavenly Father. I know He will help you because He helps me so much. Without Him and His mercy and grace, I would be a sobbing mess on the floor. aloha!