Monday, January 30, 2017

Lehlie Mainko!
(Learning new words all the time here! Main is honorific for 1 person, Mainko is for more people. Spelling might be incorrect, but yeah.)

I hope everyone's week has been super great! Hope you aren't freezing too bad there, but enjoying the coolness. It's super hot here, and the A/C in our room is still broken. It blew air, but never cold air. And now we can't even turn it on. Let's just say that a lizard crawled into it and got it's tail cut off... Also there's another dead lizard I found in it while looking for the one with a missing tail. Gross. Hopefully the Landlord fixes it soon. (PS, mom don't read this, it's gross. I know it's tail was cut off because I found it on the floor, and it was twitching for like 20 minutes after. That's nerves for you, I guess.)

This week I focused on virtue. I know that as we purify our minds, our words and actions will also be pure. Also, as our minds are filled with good thoughts, as we focus on the Lord "with an eye single to the Glory of God", there is no room for temptation to sway us from the work. This week I will focus on Obedience.

Oh and the last week since I didn't say was Knowledge. Ya'll can read my notes about it in the picture.

Just a note about Cartwright, the investigator I have been telling you about. He has come leaps and bounds. We didn't see him until I think Wednesday because he was never home. But when we did see him, his friend Kim also sat in on the lesson. And even though we were gone, I know the Spirit was working on him. He has been reading the Book of Mormon (in English, because he lived in the states for a long time) and is making changes in his life. And then last night, we got him (or I should say the Spirit got him) to pray at the end of our lesson. He is really searching for God, but now is also willing and trying to make the changes in his life that will bring him closer to God. It's beautiful to see the Spirit working with him.

This week it's Pohnpei's turn to take part in the Mission's 40 day fast. Not sure what day Sister Fehoko and I will do it yet, but I am so excited to see the blessings that come from it. 

This week 35 families from Sekere ward are going to the temple!! I am so excited and happy for them. I know it will help strengthen the ward. Sister Fehoko and I have been searching out the less actives, and inviting them to repent and come back to church so they can receive the blessings of the Gospel again in their lives. Yesterday, I have felt the power of partaking of the Sacrament stronger than I have ever felt before. I always try to focus my thoughts on the Savior, but this time was different. There was a lot of tension between Sister Fehoko and I as we drove to church (long story, but it's all good now. We were just allowing Satan to get between us. Oops.) As I took the bread, I was wondering how I could take the sacrament when there was such tension, when there was anger in my heart. But as I was praying, I felt this overwhelming sense of peace. I felt much like Alma describes how he felt in Alma 36:18-21:
18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, cried within my heart: Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitternessand am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. 19 And now, behold, when thought this, could remember mpains no moreyea, was harrowed up bythe memory of my sins no more. 20 And oh, what joyand what marvelous light did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! 21 Yea, say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea,and again say unto you, my son, that othe other hand,there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.
I felt so much peace. I could remember what we had been arguing about, but the pain and anger was gone. It was a sudden feeling of peace, in an instant. It is so hard to describe, and I wish everyone could feel the way I felt. It was beautiful. My testimony of the Sacrament and cleansing power of the Atonement is so much stronger. I am so grateful for the opportunity we have to take the Sacrament every week, and also to repent daily. I know that it is because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we can find peace, joy, and hope when we are angry, sorrowing, or lost. 

Along the lines of the Atonement, one morning I was studying for some investigators, and I was studying the Atonement. And this analogy came to me (Heidi or someone artistically talented, you could totally draw a picture):

When we make mistakes and sin, it's like we are building a wall between us and God. We continue to sin, we continue to build up the wall, until we cannot see him nor his light anymore. But Christ is there, always there, ready to break down the wall of sin we have built with his hammer, the Atonement. The only stopping him is us. We have spent so much time and effort building the wall, and now we have forgotten what is on the other side. We are afraid of what we do not know, and so we tell him, don't touch the wall. Don't break down my sins. But when we have the faith and the courage, and we trust Him, we let him step up. We let him break down the wall. And as he does, God's light comes back into our life. As we repent, and change, we remember what we were missing. And it is definitely not something to be afraid of. 

Anyway, that's it for this week. I love you all, I pray for you all. Stay safe, stay warm, stay happy. 

Kasalel Kumwail!

Sister Springer

Monday, January 23, 2017

Heya all!

I am super short on time today (Sister Fehoko and I locked ourselves out of the house, with the car keys in the house too, and of course our phone is currently not working, so we had to walk to the chapel and get a hold of someone to come help us.... That took forever.)

Anyway. I'll keep it short. Just want ya'll to know that Heavenly Father protects his missionaries, but we still have to work hard.

On Tuesday we had a crazy thing happen.The hill at our house up to the main road is super steep. Below our house is another one. I was backing Sister Fehoko, then I got in the car, and she hit the gas to get up the steep hill... But she forgot to put it in drive. So instead of shooting forward, we shot back and went down the hill. I threw it into drive, but too late. So we were stuck on the hill, holding the brakes and the E brake so it wouldn't roll down  the hill and crash into the house below us. When we let off the brakes, we could feel it move. This hill is super steep, and one of the tires wasn't really on the ground. We called the Elders to come fast and help us. Sister Fehoko got out and helped push, and I slowly switched from the brakes to the gas. Eventually we got it back up, but our front tire was all tore up. We almost called a tow truck, but a local came down and helped us push it up.

I know that just like Nephi, we received helped from Heaven. But we had to do work ourselves, too. Nephi didn't ask God for the materials for a ship to be there for him: he asked where he could mine the ore to make the tools so that he could build a ship.

Ok that's all I have time for today. I learned a lot about knowledge, but I'll tell you next week. This week my Christlike attribute to work on will be virtue.

Work hard, study the scriptures, pray often (like, all the time!!), and Heavenly Father WILL help you in your life.

I poakepoake kumwail!!!

Sister Springer
Kasalehlie kumwail!!

Another hot and wet week here on Pohnpei. Language is coming more and more every day. It's been like this: I wake up, exercise, get ready for the day, do personal/companion/language studies, eat lunch, and head out to teach. First lesson. I listen so hard, but most of the words are gibberish. I have no idea what they are saying. I look to my companion, but she is busy listening/bearing testimony, also in a language I don't know. So I try to say what I know, but it's mostly English. I go home. We plan, I shower, and sleep. Next day is the same. And the next. But then, one day, as I am teaching, I suddenly can say a little more. And then the next lesson, I can understand basically what they are saying. Suddenly, I am saying a little more in Pohnpeian. I can bear a simple testimony and pray in Pohnpeian. I can communicate a little better. It's still a work in progress, and I say things wrong all the time, but I know that the more I speak, especially in lessons, the more I remember and the more I learn. I know Heavenly Father has blessed me sooo much to learn this language as fast as I can. There's no way I have learned this on my own.  

This week my Christlike attribute was humility. Don't know if I said that last week... but yeah. So at Zone Conference we watched the bible video about the prodigal son. What stuck out to me was that Jesus says, "When he came to himself" he went back home. When the son was at his lowest, and realized how bad of state he was in, that's when he had the desire strong enough to change, to return to his father. I know it's the same for us: we have to humble ourselves, and realize how much we need our Savior, and repent. We have to humble ourselves and return to our Father. I know that when we do, Heavenly Father is watching and waiting for us to return to him. I love that story. (Luke 15:11-22)
also read the scripture that I mentioned in our interview, 2 Ne 20:15, about the axe. I know that we are tools in our Heavenly Father's hands. We may be doing the talking, but it is the Spirit that is doing the teaching.

This week I will focus on Knowledge.

Because my companion is a Sister Training Leader, I am with someone new at least once a week, typically twice. Monday I stayed in Sekere with the other STL, Sister Russell. Thursday and Friday I went to Mand. Mand is BEAUTIFUL!!! I will have to send pictures next week, because I don't have an SD card slot in this computer. There's lots of waterfalls and rivers and stuff. Super cool =)

On Friday, I went back home to Sekere. But we stopped and got this thing called an ice bar. It's like frozen coconut milk. SOOOO GOOOOOOD!! I don't know if I like that or fried bananas better... hard to say. The ice bar is super messy though.

Tender Mercies for the week: One day, I started off my personal study reading from 2 Ne 24. Before I started reading, I wrote down questions I had. Then right before I started to read, a question an investigator had popped into my mind. She had asked about Jews and Gentiles, and how they were different. 2 Ne 24:1 answers this: It says that strangers will be joined to the house of Jacob in the promised land. Gentiles can receive all the same promises that Jews can. 
Another tender mercy we had was during miracle minutes. It was 8:55 Saturday night, and we decided to go invite one more investigator to church, Cartwright. We got to his house, and he was laying in the "attic" of the nahs/hut thing. He saw us and we invited him to church. A little back story: Cartwright has told us that when he promises something, he keeps that promise, no matter what. That's why he didn't want to be baptized yet, because he doesn't think he can keep his promise with God to stop smoking/drinking/etc just yet. So anyway, he said he would come to church. I said, "Promise?" "Uhhh... No, I can't promise" "Why not" "Because.... if it rains I can't come because I don't want to walk in the rain," "Do you want my umbrella?" "No, no" "Ok.... How about if it doesn't rain, you will come to church." "Ok. Promise?" "Uhmm... Ok. I promise" "Awesome! I will pray for it not to rain." Then we prayed with him, and as we were about to drive away, he said, "This will be interesting, because I will pray for it to rain, and you will pray for it not to rain. We'll see who God listens to!" I said, "God wants you to go to church, so it won't rain!"

Guess what. Sunday morning, it rained. I was thinking as we were driving to pick up other investigators to walk with, Why would Heavenly Father have it rain? Is it to test my faith? But then, as we were driving, we saw Cartwright in the back of a recent converts truck, on his way to church!!! Even though it rained, he came to church! He went to the Panasong ward, because they speak Mortlockese/Chuukese more at the Sekere ward, but he went! We were super happy, because it's the first time he has ever gone. I hope and pray he will continue to make steps to change. Last night we tried to follow up, but he was busy, so we will see him tonight.

It is soooo important to communicate with your companion! If you do not communicate, you cannot stay close and you cannot teach with unity, and you cannot teach with the Spirit. Satan is doing his best to thwart this work, and he can so easily put a bug in your ear and drive a wedge between you and your companion. Don't let him!!! Talk to and love your companion. Pray with them, every day. A member from my home ward sent me an email: he said, "Personal Purity is the key to Pure Love." If you have problems with your companion, or anyone, don't think, "if only they were this way, I wouldn't be frustrated with them" or "If they would just do this, we would be fine"; instead, look for what you can do to change. What can you do and say to help your relationship improve? I know this applies to any relationship, not just while you are on your mission.

I know this has helped me when I have been frustrated. Satan is trying so hard to stop this work, but the work of the Lord will go forth boldly, nobly, and independently until it has penetrated every continent! 

That's about all I have for this week. Sorry no pictures, but I'll send em next week.

Kasalel kumwail!! Kitail nek tupene!

Sister Springer

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

This week has been insane. Found the wall. Still climbing over it. Missions are tough. Prayer is real. God is there waiting for you to go to him, so don't blame him if you feel distant. 

I don't remember if I said what I was going to work on this week, but it was obedience. If I said something else, just kidding, because I needed to learn a lesson about obedience this week, and let me tell you, I have learned lots about obedience. Be exactly obedient, even if you don't know why! Just like Adam, sometimes we don't know why we have the rules we do "save the Lord commanded" us to do them. Shouldn't that be reason enough for us? I know that when we obey, and obey exactly, blessings come. So be obedient. It's especially important on a mission, but I know it applies to every aspect of our lives.  

So like I said, this week has been insane. So my companion and I are finally solely proselyting in our area, Sekere (long story short, we were proselyting in Sokehs mostly before). Sekere is so sketchy and it'll be interesting since we are whitewashing the area (meaning that we are both new to the area, so we don't know people or where they are or anything. Also, it's been Elders here forever, not Sisters. So that's been interesting). The area book is super thin, so that's been hard. The ward is so small here, and the members are not super strong. There are TONS of Less Actives, mostly because of the Word of Wisdom. Sekere is known for it's Betelnut chewing (highly addictive nut which isn't harmful in itself, but they wrap it in a leaf with a cigarette and lime powder) and Sakau drinking. Also there are lots of Chuukese here, so it's hard because I am learning Pohnpeian, not Chuukese or Mortlockese, which is what they speak in Sekere mostly. Some still speak Pohnpeian though, so it'll be alright. 

Learning a new language is hard, and I have learned relying on the Lord is so important. Stay strong, District 32A! Don't let Satan distract you from the work, because he is working so hard to do so. Turn out, and you will see miracles. 
Mom and Jayden, don't be too disappointed in me if my spelling/grammar suck when I come home... Pohnpeian is messing up my English already hahaha.

This week I went on exchanges to Uh with Sister Bowers and we had to walk about 20 minutes to get to a recent converts house (the 12ish year old girl in the picture). We walked through mud and over rocks. Most people take a boat because it's an outer island, but we can't, so we have to walk. My crocs were a little to big, I learned.... So I ended up walking barefoot most of the way because it was impossible to walk with my shoes slipping out from under me constantly. I stuck them in the sun though so they shrunk down and now they fit better. 

Today I am going on exchanges with Sister Russell, the other Sister Training Leader (did I mention Sister Fehoko, my companion, is a STL? I sese. I don't know)

When I come home I swear I will be saying so many things in Pohnpeian and I will have picked up on so many islander habits, you all will laugh at me. But that's ok. I love it hear. It's so true when people say a mission is the hardest and best experience of your life. I cannot wait to see where I will be a year from now, even a month from now. I feel like I have my mouth up to a firehouse, and am trying to take in as much as I can. I thought that was only in the MTC, but boy was I wrong.

Anyway, gotta run! Catch up with ya'll next week!!

Sister Springer

Hey all!! I pretty much have no time at all, so I'm going to keep this short.

Internet was down all weekend, but it came back up. A lot of people on the island are strict about the Sabbath day though, which is good, but that also means the places with internet are closed... so we are at the chapel emailing.

I hope you all had a good Christmas! Thank you to Dry Creek Ward for the package!! That was so thoughtful and generous!! I loved it! Also, funny story... The day I got my package was the day I lost my last pen (dropped it and it fell into the rain gutter... go figure. No idea what happened to my other ones.) How did you know I needed pens?? 

This week I focused on hope, but I want to say one more thing about Charity. When you focus on yourself, you get down and depressed and life just sucks. When you really focus on others-- even when life sucks-- when you really focus on them, your spirit will be lifted. Your problems won't seem so big anymore. I know that to be true. I have seen it here. I don't even speak their language, but I know that by not focusing on that, and focusing on the people and how I can help them to come closer to Christ, it's not so hard.
Ok, hope. With this new year, I think hope plays a big role. We have hopes for things we want. We have hopes for our family, our friends. I know that hope is what motivates us to act. 

New Year's on Pohnpei is CRAZY!! People were drinking and drumming and screaming all night. It was so crazy. Then New Year's day was hard to proselyte because most people were drunk. A bunch of kids threw muddy water as we drove past, and of course my window was down.... Whoops. But we were safe and ok, so that's all that matters I guess =)

Oh, and to add to the craziness, my trainer and Sister Pokipala's trainer (I was in the MTC with Sister Pokipala, she was in my district) had to go to Guam this weekend for training, so Sister Pokipala and I were left to fend for ourselves. Plus we just barely started proselyting in Sekere, so I didn't even really know the area. It's ok though, it all worked out. We had a lot of fun, too!

Anyway, that's all for this week. Love you all!! Happy New Year! I hope this year brings lots of happiness, peace, and hope for you all!!!

Sister Springer

PS this computer won't read my SD Card, so I will send pictures next week.