Week 31

I can’t keep up with you family! You are all over the place these days. Han, your pictures are so cute. I loved that part of me was there with you. I think I spotted my clothing in every picture;) hahah I’m glad you had fun! The eiffel tower was pretty cool but I think my favourite picture was Jacob in front of the chapel:) hehe that is so cool! You are having too much fun! Thank you so much for the heaps of pictures. Seeing your pictures made me think of a saying I heard the other week. “Ohana is never far. Maybe in distance but never in heart.” There’s a tender quote for yous:) I thought at least mom would like it. haha

I can’t believe another week is down. Time is really starting to fly by. Sadly, tomorrow will again be full of goodbyes as my 2 companions are off on their next adventures. Sister Oeti is headed home to American Samoa & Sister Liutai has 15 months left to serve in the San Fran/ Oakland mission! Super exciting for both of them. 2 weeks was just not long enough to be their companion. I love these 2 girls with all of my heart and I am so thankful for our little trio. They welcomed me into South Harbour and helped me so much. I am truly not the same person I was 2 weeks ago because of what they taught and showed me. I have never met 2 more selfless people in my entire life. They brought me closer to my sweet Saviour and that is something I can never repay them for. Sister Oeti has a little saying she loves, “there are not goodbyes in the gospel. only see ya laters.” I will definitely be seeing them later:) Once these 2 sisters go I will be in a temporary companionship until my new companion arrives from the MTC. I wish I could tell you about her but you’ll just have to wait until next week!

We started off with an awesome week. Able to get heaps of other lessons on the bus, street, anywhere & everywhere! It feels so good to testify and teach about the gospel. Sometimes it is only for 2 minutes before the bus comes, but those 2 minutes are precious & they are so worth it. So worth it because you meet people like Catherine:) Catherine is a woman that Sister Oeti found at a bus stop a few weeks ago & when we texted her this past week she agreed to meet up with us. She’s originally from Chile but has been working here for the past year and a half. The light of Christ is deep within her & it is impossible to not feel it when you’re talking with her. She told us how hard it was to be here away from her family, home and country. How she cried every day for the first year but that she believes in Jesus Christ & this is where she started going to church on sundays. You can see the Lords hand preparing her to receive the gospel & preparing her for greater joy & that is because He loves her. She is His daughter & she is precious in His sight. The most tender moments of my mission have been simple but so strong. Simple because it comes while I am testifying of what seems like simple things, what I have been told since nursery – God is our loving Heavenly Father. But strong because as I am saying these words I feel it. I feel the love of our creator & God. I feel His love for His child that I am testifying to & they are the moments that have changed my heart. We got Catherine a Book of Mormon in Spanish that we are taking her this week! Pray for her! We have total faith in the converting power of The Book of Mormon.

Other than that it was a slower week due to my companion & I having a cold, but we are doing much better now! We also had special zone conference and that was so inspiring. I love my mission. A good week, indeed!

Yesterdays sacrament meeting was very inspired for me because it was on diligence & that is what I have picked to focus on improving in myself this transfer. One of the speakers whipped out a Lord of the Rings quote so needless to say his talk was totoa atu. (that is “on point” in Tongan.) Of course I asked for a copy of all the quotes he used.

When giving a talk on diligence who better to reference than Sam?!

“I don’t like anything here at all,” said Frodo, “..earth, air & water all seem accursed. But so our path is laid.”

“Yes, that is so,” said Sam, “and we shouldn’t even be here at all, if we’d known more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales & songs, Mr. Frodo, adventures as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful fold of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually their paths were paid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on, & not all to a good end…but those aren’t always the best tales to hear.”

I have always felt Frodo never deserved a friend like Sam. I couldn’t get why he stuck around for as long as he did & sacrificed so much for him. But then the pieces fall into place as Sam carries Frodo up the mountain, literally bearing his burden. And Sam becomes a Saviour to Frodo.

How much more undeserving are we of our Saviour? We are eternally indebted to our real life Sam. Our best friend who loved us enough that He was willing to die for us. While I love Pippin the most there is no doubt I tend to be more Frodo-like than Sam-like. Give me a task & I think I’ll do it eventually (after mom yells at me 100 times) but I will need Sam to carry me the rest of the way. I have thought about Frodo’s simple line…

“But so our path is laid.”

In life there are very dreary, dark & difficult paths laid before us. But I am learning to respond in a Sam wise way. In a Christ-like way.

In the speech of all speeches, “However Long & Hard the Road,” given by Elder Holland there are 2 lines that I have burned in my heart & written on the back of my name badge. I have said them to myself more times than I can count over the past 7 months.

“It is worth it.
I do want it &
I will fight on.”

When you turn Frodo’s statement into a question, I have no doubt that that is the words Sam would say.

“But so our path is laid?”

“It is worth it.
I do want it &
I will fight on.”

I can’t help but add 2 words onto Elder Hollands.

“I will fight on for Him.”

For the one who carries me every step of the way. For the one who is my friend when I have done nothing deserving of His friendship. For the one who loves me despite my endless number of mistakes & even when I forget I have promised to take upon me His name. I will fight on for Him every single day.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 ¶Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

all my love,
Sister Denney

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