Hey family and friends!! i hope you're all doing quite well. this week was pretty good we worked hard and met some really cool members and non members alike. something happened this weekend that i need to tell you about though. so there is this place in lake arrowhead called "the village" it's like town square basically. it's got the stater brother's and just a bunch of little shops and stuff. well there is a concert stage there in the middle and they have like summer concerts on the weekend. we went to the village for dinnerand there was a billy joel tribute concert happenin and.......well let's just say i'm getting transferred.:S...................................................................................................................
.............................(pausefordramaticeffect). haha ok everyone can pick their jaws up off the floor and restore their respect and confidence in me. nothing happened. i AM getting transferred but not for any misdeeds. i don't think the billy joel tribute concert was actually this weekend haha. good one. well so the story is..i think...sister steele and lyons(just some other sisters) have been serving for about a month and half or so in a samoan ward in rialto. but for the past like 3 weeks, sister steele has been really really sick with pneumonia. they haven't been able to work like at all basically and we don't know the exact details as to why but sister steele and myself are basically switching places. we found out wife. it saves so much money!! i'm so grateful for the church and the gospel and all the wisdom and direction we receive from our prophet. whew...we would be in the same shape as the rest of the world without them what a terrible thought!well. i thought you would all appreciate that little story. just to remind you all that when we are about the Lord's work, we'll be guided by the Lord's spirit. we are just the mouthpeices, or as president uchtdorf said, we are His hands. that's it. i hope my week was not the only exciting one:) i love you all and hope you're doing fine. onward and upward eh?...eh. i love you all !! love love love. ..love sister mollyand i won't lie, i'm pretty sad. this are is really remarkable. the members here have taught me more about charitable love in the three weeks i've been here than i've learned about it in the entire 9 months of my mission. i will remember the miracles and service rendered that i've witnessed here for the rest of my life. i of course haven't gotten really "close" to many people in the ward at all. yesterday was only our third ward council! but i will sincerely miss this ward and area. despite the fact that this is like a seriously beautiful and peaceful place. everyone was telling us wow, this is the place to be in the summer time, which honestly it is..it hasn't gotten over like 88 yet. pretty close to no one on this whole mountain have air conditioning. and when it gets like 79 everyone complains and complains about the heat. it's crazy. so...suffice it to say i will miss it here and i am a little sad about the situation because sister liston and i really wanted to be companions! but nevertheless, i will go and do. no questions asked. plus i'm going to be companions with sister lyons, she's pretty much one of the greatest missionaries ever so that's pretty sweet. she hasn't been out very long and i'm looking forward to serving with her. for those of you who haven't made the connection with the first part of this story and now...that means i'll be serving in a samoan ward. i'm terrified of that. samoan food, samoan people....samoan language! it will take a lot of prayer and a miracle for me to not gain any exorbitant(?) amounts of weight...i might not be the most popular missionary that the ward has ever seen but....the Lord knows what he's doing and president Godwin is called of the Lord. SO. this should be an exciting adventure. so that's my big news for this week. i know you're all shocked and thinking " i can believe they are transferring her again!!" and exclamations like unto it, but i have a miracle that i would like to share with you all..pretty cool. we were gonig to meet this less active woman, we had planned to go see her like two hours previous to when we actually got there so we get to the place that is her address and it is like an apartment complex but we have no apartment number! so we ask this guy who's walking around he says...there's a phone number on the sign. so we start driving over to the sign that was at the bottom of this spiral driveway but we stopped before we got all the way down so sister liston could write something down. there was a hispanic lady walking about the driveway a few minutes later and sister liston said well i would laugh really hard if that was her haha! and then i said , well i guess we could always ask her if she knows the woman we're looking for. sister liston thought for a second and then said ah, the moment passed and now we'd have to turn around. haha. so we drive to the end of the driveway and both of us were just like no i think we should go ask that lady so we turn around and sister liston speeds up there and we catch her RIGHT before she went into her house and we ask her...do you know so-and-so. it was her!!! whoa. both of us were just blown away. we had to stop and say a prayer of gratitude afterwards because if we had waited just a minute longer we would have lost our chance to talk to her because we wouldn't have seen where she went into. isn't it amazing how Heavenly Father gives us the missionaries a second chance to follow a prompting because it would bless the life of one of His children....super humbling. we helped the wife of our bishop make jam this week that was a lot of fun. she schooled us for like 45 minutes on food storage afterward and withstood our relentless questions about how to have and use it. haha it was the most enlightening thing in the entire world. i am totally going to become a food storage mother/
August 2 -
TALOFA FOI!!!!!(that's when you respond by saying TALOFA!!)...(it means hello:))oa mai oe?! (you then say, Manuia! fa'afetai...that means i'm good thank you!) then at the end of dinner when i'm all full and can't eat anymore of your gross weird food i say...ma ona, fa'afetai. well that's about all i know fluently at this point. i don't know if any of you caught that iwas being transferred to a samoan ward...none of you commented on that fact but oh well:). this week has been an adventure. just trying to get to know the ward and figure things out. like i said last week sister steele the one that was here before me had been sick for like 4 of the 6 weeks that the sisters were here so we are kinda starting from square one again. it's exciting. sister lyons is one of the most amazing missionaries in the entire world and she's only been out lie 4 months. i'm super blessed to be her companion, we are having way too much fun! i had a few experiences with the samoan food this week it was...interesting. boiled bananas and tarro root and this stuff called chop suey and lamb stew and meki?? and then fried chicken haha. it is going to take me a while longer i feel to adjust to this ward and to get to know the people. the names are all really hard to remember and there are so many that are similar!!! fa'alaulau and fuala'au.....stuff like that...it's lots of fun:) i think when i get back into a palagi(pronounced pa-long-ey...meaning,white) ward i will be confused with all the normal names! the culture is also much much different. this is a male dominant culture, that's hard to get used to but, just different. i've been outrageously concerned about the food situation because they really like to feed you and our zone leader elder aokuso who IS samoan said they feed the palagi's more than the samoans haha so sister lyons and i made some dinner rules for ourselves since i refuse to gain weight in this area. 1. dish up yourself small portions. 2. eat slowly(with your left hand) 3. leave a little food left on your plate to show that you enjoyed the food but that you just cannot eat it all because you're so full 4. if they offer you dessert and you don't want any just say no and be persistent haha we had to call elder aokuso before we made that one up to make sure that the "culture" wouldn't make it so people would be offended if we didn't eat dessert. OR if you want dessert just say you will have some of your companion's dessert:). we are allowed to work out more in this ward and go to activity nights when they play volley ball and fun stuff like that so i'm sure if we can just adhere to our rules we will be just fine. they are a really great ward and i'm excited while still feeling a little aprehensive to serve here? i know that i will love it, i always do:):)! plus we get to go to the temple tomorrow. if for no other reason, being transferred was worth it haha jk jk jk. Heavenly Father knows what's up you all. don't forget it. even when we don't realized what's going on...he is in charge! well i love you all and i have to go but i hope you all have a great week!!!! love love love...sister molly
TALOFA! from a brand new transfer WOO!!!
Talofa lava aiga!(pronounced, eye-ing-ah) oa mai oe?!
well this week was pretty good if i do say so myself, my companions and myself observed and learned some really interesting a humorous facts about the samoan people this week that i would like to share with you all at this time.
the samoans are incredibly giving and loving and they think that missionaries are just the end all be all and that when we come to their home to visit them that simply by being there we are blessing them, it makes me kind of uncomfortable sometimes because as any of you who know me are aware of, i dislike being the center of attention. i would rather be in their shoes,giving thanks and gratitude to THEM for serving us. when i got here sister lyons told me something, that the samoans don't really have a word for you're welcome, when you say thank you to someone (fa'afetai) they say back to you fa'afetai fui. they just say thank you right back! i was like oh that's kinda strange but oh well....a few days later sister lyons thanked me for something and i realized why she had pointed out that fact to me, because my automatic response to her was "no! thank yOU!" haha.
so anyway with that all said they are very sweet people, but they are not always the sweetest of people when disciplining their children.
we learned the word for spanking which is sasa, and promptly started recognizing it in almost every situation where there were children. haha. they speak in english and ask their children who are crying or misbehaving if they want a sasa! or hold up their hand and threaten with a "SASA!" in result the samoan children are INCREDIBLY respectful and well behaved. it's unfortunate however because most of the time the children aren't allowed to eat with us. we usually eat either by ourselves with the mother sitting with us or with the dad eating along with us and again, the mother sitting there. the kids are usually off doing their own thing. i've been told it's like this only when the missionaries are there so i am somewhat comforted that their family unity is disrupted only for on evening a month.
another interesting thing they do that sister lyons and i have started imitating amongst our daily lives is that whenever their kids or really anyone is either not listening to a command they are given or they are just misbehaving is they SHH them. it's really really funny to be completely honest. the child will be climbing on the table or just sitting on the couch, the parent tells them to do something ie, get off the table or...get the missionaries a drink. the child proceeds to not act upon the request that has been presented. the parent or grandparent usually extends the direction another time or two then finally a few minutes later when the child still is in his or her first condition or disobeying they SHH loud and just liek that. SHH then they tell them again the command. i don't knw what it is about the shushing sound that spurs the kids into action but something about it works and the result desired is usually accomplished after the onimonipea.
we saw some amazing miracles this week. i think the hearts of the samoan people are being softened by my Heavenly Father on my behalf because the forcing of food upon us when we can't eat anymore has been dramatically lessened at my arrival. i don't know if that's the case or if i am just really good at saying no. i don't think it's the latter, so i have faith that my Heavenly Father loves me and that He is intervening on our behalf. another great miracle we experience is that we were able to talk to our very intimidating bishop about the "ward mission process" for all of you who know what that means. he was against implimenting this program in the ward previously but we went to the Lord with our plea for him to see the way we do and our prayers were answers magnificently! Heavenly Father truly blessed us with the words we needed as we presented this program to him. i know for a fact that had we not fervently sought help from the divine that we would not have been able to present it in such a way that the bishop would agree with it. we presented it to the ward council as well and i believe that things will be moving in the right direction THIS week. basically the ward mission process will just get us people to teach. it's really different situation in this ward since we can't just go out and find people to teach. it's rare to tract and find a samoan family. usually you have to go through the other samoan's. so we haven't really had anyone to teach. we've been visiting a lot of people these past few weeks but we haven't taught any lessons so we aren't really being used as we could be so the fact that bishop agreed to this program is an ENORMOUS blessing. ALSO, up until now, our ward mission leader(who should be like the go between for the missionaries and the ward council/bishop) has had a lot of health and work problems and has basically been less active, my companion has been here for like almost 2 months and until yesterday had yet to meet him. anywho, so we haven't had ward mission leader in all of this and yesterday finally the Lord and the bishop blessed us with one. he's probably the greatest person that could do the job in this ward. he's super dedicated and super busy in life as well but he just said he's dedicated to his calling and wants to magnify it. his wife is not a member and is not really sold on ever being one. but heavens, it was awesome. sister lyons and i were incredibly happy when they announced it in sacrament yesterday. woo! so pretty much, the work in the rialto 2nd samoan ward is looking on the up and up. Praises on high! this week has brought and lot of growth in heart and knowledge, studying has been full of good stuff this week. This truly must be and IS Heavenly Father's work. i'll never be able to express the gratitude i feel for being allowed to take part in it, honestly. whoo! we are a blessed people...someone we talked to last night just said it perfectly, "i am honored privileged to be a child of God". just think about THAT satement...and so i bid you farewell until seven days hence.
Alofa(i love you), sister anderson