Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Joy in Every Circumstance

Aloha! 

Where do I begin!? Now with having lived so much of my mission I feel like I have a lot more to say, but the thought of "How could I possibly type everything?" makes it hard to think of anything to say!  I will start with some miracles from last week.

There was one day of missionary work in which I felt like I had not accomplished a whole lot.  At the end of those kind of days (and every missionary has them) you go home and you can't help, but feel a little frustrated. SO, that night I fervently prayed to God to be able to find someone the next to whom I could share what I know and believe. The next day I was blessed with opportunities!  

I was on a morning shift at the Visitors' Center and one person came in who loved our basic beliefs, but couldn't understand why God would command us not to drink coffee or tea when there were no obvious, drastic, or immediate effects she could see that they had on our bodies.  I was able to tell her what I know to be true - God gives us commandments for our benefit.  He reveals these commandments to modern day prophets like Joseph Smith.  The way that we can know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God is by reading and praying about the Book of Mormon.   As I have read and prayed about the Book of Mormon I have felt a new sense of confidence, happiness, hope, and peace enter my life. God has witnessed to my heart that it is the word of God and you can know all of these things for yourself through humble prayer.

The next experience I had was being able to show the new Christmas video #LighttheWorld to a BYUH student named Seth.  He was touched by the video and immediately thought of some people that he would like to share it with from his mission in Tahiti and from high school. As he told us about these people a scripture came to mind. I didn't know why, but later he expressed a small concern about reaching out to them again.  The scripture in my mind was the perfect answer to his concern.  God works in simple and wonderful ways when we truly love the people we are speaking with.

Finally, last night I was doing some online teaching.  I had originally planned do something else during the last our of my day, but felt strongly that I needed to continue to do online teaching.  As is common with God's direction, I didn't at first know why I felt this way, but he had a plan.  I texted a friend of mine who I had met months ago in the Visitors' Center with his girlfriend who is a member of the church.  This friend is not a member of our church and I have been in contact with him to share spiritual messages now and then.  Well, he texted me back and told me that he really needed the message I shared last night.  He had a rough day and was glad to hear something uplifting.  We texted back and forth until it was time for me to go.  That night I kept him in my prayers as well.  Another small miracle that meant a lot to someone.  I am glad that I followed the promptings I felt from God.  Being on the Lord's errand is so humbling and joyful.

As a last little thought, I have been studying JOY quite a bit recently and I love it!  When we know the teaching of Jesus Christ we can have hope. And because we have hope, we can have joy in every circumstance.  

I know God lives. He is our Father and He loves you.  Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world - your Savior.  This is the source of our hope.  It is not uncertain hope, it is unfailing hope.  This is the message I am so happy to share. 

Mahalo nui loa for all and any service you render during this Christmas season and year round. 

AlooooHA!

Sister Lindsay Evans


P.S. John Groberg from Disney's "The Other Side of Heaven" came to speak to us today about having God's Spirit with us always. It was wonderful!

Photo 1 - Why I love winters in Hawaii.


Photo 2 - One unique palm tree behind the Mata'ali'i's come 



​Photo 3 - In 2007, Sister Mata'ali'i (middle right) received assistance to pay for her son's mission. While he was gone she learned how to coupon and now for almost two years she has been doing monthly free stores at her home for missionaries. She gives away for many simple necessities (shampoo, conditioner, etc.) for free she acquires from her couponing. During Christmas time she even involves others and has people sponsor missionaries so that we can receive a personalized gift at Christmas!  I have loved going to her home so often and feeling of her warm spirit.  God bless you and your family for all of the service you render, Sister Mata'ali'i! Mahalo nui loa!!


Monday, November 28, 2016

A Blessed and Happy State

Aloha!

First things first... Last week I told you all, "Well, I have doubt God loves all of you, so when tough times come, know it is for your good and growth. You were meant to be happy." OK. What I meant to say was I have NO doubt God loves all of you.  What a typo haha. You have to enjoy those little things. 

You may have already guessed that my last few emails will be coming to you on Wednesday.  My preparation day has changed for the last time.  It's funny thinking my mission is coming to an end, but everything has fallen into place perfectly for the past fews weeks.  My companion Sister Nunez is a great missionary and has kept me going.  I don't feel like I am slowing down at all.  The work we are assigned to do just seems to be getting more and more exciting and enjoyable.  One of my favorite quotes is, "be where your feet are," and that is where I am. We have hard times, of course, but there is so much to be happy about!  We would do ourselves well to be a little more grateful, loving, forgiving, kind, and obedient.  The Book of Mormon counsels us to, "live in thanksgiving daily," (Alma 34:38). And a beloved leader of our church, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, has said,  “No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.”

Thanksgiving Day - We ate at the Polynesian Cultural Center for free.  It was a local event put on by a local church leader and everyone was invited (a great part of Polynesian culture). There was plenty of food and lots of happy faces.  That night we had a dessert potluck with the Visitors' Center Sisters and we got to watch the new-ish (I don't know I have been gone for so long) movie called Inside Out.  It was so sweet!  It taught that we cannot know true joy without knowing sadness. 

This past Sunday, the Visitors' Center missionaries put on a musical fireside to kick off the Christmas season.  Everyone sounded beautiful!  The Spirit of God and the feeling of peace and joy was so strong. I am so grateful for Christmas music, the Christmas season, and our Savior Jesus Christ. I know He lives and loves us.

The miracle I will share from this week is small.  There is someone who I am teaching online who has an interesting doctrinal concern.  I didn't really know how to answer it, but as Sister Nunez and I were practicing teaching simply one day, the perfect scripture came to mind!  I am not sure what Sister Nunez said that triggered the thought, but it the thought came and I knew that it came with help from God.  I was really grateful to have a scripture that I could share with someone who had an honest concern.  

I truly feel like I am living in a "blessed and happy state" because of Jesus Christ.  I give all the credit to him for who I am today, although I have a ways to go.  I am also grateful for so many amazing examples of what God can do for a person's life that I have met here in Hawaii.  Hawaii itself seems to be a pretty "blessed and happy state" to me.

Life is so wonderful.  Heavenly Father loves us more than we could possible imagine.  Let us make a greater attempt to notice all of the wonderful blessings he has in store for us. 

ALOHA!!

Sister Lindsay Evans

Photo 1 - An Evans family classic.  Chocolate/marshmallow/upside-down-fudge-stripe-cookie pilgrim hats on Thanksgiving. I am grateful for fun family traditions.
 Photo 2 - The Silva Ohana of the Married Student 1st Ward does missionary work through Snapchat!   We were on a story the other day after eating dinner in their home.  Modern technology at its finest. Keep up the good work Silvas!
 Photo 3 - Biked to Foodland at 6:30AM just to buy ingredients to make banoffee pie for Michelle Richie.  We could have driven, but for missionaries 6:30-7:00AM is designated as time your morning exercise time.  It seemed to me, that we had only one option.  Why didn't we buy it later?  We had to boil sweetened condensed milk for 3 hours.  So we had to start by 7:00 so that we could actually go grocery shopping at 10. Life never gets boring.
 

Photo 4 - Banoffee pie. Three hours in the making.
 
 
 

Monday, November 21, 2016

You Were Meant to be Happy


Aloha!

Tomorrow is transfer day for all of the missionaries.  We get new companions and go to the new area that we are assigned to serve in.  It is really exciting.  I am still going to be in the student wards of BYU-Hawaii, but they will be a different group of wards than they were last transfer.   It's actually kind of funny because there are about 20 wards full of married and non-married students at BYUH.  As missionaries, we split it all up into 4 different areas with 5 wards each.  After next transfer I will have served in every single ward at BYU-Hawaii.  I basically lived my mission on that campus and I have to say I wouldn't have had it any other way.  I love that campus.  I love the students.  They have changed my life as much as anything else on my mission.  They taught me about happiness, just by their examples.  I know true and lasting happiness is possible because of our Savior Jesus Christ.  I couldn't be more thankful.  

I forgot to mention, my new companion will be Sister Nunez! I explained a bit more with the photos I attached.  I am really excited though.  She is someone who will help me finish my mission strong.

This week was full of scheduling again.  I will share one little miracle though...  

So this week I had the opportunity of taking this newlywed couple on a tour.  They were both Christian and very nice.  The allowed me to explain my personal belief in Christ and also in the Book of Mormon.  I was able to tell them how I came to know for myself that it is true.  Primarily I explained that I could always turn to it's pages and having an overwhelming feeling of peace. This feeling comes from the Spirit of God. I have also come to know of God's love for us, His children, of the Plan of Happiness that he has set in place for us.  I know we are here on this earth to grow and progress.  We are here to feel joy, to have families, and prepare to return to live with God again.  As I explained my feelings to them and bore my personal witness, the feeling of peace that I had felt was felt by them.  They declined an invitation to learn more, but I know they felt something while they were visiting the Laie Hawaii temple that they will not forget.  It's those little miracles that make it all worth while.  I love being a missionary.

Well, I have doubt God loves all of you, so when tough times come, know it is for your good and growth. You were meant to be happy.

Have a wonderful week!!

Sister Lindsay Evans


Photo 1 - It's that time of the year again. The Elders and Sister of the Laie Zone all pitched in and set up about 15 Christmas trees in the Visitors' Center last Saturday. 
 Photo 2 - My almost new companions! The original transfer news we received is that I would be in a trio with Sister Pluim (left) and Sister Staheli (right).  They are both fairly new. Well, that is not the case anymore, but I still love them both to death and can't wait to hear about all of the miracles they will be a part of.
 Photo 3 - Sister Nunez from the Philippines will be my official companion for these last few weeks.  She is so great. She was supposed to train a new missionary, but the new missionary had a few visa problems and will not be coming until later so it was decided that she would get me as her companion.
 Photo 4 - Sister Walker is leaving tomorrow!  WOW!  We came out together and now she is heading home to Idaho.  I can't say I am too sad because we will be rooming together starting in January, but I sure so love her and look up to her.  She just shines.  Wishing her all the best.  I bet the Walker family can't wait!

 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Life is Good

Aloha!!

Wow. Life is so good.  It is hard, no doubt, but we are so blessed.  

This week Sister Wu and I have been eating dinners with the couples in our BYUH Married Student 2nd Ward.  The other 4 wards we cover are Young Single Adult (YSA) Wards, so we rely on the married student to feed us. Every time we eat a meal with them we always share an uplifting spiritual message and this week we shared about the restoration of the church and gospel of Jesus Christ each time.  It is so amazing to recount the stories of the ancient Biblical prophets and the ministry of Jesus Christ.  We go on to explain how God is unchanging and how He continues to call prophets in these last days - the first one being Joseph Smith.  Joseph Smith was given the priesthood or power and authority of God and it still exists in this church today.  It allows us access to all that Jesus Christ did for us - His perfect life, His suffering the penalty for our mistakes, His death, and His resurrection - and because we have this access, we can be happy and be filled with lasting peace.  One of my favorite scriptures says, 

"I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness." 

These are the blessings that can be ours.

Okay here are some really great things this week.  About a month ago I set various goals for the remainder of my mission.  One of them was to see a family baptized.  Well, back in spring I had the opportunity of meeting a convert to the church who came into the Visitors' Center.  He actually used to be anti-Mormon, but ended up marrying a member of the church.  They never talked about it, but through many small, but meaningful experiences, he was able to feel in His heart that the teachings were good and true.  He was eventually baptized.  I asked him if he knew anyone whom I could share a spiritual message with and he referred his dad and his sister, Ann.  At the time, neither of them were interested in the church.  

I could never get a hold of his dad an after a few attempts I finally contacted Ann.  She didn't sound very interested, but accepted an invitation for me to teach her more. I sent her a few spiritual messages, but I couldn't get a hold of her until May when she told me her and her husband, Brandon, were progressing towards baptism.  Whoa!  This last week I received a picture Ann, Brandon, and there two little boys at their baptismal service.  So special.  I know I didn't have to do much with teaching them, but their baptism was certainly a tender mercy from God and an answer to my prayers. 

I could share so many more miracles if I had them time.  C'est la vie.

God, our Father in Heaven, lives loves you all.  I don't just believe it, I know it.  

Much love and aloha,

Sister Lindsay Evans

P.S. Sheri Dew visited us this week and it was amazing!  Sister Walker, Lundgren, and I sang a lovely arangement of How Can I Keep From Singing? with Sister Wu at the piano.  I will have to write about it another time. 


Photo 1 - How is this for missionary attire?
 Photo 2 - Dinner with the Purevdorj Family.  Brother Purevdorj was previously Elder Purevdorj, one of my first Zone Leaders!  He made us Mongolian food​.  He and his wife are really funny as well and it was great to be with them.
 Photo 3 - Tonga (Right) was baptized this week! Siope (Tonga's uncle) and Jade are some of my favorite people.  We would always share messages with them when I was first on my mission.  They were always filled with the Spirit and whenever we would leave Siope would say, "Sisters! ...You forgot your wings."  So sweet.  Siope gave a talk on the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit at Tonga's baptism.  It was a very happy day and a very meaningful experience for me.
 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Little Miracles in Grand Plan



Aloha!

It has been busy week once again.  I feel like I say that all the time.  I must be a missionary.

I will hit my 17 month mark this week. Pretty crazy, but I am loving every day I have here in Hawaii to serve.

This week in the Visitors' Center I had a few small miracles...

1. Two young adult girls came in we came to find out that one of them was really searching for the truth in different religions.  We taught her about the Book of Mormon and testified to her that it is a true book.  She doesn't want to stay in contact, but she agreed to learn more by reading the Book of Mormon and took one with her.  She lives on the island so I hope she comes back to the temple again soon!   

2. We also talked to a person online named Nimi.  He is very smart and is investigating the church.  He even taught the Law of Chastity in a Sunday School class!  He said that the missionaries are teaching him about "baptismal" and that he is learning for himself why it is important, how to prepare, and what he should do after he is baptized.  Amazing!  He only meets with the missionaries every once in awhile and I think he is taking the lessons from them without even knowing it.  Pretty funny.

3. Sister Wu talked to a Chinese family and introduced them to the gospel. She told them they could learn more by filling out the guest card, but they just kind of ignored it.  When they got back on the tram they sat next to Sister Schmidt and I (we were on an exchange).  Only the mom spoke a little bit of English.  She just happen to ask us if we read the Bible every day and we explained how we read the Bible and the Book of Mormon. She was amazed.  "I never heard this before!" she said.  She is a Christian herself, but not very active in her church.  As we continued talking we found out that she lived in northern California (we thought she was from China because her husband and her 2 kids are).  Well, of course we told her that missionaries could deliver a Book of Mormon to her and teach her more. She thought about it.  Then we said, "They can deliver one in Chinese."  "Chinese?!" she said surprised.  She accepted!  Amazing things happen when missionaries open their mouths.

Love you all! Aloha!

Sister Lindsay Evans


Photo 1 - These are some of my favorite people. You can imagine why.  I used to serve in their ward and when I saw them outside at a neighborhood Halloween party I had to get a picture.
 Photo 2 - Sister Wu and I were Laie Tram Tour guests from the Polynesian Cultural Center for Halloween. (After we finished proselyting of course.) We even have buttons and stickers!
Photo 3 - Another exchange with wonderful Sisters. I was with the Sister on the left, Sister Taki.   She is so sweet and diligent.  She is doing her very best to learn English and she is doing really well! Her simple testimony is so powerful. We love her!  

Monday, October 31, 2016

BIG Surprise!



Aloha!

Muumuus - My mom sent me a question about why I was wearing a pink muumuu in one of my pictures... Well, they don't have enough blue muumuus, so we went to pink while we were waiting for the red ones that the tour guides have.  Then they decided that they don't want us to look like them at the PCC so we are now officially going to be wearing our VC muumuus (the long, light-blue ones) at the PCC.  The way we will differentiate between PCC Sisters and VC Sisters is by a yellow lei that the PCC Sisters will wear.  Just thought I would let you all know.  We a fashion show in our Visitors' Center Training Meeting to decided what kind of lei we wanted. Not everyone loves yellow, but it looks bright and happy... and our message is bright and happy! So we decided to go with it.

So we had a BIG surprise yesterday. All of the Visitors' Center gathered in the theater where we usually meet and were told by Elder Swinton that in a few minutes Elder Niel L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife Kathy Andersen would be here to visit with us.  Sure enough, they came and Kim B. Clark and well as the Tanners from BYU-Hawaii came with them.  They didn't stay long, but he encouraged us to share our light with all of those we meet in the VC.  He said they would never forget us - not because of us, but because we represent Jesus Christ.  We carry a big responsibility.   His wife spoke to us as well and the spirit she carried with her touched my heart.  She is so humble.  It was a treat to hear from them both.  I know that Christ's church is restored to the earth and that we are blessed to be guided by prophets and apostles as God's people were in biblical times.

Food for thought this week [I spoke in church about this]:  "Accountability is a fundamental part of God's eternal plan."  [PMG p.150] Why?

Make sure you are fully partaking of all the good that God has in store for you! Love you all!

Sister Lindsay Evans


Photo 1 - This is Jorin and Annie. They are actually from Hawaii and are both members of the church and the best of friends. Life can be hard sometimes, but they help each other stay strong in the gospel. We committed them to reading their scriptures daily. This small change will make the biggest difference for them in small ways.  For me it helps me to make decisions and be happy.
 Photo 2 - This is sweet Makayla. She is from Switzerland and so kind!  She speaks German and a bit of English.  I was able to show her around the Visitors' Center and introduce her to the gospel.  I offered her a Book of Mormon and she said she would try to find one in Switzerland instead.  She didn't want to learn more by staying in contact with me, but she said, "I think I will have to think about this.  My life might change."  You have to love those moments as a missionary.
 Photo 3 - Sunday Sushi. I have to admit it is one of my favorite things to make.

"October 17th"



Aloha!

I guess I forgot to send this email a few weeks ago. haha.  Here you go!

This week was transfer week.  I spent my last few days with Sister Walker.  So sad.  But, we are both excited about our new assignments.  We were split up so that we could both train two new Sister Training Leaders.  We have two now because of the increase we have had in the number of Sisters.  The work load has increased at the Laie Hawaii Temple Visitors' Center and we are trying to keep up.  Recently our compliment of Sisters went from 28 to 38.  Pretty amazing.

Now that I am in the BYU-Hawaii wards the work has slowed down a bit, but not for long.  We are working with our Ward Mission Leaders and other Ward leaders to get the excitement going for missionary work.  I love it!  I did need a little reminder about the lesson I learned last week - Moses 4:1 - about how our work should be according to God's will and not our own.  Good reminder for me.  Still, I am excited to God's will in this area whatever it may be.

Also, God did send me a little encouragement when the work wasn't getting started as quickly as I would have liked it to.   He answered my prayers in a small way by sending us a member who is struggling and wants to relearn the missionary lessons. Miracles happen!  I am excited to help her remember the simple truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Miracle moment!  We had someone come on chat this last week that had briefly met the Elders in his local area. They invited him to go to church, but he was not sure.  We talked through it with him and testified of the blessings that can come from attending church.  He agreed to go!  We sent his information that night to the Elders who had contacted him previously.  I love when online missionaries and missionaries in a proselyting area get to work together!  It is just for one person, but it is so happy!

I have been thinking a lot about the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  It is the means by which all good things are possible.  The Atonement is the act by which Jesus Christ willingly suffered the penalty for our sins and died on the cross.  It also includes when He rose again as a perfect being.  One of the scriptures I studied this week really stood out to me.  The prophet Alma challenged a group of people to plant the word of God in their hearts.  He said, 

"And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become a tree, springing up in you unto everlasting life. And then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light, through the joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye will. Amen." 

I love this!  

"all this" - have lasting happiness, be free of guilt, be healed spiritually, have peace of mind etc.
"can ye do" - it is possible through Jesus Christ
"if ye will" - it us up to me and my choice to follow Him

I know that God lives.  Jesus Christ truly did suffer for all the pain, sorrow, and guilt that we woud ever feel.  We don't have to feel that way.  Of course, this life is meant to be full of opposition or else we would not be able to grow, but I know that what our dear prophet, Thomas S. Monson said is true... "When we keep the commandments our lives will be happier, less complicated, and more fulfilling.  Our challenges and problems will be easier to bear and we will receive [God's] promised blessings."

I love you all!  Pray for someone you an reach out to this week.  I promise you God will answer your prayer.  There are a lot of people in this world to help and love and He needs you on His side.

Aloha!

Sister Lindsay Evans

Photo 1 - The Temple Visitors' Center Director and his wife.  We work with them often.  We are best friends and even better, we became friends in the service of God and others.


 Photo 2 - This is ward camp for the Laie 4th Ward.  Ward camp in Laie is camp like no other.   Everyone basically moves their houses to the beach [which is 2 minutes away] for a week. This week is filled with devotionals, dinners, and family activities.  It's not a great picture, but you have to understand there is a huge eating area and tons of tents set up that you can't see.  People even bring TVs and beds.  It is a pretty big deal.  We got the chance to go one of the dinners and fellowship with some members of the ward.

 Photo 3 - My new companion, Sister Wu!  She is a Chinese speaker (Mandarin).  She was born in mainland China, but moved to Canada when she was seven years old.  She is so positive and upbeat.  I am hoping her wonderful characteristics will rub off on me.  Love her already!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

In the Service of Your God

Aloha everyone!

It has been a crazy week!  We had exchanges and interviews with President Bekker and a full-day Mission Leader Council that we had to attend.  We have been busy.  One of the more exciting things we did was pick up a new Sister named Sister Sicotte [sea-caught... no pun intended].   She came part way into our transfer because she was learning mandarin in the MTC.  She studied it in high school, but is actually a native English speaker.  She is so confident and already doing great!

As I was emailing family this week I thought about the scripture in the Book of Mormon that says, 

"I tell you these things that ye may learn ... that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."  

Many people think of the phrase "in the service of your God" and interpret it to mean that we are serving God by serving others.  I believe that is true! But I personally like to think of the phrase meaning that when you are "in the service of your god"  you are doing the service that God would be doing if He were here.  Isn't it true?!  That is His nature!  He would be serving His children.  God is loving and charitable and always turning outwards.   As I do the work of the Lord here in Hawaii I think of My Missionary Commission which states,

"[God] is my master. He has chosen me to represent Him; to stand in His place, to say and do what he himself would say and do if He were personally ministering among the very people of whom He has sent me. My commission is . . . to be a living modern witness in word and deed of the divinity of His great and marvelous latter-day work. How great is my calling!"

I love what I do.  I know that God lives and that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all mankind.  How grateful I am to know of the reality of the simple and wonderful truths.

Much love and aloha, 

Sister Lindsay Evans


Photo 1 - We had to wear pink muumuus for a few days.  Also we got a Korean guest card!
 Photo 2 - Sister Tu'avao and a classic picture of the Chinese tourists.
 Photo 3 - Sister Evans, Sicotte, and Swinton + double scoop waffle cone.
 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Lessons and Miracles--Miracles and Lessons

Aloha!!

A wonderful week again!  I hit my 16 month mark yesterday with Sister Walker.  This is the fifth month mark that we have celebrated together.  She is the best.   Next transfer (transfer = a six week period) is her last one and they are finally splitting us up after four together.  

Transfer News!   Sister Walker and I will be training the two new Sister Training Leaders (STLs) in our zone.   We are going to have two sets of Sister Training Leaders next transfer instead of one so that we have don't have to do quite as many 24 hour exchanges with the Sisters to train them.   We did 11 each transfer for the past two transfers and now we will have to do 6 each transfer.  She will be training Sister Ng from Hong Kong and I will be training Sister Wu from mainland China/Canada.  Sister Walker will stay in Laie 4th Ward and I will be going to Sister Wu's area - BYU-Hawaii YSA (Young Single Adult) Wards and a married student ward.  I love being on BYU campus and I can't wait.

Funny Moments:  The AC in our Temple Visitors' Center is always on and off.  It is either warm and muggy or freezing - so freezing that we have to use space heaters and blankets in the back where we do our online missionary work.  You'd never guess in Hawaii!  Well, they are finally updating it, but our AC is off for two days so every door in the Center is open all day and we have fans throughout the whole thing to keep the air moving.  It is pretty amusing. 

Miracles!  The last week before the transfer day is always crazy for Sister Walker and I because we are creating all sorts of schedules.  Yesterday we were in the back of the Visitors' Center almost the entire time that we were scheduled to be on the morning shift.  During the only few minutes we had up front, this young adult guy walked up to me and started talking to me about how he is staying with some friends who go to BYUH and how he is not a member of the church.  He said he believes in "all religions" and the good that they have.  Sister Walker joined in and we were able to explain many aspects of our beliefs - Jesus Christ, temples, forever families, priesthood (the power and authority of God), the Book of Mormon, etc.   He kept saying that we (us three) have different beliefs, but that they are all wonderful.  What was interesting to me is that of all the religions he said he was, "very intrigued" by ours.   My personal belief is that what we believe as a church makes sense because it is true!  We have a full understanding of God's plan.  It is intriguing!  And it has changed my life forever.  I have found true, deep, and lasting happiness and I know it can be found through coming to know of God's plan for His children - the Plan of Happiness. 

Another miracle occurred this morning. We were not able to meet with the less-active in our ward, but just around the house we noticed another girl as we left.  She is in her 20s.  I immediately thought of someone we have been trying to find in that house and I blurted out, "Are you Dalani?"  She was!  We talked for a few minutes and she expressed that although she had not prayed or been to church in a while, she had thought about growing her relationship with God recently.  Whoa! Miracle!  We told her we would love to come by and teach her more and she accepted our invitation.  I will be leaving the area tomorrow, but that was the perfect last miracle for me.  She was so sweet and I know we met her at the perfect time.  Sister Ng, Sister Walker's new companion is so encouraging and will be perfect for her.

Lesson Learned:  One last story... In the Visitors' Center our missionary work is a little different.  Instead of inviting people to learn more from us in person, we invite people to learn more from us online or with local missionaries wherever they are from.  They can do this by filling out a "Guest Card" with the appropriate information.   I had many wonderful great experiences with people for a few days, but had not been able to receive any Guest Cards.  It was a little frustrating because I didn't know what I was doing wrong.  I prayed fervently to be able to receive at least one from a person who was interested.  Then I met a man from Papua New Guinea who lived in Fiji.  I taught him about the Book of Mormon and he gladly agreed to have the missionaries visit him and his family. her even left a referral for his wife.  Amazing!  The real lesson I learned though was that all things are done in God's time, by His will, and by His power.  As a missionary I don't want to be Moses 4:1, but Moses 4:2.  It's good to remember and humbling.

Love you all!  Aloha!!

Sister Lindsay Evans


Photo 1 - My trainer, Sister Penales is leaving!  She trained me to be a missionary for 3 months and then trained me again to be an STL for another 6 weeks.  She is so pure in heart and nothing can stop her from sharing the gospel.  She is truly my sister.  Love her!
 Photo 2 - Li-hing mui lollipops from a cute young girl selling them for a fundraiser.  She gave it to us for free though. So sweet.

Photo 3 - After a long day of coming up with how to present transfer news to the VC Sisters (we wrote a song), some peanut butter m&ms were the perfect treat





Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Sure Hope

Aloha!

Many miracles again of course.  Sometime they are small, yet they are very significant.  I love the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 64:33, "Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great."

We met someone two people from Estonia in the Visitors' Center and quickly rushed to find anything and everything we had for them in Estonian.   We didn't have anything, but luckily they spoke English.  When we showed her the many different copies of the Book of Mormon in all different languages, we asked if she had ever read the Book of Mormon and she said that she hadn't.  We showed her the display copy of the only Estonian thing we had in the back - the Book of Mormon.  Her and her boyfriend were very surprised to see it. As we spoke we found out that the young adult girl had spoken to missionaries on the bus in Estonia multiple times before.  We asked if she would like to meet with missionaries in Estonia and she declined.  Then we offered her a free Book of Mormon in Estonian and explained that missionaries could deliver it to her in Estonia and explain more about it. "Sure!", she said.  It's funny how things like that happen.  

After she accepted the Book of Mormon, we showed them a touching video about families and temples.  It explained that our families can be together even after this life.  I truly felt that her ancestors who had passed on were aware of her in that moment and were eager for her to learn these precious, simple truths.  I know their hearts were touched and I can't wait to see what comes of it in Estonia. 

Another miracle from this week took place in our proselyting area. One of the less-active members of the church we know has started to warm up to us.  She even let us into her house for a moment.  She is so sweet and we are excited to continue to be there for her.  The funny thing was that it the "warming up" all started with a simple act of service.   Missionary work does not need to be complicated.  It shouldn't be complicated!  It is all about reaching out in love to our brothers and sisters and sharing the happiness that we have.  What a wonderful message we bring.

I know that God lives.  Jesus Christ is His son and our Savior.  It is because of what he did that I can have hope.

Ether 12:4 "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."

Love you all! Aloha!

Sister Evans


Photo 1 - One of our tram drivers at the PCC.  We all him Mui Mui meaning "sleep sleep".  Sometimes he drops off food for all the Sisters.  A lot of good food. 


Photo 2 - He does and He will!


Monday, September 26, 2016

It's Not About You!

Aloha!

To keep it short and simple, this week has been amazing!  When you get closer to the end of your mission, it is really easy to not know how to feel and even feel negatively about returning home.  Above everything else this week I have felt gratitude!  My mission has been amazing so far and I still have a few more months!  I am so blessed!

We have had lots of meetings this week.  They were all amazing.   We also, of course, had many miracles.  One of mine happened on a day that I was not particularly satisfied with all the "tours" I had given in the Visitors' Center.  During the last large wave of guests I prayed so hard to find someone who was prepared to hear our message.  I also prayed that I would be able to teach them what they needed to hear.  My "tour" was simple.  It was not elegant or well put together, but it is not about that anyway.  The miracle for me was that they felt the Spirit of the Lord touch their hearts.  They ended up leaving their information and I will get to follow-up with them soon.  Amazing. :)

Spiritual thought:

Everything we do before we enter the temple [faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost] is focused on ourselves and our own personal conversion.  Everything we do within the temple [baptisms for the dead, endowments (where we learn of God's plan and make promises to follow His example of love and service), and bring sealed to our family forever] is focused on others. The promises we make in the temple are higher promises because they teach us to live as Christ lived and give everything we have for the benefit of others. This is what I try my best to do as a missionary.  This is why missionaries are so happy, but I know that this happiness is not conditional upon full-time missionary service.

Love you all! Aloha!

Sister Lindsay Evans


Photo1 - Sister Walker has been asking me to eat these ice-cream bars with her for weeks and I finally agreed.  So yummy!
 Photo 2 - Elementary school activities in Laie.  Does this town get any better?
 Photo 3 - After a really great exchange we all got back together and couldn't stop laughing.  You can be an obedient missionary and still have tons of fun. It's true!  The same goes for being a Mormon!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

We Can All Take Part!

Aloha everyone!!

This week has been so wonderful.  Small miracles are happening all over the place.

In the Visitors' Center four wonderful BYUH students walked in. Two are members of our church and two are not.  The two that are not are twins from Denmark.  They are so sweet!  We ended up showing them all a little video called God's Plan for His Family.  This video has changed a lot of hearts.  As we watched it I was so touched by the Spirit even though I have seen it a million times.  I felt that everything we want in life can be found in the family - happiness, belonging, learning. Afterwards as we all spoke I learned of the things that stood out to the four students.  We could feel the Spirit of God as we expressed personal and heartfelt, testimonies with one another.  The family is ordained by God.  It is divine and it is the central unit of God's plan for His children.  The family is how God shows His love.  The family is forever and can be made to last eternally in God's holy temples. 

Another set of miracles happened in our area.  We set out to visit people one night and during the first visit we saw the person who we were looking for.  He was busy, but we also met a really sweet girl named Maria and are hoping to get to know her better.  She is always smiling. 

On the way to our next visit we saw a door that was open that we had never seen open before.  two people were sitting inside.  Well, we visited the other Sister we were hoping to catch at home and she was really appreciative of our visit though we didn't stay long.  We just talked at the door and gave her some easy mac for her little boy.  They had just run out!  I know that simple acts of service are really what it is all about because it touched her heart.  Service is truly the gospel of Jesus Christ in action.

We left and visited the people within the open door.  It was someone we had been looking for, but couldn't find!  Wow!  He was so nice and invited us back to share a message.

Next we met another lady in our ward who we have never met before.  We are new and don't know many people yet though.  Anyway, she invited us back too!

The next people we saw were active members.  They were busy so they directed us to other active members who lived in the back house.  They were so nice.  We shared a little message and invited them to do missionary work.  In our conversation we can to know that they were good friends with the last lady who had invited us to come back.  Her husband is not a member of the church.  We invited them to reach out and they agreed to share the happiness of the gospel with them at any chance.  We will work with them in our efforts.

Wow!!  We have very little time in our area because of the Visitors' Center, but the Lord is working miracles!!  It is progressing slowly, but it is going exactly how God would have it go.  If something is not right, I know He will let us know and we will correct our course accordingly.  Listening to the Spirit's prompting of who to see and what to say has lead to a lot of miracles. 

My brothers and sisters,  I know that this work in which so many are involved is the work of the Lord.  You are or can be involved as well!  You don't have to work full-time to love those around you as Christ would.  I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today. His name is Thomas S. Monson.  I know that this is Christ's true church restored again to the earth.  I know God loves us.  I know He loves our families.  I know that Christ is the Savior of all mankind.  May we ever draw closer to Him.

Much love and ALOOOOHA!

Sister Lindsay Evans


Photo 1 - This week's fancy meal


Photo 2 - The BYUH students, Sister Walker, and I.



Photo 3 - "And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand" - Matthew 14:31



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Blessings of Exact Obedience

Aloha!!

Another week with plenty of miracles.  I will share a few.

Two nonmembers showed up to church on Sunday! Whoa!  This is very rare in Laie. They both just moved here, but don't know each other.  One is named Brent and the other is named Julie.  They are both very kind.  Brent is not interested at the moment, but came to the fireside at the Visitors' Center that same night.  Julie we didn't get to talk to much.  She works at a little store in the middle of our neighborhood and we are hoping to see her again.  We hope she enjoyed church!

Also in the Visitors' Center we met a man named Jeff who was traveling on his own looking for a greater purpose in life. Wow!  Didn't want to leave his contact information, but i am confident the missionaries will find him when the time us right. 

There was another day that we prayed so hard to find people in our area and we promised we would be right on time. We were and Heavenly Father kept His promise!  We found people we had been looking for even though we did not plan to find those specific people!  God truly knows everyone and the details of there lives.  My mom can attest to that as she has had similar spiritual experiences this week. God works in mysterious ways. There are so many blessings for exact obedience.

Something I like this week in church was said in Relief Society.  They were speaking about marriage and the teacher said, "Marriage is enduring."  I loved that.  Of course I am not married, but aren't all relationships that are filled with charity truly enduring and meant to last?  I have felt that, in a good way, with my current missionary companion, Sister Walker.  We have been together for a long time.  We have learned a lot about each other and had to work to overcome differences. It has been challenging, but great!   In any relationship, it is a matter of both people being the right person - who God wants you to be.

Hope everyone is doing well!  Stay strong this week and read your scriptures!!

Sister Lindsay Evans


Photo 1 - Transfer Day Laie Hawaii Temple Visitors' Center photo.

Photo 2 - "Aloha! Welcome to the Laie Hawaii Temple Visitors' Center!"

Photo 3 - Sister Allen and I.  Our companions didn't get the memo.
 
 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Do You Want to be Happy?

Aloha!!


I realized that last week I didn't tell you what was happening for transfers.  I am staying with Sister Walker for the 4th transfer.  If we split next transfer we still will have spent 7 months of our mission together including the MTC! I must need her wonderful example.  I learn a lot from her about how to be exactly obedient, to please God first.  We are both STLs again in the Laie Zone and will be going on another 10 exchanges with the Sisters this transfer.

The one change that did come with transfers is that I am now in a family ward again - Laie 4th Ward.  To be honest it is a little funny for me because for the past 10 months I have served in YSA and Married Student Stakes.  I really like it though because there are so many different kinds of people.  As I sat in sacrament meeting last week I was able to see them through God's eyes - so different and unique, but all loved by a perfect Father in Heaven.  We are so blessed to be different and the same all at the same time.

Fun Fact - We had a Red Cross training this last week with our whole mission (It was a conference call).  They wanted to prepare us to be able to volunteer at shelters in the case of an emergency relating to the two hurricanes that passed us.  It was neat. They passed us though luckily and we hardly got any rain in Laie.  Good to be prepared.

Funny Moment - In church everyone always starts with "Aloha Brothers and Sisters..."  This last week this 5 year old got up to bear his testimony. He confidently stood (on a stool) at the pulpit and said, "Aloha boys and girls!" He continued, "We know that God made us special . . . We love God and we know that that God loves us too."  So precious!

My favorite insight of the week came through a quote by President Hinckley in Preach My Gospel.  It says,
“Do you want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause. Lend your efforts to helping people. Stand higher, lift those with feeble knees, hold up the arms of those that hang down. Live the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Living the gospel of Jesus Christ is faith, hope, and charity in action.  It is the pure love of Christ for others and selfless service.  If anyone thinks missionary work is only for missionaries, think again!  We can all do a little better to invite members and nonmembers alike to come closer to their Savior and to get to know Him personally.  I am so grateful for the Savior in my life and for all the times He has strengthened me.  I know that He loves us and is proud of us. We don't have to be anything more than we are now to be worthy of His love, but we are guaranteed to feel it in greater abundance as we continuously repent and hearken to His teachings.
You are all wonderful and I know that God is aware of you wherever or whoever you are. He cares for you and is reaching out to you this very day.
Have a wonderful week! Aloha!
- Sister Lindsay Evans

Photo 1 - Pouring rain a few weeks ago in Laie. 
 Photo 2 - BYUH Taxidermy... or so it seems...
 Photo 3 - What serving a mission in Hawaii is really like.
 We took pictures all around today.