Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"It's a Miracle!"

Aloha everyone!

Apparently my email did not send last week so I am just going to forward it on again and combine it with this week.

(Last Week) To answer my Mom's questions... Today I got up, went to our Visitors' Center Training Meeting (VCTM) in which we discussed the talk by President Benson entitled "Beware of Pride", we studied, we got banana pancakes at a local joint called Papa Ole's [Oh-lay], we napped, and here we are. 

Also, I was asked how we got 15 baptisms in August.  We are now up to 18, by the way.  Wow!  It all starts with the amazing Sisters we work with.  They meet people here in the VC or they contact them online. Sometimes they even contact us online!  If they are interested in learning more about our message, the message of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel, we are able to send their information to local missionaries.  After they are sent we are the "support teachers".  We check up on them to make sure that the missionaries have visited them and that they are progressing spiritually.  Sometimes we lose contact with them because they never answer the phone/text/etc., which is unfortunate, but sometimes we get to see it all the way through.  In the words of Sister Swinton, "It is a miracle!"

It has been another amazing week, of course.  That includes the hard days.

Interviews with President Bekker went really well.  I really felt as I was talking to him that he is my Mission president and he is called by God.  I can tell he follows the Spirit in everything he does.  I felt so much peace.  I know we are so blessed to have him.  Sister Walker and I also enjoyed grading the missionaries' Area Books and Daily Planners while they were in their interviews.   We were wrapped in blankets the whole time because it was so cold.

We had our last exchange on Thursday.  We are done!  Partially we feel relieved, but mostly we feel so very grateful for the Lord's goodness in our lives.  We can see and feel how much He loves these Sisters. 

We are now going to be preparing for next transfer - an equally busying task, but in a different sort of way.  Lots of scheduling.  Should be good!

Our Mission Leader Council yesterday with all of the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders was so inspired.  It was exactly what the missionaries in the Laie Zone and Visitors' Center need right now.

I know that the Lord is aware of his people. Focus on him.  Don't look down.  He is with you, on your right hand and on your left.  He loves you.  Your Father in Heaven loves you.  I know this is true.

(This Week) Very busy week of scheduling things so that they work smoothly the next transfer.  Making our big VC Schedule is like playing an advanced game of Sodoku.  Sister Swinton joked this week that, "(my) brain is like a little computer".  It has been wonderful to see God use my gift of a keen/alert mind to bless the lives of others.  I didn't know I was blessed with it, but God did and he assigned me to the perfect mission.  I know he knows each one of us perfectly and will place us in the place where we can have the greatest impact for good, if we let Him.

One of the most fun things that we did this week was create a video for the Sisters telling them their transfer news.  It was so much fun!  All of the Sisters reactions make it even better.  Watching them scream for joy about their new assignments just makes you want to laugh.  We have a good group of Sisters who would do well in any assignment. 

The church is true!  We need it!  We are so blessed to have our faith tried again and again that we can receive a further witness of God's simple and happy truths.

Love you all! Aloha!

Sister Lindsay Evans

Photo 1 - Cleaning the brig of the U.S.S. Missouri.

 Photo 2 - Locked up. Should've cleaned more thoroughly I guess . . .
 Photo 3 - Last exchange making kimchi fried rice especially for Sister Kim.  It has become one of my favorites.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hawaii's Verson of Cold, Good Studies and Banana-Choco Pancakes!

Grading everyone's planners and area books while they are in their interview with the president.  It is SO cold back in the teaching rooms! 

A picture that shows the accumulation of 3 transfers of learning.  This pictures is US to me.  We both really love it. I know you do too haha.

Banana and also choco chip pancakes this morning at Papa Ole's [Oh-lays] just before shopping.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Blessed and Jam-Packed!


It was a blessed and jam-packed week.  It still is actually!  I will try to explain it...

Monday - Exchange
Tuesday - Pday
Wednesday - Drove an hour to do service at Peal Harbor.
Thursday - Exchange
Friday - Sisters came to deep clean our pad in the morning after studies. Then a celebration lunch at the VC for reaching and exceeding all of our goals. [We have already had 15 baptisms for August by the way. Many of them are from those who contact us online.]
Saturday - Exchange
Sunday - Church and week plan [this takes a few hours and is usually done on Thursday, but we had to push it back this week.]
Monday - Exchange
Today - President interviews. As STLs we grade everyone's area book and planners from 9am-3pm.  Then 3pm-7pm [now] is the first half of p-day.
Tomorrow - Same schedule as today.
Thursday - Exchange.

I can hardly stay on top of it all and of course I am totally exhausted at times, but I am loving it.  If you see it with an eye of faith, from God's perspective, you can't help but love it.  There are frustrations of course, but you grow in your love for the people you serve and if something doesn't go completely right [and often times it seems like a lot of things do] the best you can do is assume responsibility, laugh off the silly things, and know you are doing your best.

Here is a quote I love...

"In matters both temporal and spiritual, the opportunity to assume personal responsibility is a God-given gift without which we cannot realize our full potential as daughters and sons of God."  - D. Todd Christofferson


"Be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better than you think you are.'" - Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

I know that the gospel is true.  I know God lives and loves us.  All of us have busy lives, not just full-time missionaries.  We can do it with God's help and find joy in the journey.  This, I know.  

I love you all!  Aloha!

Sister Lindsay Evans

Photo 1 - 14 Months at Pearl Harbor!! Can you see it...?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Joy Beyond Measure


This week we have completed 3 more of the 10 exchanges total that we need to complete.  It sounds pretty simple, but it really takes a lot of thought, prayer, and energy to train a new person every other day.  We are getting by though with Heavenly Father's help and it is SO worth it.  These Sisters are amazing and Sister Walker and I are finding so much joy in serving them, listening to them, and learning from them.   

I have been thinking a lot about my mission and my focus on a mission this week.  I have basically been pondering my purpose as a missionary.  In a missionary's call letter it states that a missionary's purpose is to, "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."  It also promises that as we serve will will have greater blessings and more happiness than we have yet experienced as we serve in the Lord's labor of love among His children.  As with all blessings, these blessings are conditional upon our faith and obedience. To me, what a mission is about, and what LIFE is about, is losing yourself in the service of others.  

In the last General Conference Cheryl A. Esplin shared this touching example of selfless service...

"A Primary teacher shared the following example. “Today,” she said, “our five- and six-year-old class made love necklaces. Each child drew pictures on strips of paper: one of themselves, one of Jesus, and some of members of their family and loved ones. We glued the strips into circles that looped through each other to make a chain that we turned into love necklaces. As they were drawing, the children talked about their families.

“Heather said, ‘I don’t think my sister loves me. We are always fighting. … I even hate myself. I have a bad life.’ And she put her head in her hands.

“I thought about her family circumstances and felt that maybe she did indeed have a hard life. But after Heather had said this, Anna, down at the other end of the table, responded, ‘Heather, I am putting you in my necklace between me and Jesus because He loves you and I love you.’

“When Anna said that, Heather crawled under the table to get to Anna and threw her arms around her.

“At the end of class, when her grandmother came to pick her up, Heather said, ‘Guess what, Grandma? Jesus loves me.’”"

I love Anna's example.  She wasn't so concerned with her own needs or even with her own relationship with God.  She was concerned about Heather. And she knew just as Christ knows, that Heather is a child of God.  We are surrounded by children of God who need our love, members of the church and not.  Cheryl A. Esplin later stated, "When we reach out in love and service even in the smallest ways, hearts are changed and softened as others feel the love of the Lord."

Putting others first has brought me more happiness than anything else I have done on a mission.  I know that that is why there are great promised blessings in our mission call.  I also know that these blessings are available to everyone.  I know that when we lose our lives in the service of others we come to see them and ourselves for who we really are - beloved children of God.

Lastly here are the lyrics to "Have I Done Any Good?"  I hope that you enjoy these profound and meaningful lyrics. 

1. Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone's burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?

2. There are chances for work all around just now, [!]
Opportunities right in our way. [!!]
Do not let them pass by, saying, "Sometime I'll try,"
But go and do something today. [!]
'Tis noble of man to work and to give;
Love's labor has merit alone.
Only he who does something helps others to live.
To God each good work will be known.

Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.

Serve someone this week!  It can be small. You'll be surprised by the happiness you find. 

Much love and aloha,

Sister Lindsay Evans

Photo 1 - On exchanges Sister Schmidt and I were able to show someone a clip of Elder Christofferson's talk about Fathers.  This person was a member, but no longer active in the church. He was waiting for his wife to get out of the temple.  We found him at just the right time.  His wife came and we were able to teach and testify through the Spirit.  I believe God knew it was exactly what he needed to hear.

 Photo 2 - I'd say it was a good week!  Miracles are happening all around.
Photo 3 - Hundreds of guest cards or "referrals" obtained by the Sisters in the Visitors' Center.  They have even more contacts online! Amazing!  I love these Sisters.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Who We Can Become


Short email this week, but just know that the gospel is true and that miracles are happening every day here.  I feel so blessed to serve in a place that sees hundreds of God's children who are not yet members of the church every day.  I love when they can feel the peace of the temple grounds.  I love being in this little town of Laie.   It is a sacred and special place to the Lord.  It would be hard to fully explain the wonderful blessings of having the PCC, BYUH, and the Laie Hawaii Temple so close together.  We went to the PCC today and as we spoke to the workers my heart filled with excitement and happiness to be around so many wonderful, wonderful people in such a glorious place.

I went on many exchanges this week and here are a few things I learned...

The Spirit has the power to change hearts. That is amazing. I mean, that is really amazing.  I have seen it in the Sisters I serve with and I have seen in in myself.  My quote of the week is, "Who we are is not who we can become."  What a comfort and a blessing.  The Lord has a divine and eternal plan for each of His children.  The blessings of eternal life are available to ALL, no matter how far they may seem.  Have faith.

I also learned that the phrase in our mission motto is so true.  It says, "Love is our motivation."  Love is the only thing that will and can truly motivate a person to change, especially God's love.  I am glad to know and feel that love.

I get to talk to a person in Nigeria tomorrow over the phone about the gospel and help him learn more.  Those are the blessings of online teaching and technology.  I love being a VC Sister.

Have a wonderful week!


Sister Lindsay Evans

Photo 1 - One of those amazing PCC workers and friends. :)