Monday, September 26, 2016

It's Not About You!


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


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?


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.