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.
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.