Thursday, December 26, 2013

Dear Family,

 We had another great week here in New Zealand and I am loving every minute I spend here. Finally the weather is really starting to warm up. I have been waiting for months to be hot and it finally happened this week. It's funny though because everyone kept saying that it gets really hot here and that I need to be prepared for it but the heat never really came. Yes it was warm and we would have days that I didn't need to wear a cardigan but still it was nothing compared to the summers I am used to. Actually last Monday it was really nice outside during the day but as we were walking to our FHE appointment I thought "I should have grabbed a sweater, it's a bit chilly outside." then we got to the house and one of the ward members was standing outside the door saying how hot it was. I laughed because the locals think it's so hot here all the time when in reality it is still chilly. This week though it did get pretty warm and I loved it. The only problem is I am not used to the humid heat. So even though it isn't that hot because it is so humid it can be pretty miserable. It's also so weird to me to see Christmas trees and lights everywhere but have it be warm out. I really cant get over it. I am pretty sure that is why it doesn't feel like Christmas.

  Sister Pongi really showed growth this week. I have been working so hard to help her build confidence in herself so that she is willing to contribute to lessons. She has opened up and there are as few homes that we go to that she feels quite comfortable so she really lets her personality come out. She is just so much fun. In some ways she reminds me of Sister Vea. I think it's a Tongan thing. I LOVE TONGANS! and I love my companion. I am so blessed to be given the best companions and to get to know so many phenomenal sisters. This week Sister Pongi and I had exchanges with out Sister Training Leader and I went with Sister Harman (the STL) and Sister Pongi was with her companion Sister Mu'amoholeva who is also from Tonga. Both sisters are relatively new and so we just let them go for it. They ended giving away eight "Joy to the World" dvd's and teaching a few lessons all in the span of a couple hours. They said that there were some people that tried to avoid them when walking down the street but they chased them down and made them listen. I told Sister Harmon that they should put two Tongans together more often. I think this experience helped Sister Pongi so much though because she was able to teach without being self conscious about her English because Sister Mu'amoholeva is the same as her and so now she has the confidence to teach lessons when it is just her and I.

   We had a baptism this week too. Well kinda... so the Elders were teaching these 9 year old twin boys and their mom (a returning member) found out that one of the elders was finishing his mission so she wanted him to baptize the boys. The only problem for the elders is that the boys have a single mother and so they couldn't go in the house to teach the lessons. Instead of them trying to teach outside in the rain, the elders invited us along to a lesson. We all had so much fun teaching them that the mom asked if we could always come to the lessons. From then on we went to every lesson and helped teach the boys and prepare them for baptism. I tell you it was a blast. The boys were baptized on Saturday night and it was a really special experience. Both elders got to baptize one of the boys and they asked me to speak on repentance. This was a really cool experience for Elder Krull too because he finishes his mission tomorrow and he was able to have one last baptism. I am grateful that we were able to be a part of it. 

   Last week I mentioned our investigator Kahu who is supposed to be baptized this Saturday. Well that whole situation has been pretty interesting because all week we have been at her house but we have been prompted not to talk to her about it. To add to it all the people that said they were going to visit her and talk to her about her baptism never did. At first I was discouraged but then I realized that everything was happening just the way Heavenly Father wants it too. Kahu came to the baptism on Saturday (she comes to everything) and I know she felt the spirit. Bishop talked to her afterwards and she expressed that she didn't know what to do. She wants to get baptized she just feels like she isn't ready yet. She is thinking of now getting baptized on January 4th at the same time as her son is planning on baptizing his best friend Mannie. Bishop told her to pray about it and counsel with her son. When I heard this I thought "We need to go talk to her now" but then the spirit told me to keep waiting and to give her her space. I still don't know what's going to happen this week but I know that the Lord is in control because this is His daughter and He knows her better than she knows herself. I know it will all be okay no matter what happens. Please keep praying though. I know the prayers have helped because last week she wasn't going to get baptized at all and now she is considering it again. Thank you all so much.

   Well that is all I have for this week. I hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas season. I am a little sad that I can't be there to share it will all of you but I know my place is here. I love Christmas and I believe that I am able to share more Christmas joy being here than anywhere else. I love and miss you all!

Sister Simkins

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