Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November 15, 2015 (second email)

This is sister Burbank, the mission nurse. She returned home from her mission  and she's from canada! She's a very sweet lady.

November 15, 2015

I'm glad to hear that all is happy and well in Utah! (at least from what you've told me.)

Heads up, My mission president made up his mind. We only get 30 minutes to email our families home every week. So. My emails are going to be a little bit shorter and a little bit sweeter. 

But, all is well here too! Mostly.
Yesterday was interesting, because I seem to have caught some sort of a cold! I actually quite literally lost my voice, and the doctor told me not to talk AT ALL. My poor little companion had to do all the tongan, and she's only been here for six weeks! We went to all of our appointments, and I think both of us by the end were a little frustrated. She was frustrated because she feels like she needs to know more tongan, and I was frustrated because I could do absolutely nothing to help her. I ended up-----***PAUSE OH MY GOSH WE JUST LITERALLY GOT A CALL THAT WE'RE GETTING HOT WATER PUT IN OUR MQ WOOO**** President Tupou mentioned that all the sisters were getting hot water, and he promised us we would get hot water first. Woo! He kept good on his promise! Uh, but too bad it's actually getting really hot here now.... Hahaha! That's ok. Anyways, on with the story.------ I ended up basically using my super awesome pantomime skills to help the investigator understand the message. I knew these acting skills would come in handy. We invited him to be baptized. He said yes! Now my voice is a little better, but I'm still not using it, because We want it to fully heal. Sister Bever and I are fasting so that I'll be able to teach at our appointment tonight. She was so very patient with me. I had to mouth everything I wanted to say to her. ALSO just some news that I thought was interesting, her uncle is the co-owner of Tillamook Cheese. That's right. Tillamook cheese. I'll just let that sit with you for a little bit. 

Also, I don't like fleas. My companion and I somehow got fleas in our house, and they bite us while we sleep. We're trying to get that fixed! I like my blood, thank you. 

We just had a transfer, and if you predicted as we already predicted, we're staying here! I like it here. We're trying our very best. We're going to get as much as we can out of this area in six weeks! Then, most likely, she will stay here, and I will most likely leave. Right before christmas.

Also, I finally got the package! Actually, my companion and I both got packages! It was good! She got a birthday package (With a no-bake cake and candles inside: Genius) and I absolutely loved everything that was in mine. Thanks so much, tina! Packages are literally the best things ever. And the T-shirt. It's now my new workout shirt. It makes me happy inside. I don't think any of the native islanders get it, but it doesn't matter. I get it. That t-shirt is basically the motto for my existance in these last 18 months.

We had an investigator drop us this week. We've been working with him for a while, and one day he told us he needs to tell us the truth, and that he just wants to study the bible by himself and not go to any organized religion. We made him promise that if he ever felt like he needs anything more, that he would read the book of mormon. I was so sad! I had no idea how much I loved this investigator until he unintentionally broke my heart. We sang him a hymn and the spirit was REALLY powerful. I knew he couldn't deny it, and I hope that he remembers it when he thinks about the missionaries and the message we shared.

Ok! So much to say, SO VERY VERY LITTLE time! Ugh. 

Mom, I love you all so much and I think about you every day. I keep a family picture in my tongan scriptures that I can take around and show people. It makes me feel like maybe I'm taking you all with me!

Ofa lahi atu!

November 8, 2015

Woo! So, I went to the dentist today, there was a team of 17 americans working in liahona, and I didn't die. Woo! There wasn't even anything serious, I'd just had a previous filling that had come loose. But all is well! Actually, I'm floating on the clouds. I was super anxious for no reason, As usual.

The baptism:
The baptism was amazing. Truly. My heart was afloat, especially when he got the opportunity to bear his testimony. It was so very sweet. This is one of the biggest blessings I've received from my mission thus far, the opportunity to see someones life be ENTIRELY changed by the gospel. Sometimes it's hard for us to see, because we were born in it. But every day is a testimony to me of how true this church is. Along with his confirmation, all of his children last sunday, recieved their baby blessings. Also, this next week, he'll recieve the priesthood. the week after that, hopefully he'll get to go do baptisms for the dead for his dad. This is his kingdom on the earth. I know sometimes there's things in this organization that we don't agree with. But all we have to do is trust. Part of faith is obeying, even when we don't know the reason behind things. I've seen that time and time and TIME again whenever I receive a rule from my mission president I don't agree with, or I don't understand. For example. I think our email time is going to be cut down. I'm not sure, I think he's still deciding, but we'll see. There are too many missionaries breaking too many rules, and so the rules get sharper and more strict.  I'm not joking when I tell you that perhaps half of this mission came for the wrong reason. I'm not sure some of the missionaries truly understand the responsibility with which they've been entrusted. But, my mission president is called of god to lead this mission, and I trust that everything will work out according to God's plan. I trust him, even if I don't completely agree with him.

Recently my companion and I have been eating a lot of chicken and ufi. I swear, every night! Chicken and ufi! But, the more I eat the tongan food, the more I tolerate it. Spaghetti sandwiches is popular around here, and when I first tried it I thought it was the grossest thing ever, but every time I eat it it gets a little bit better.
I have not yet received the package from tina. I've been patiently waiting, but my patience is running out! Grrrr. Ssister bever is also waiting for a package. The mail system is just super slow. I know both of the packages are here in tonga, we just have to get them to us, now! 
Ok. I gotta fly. We've got two lessons tonight, and that's more than usual for a monday! Still have to do laundry! But, I love you all, and I love getting letters from you all every week. Keep me informed!

Sending love from the corner of the world,

Sister Wunderlich

November 1, 2015

There is no Halloween in Tonga. But that night, we did bring candy to the people who gave us our fafanga. They and their kids loved it. One of the english-speaking tongans asked us if we miss halloween, and we said not really, and then he said "yeah, I guess there's just too many people who's faces look like real monsters around here to have halloween" My companion and I laughed super hard. 

Tina and Dave, WELCOME TO UTAH! I live in lay-un, next to the moun-uhns, and we love eating green jello. I have no Idea actually if that's a real stereotype but whatever.

YES! we now get to go to the temple every month, and just all of the mission leadership gets that opportunity. It's amazing! I've only gone once, and I did understand quite a lot more than I expected, but when I had to speak myself I just listened really intently to the very patient assistant. I'm sure she thought I was dumb. Anyways! We train here in tonga for 12 weeks. So, I myself was trained for 12, then I had a 6 week break, and now I'm the trainer. My daughter and I will be together until barely before christmas. At least. And, I have an inkling I'll get transferred, but that's only because I'll have spent 6 months in navutoka. Bummer! I'll leave all these members who know me right before christmas! :( But that's all still up in the air. Anyways, what day is thanksgiving? I'm going to celebrate it over here, too. On the same day as you all, so I know that somewhere in the world, all of us together are giving thanks. You and your turkey, and me and my can of corn. (WE FOUND CANNED CORN AT THE CHINA STORE) Anyways. I have to go! I love you all muchly.


Sister Wunderlich 

October 25, 2015 (Third email)

Alright. I thought I was being clever when I put cute little tongan subject lines, but from now on I'll also provide a somewhat accurate translation. Tongan is very simple, yet very complicated, because it's so simple. If that makes any sense. Also, simple doesn't mean easy. 

I'm sorry you're not feeling well. That's no good. I hope you get better soon!

Mom, don't let your emotions hinder your messages. Of course, me saying that is rather hypocritical, considering I've hid plenty of my emotions in my emails, as well. Mostly I just convey the happy ones, which i feel like you do, too. So, if we promise to both be frank to each other, in both the happy and the sad, I feel like that will work out. Maybe? I don't want you to worry, though, about the sad things, as I'm sure you won't want me to worry, either. And I won't I'll just pray, because that's all I can do!

I never thought it was possible to feel physical pain from missing someone, until I left for my mission. My first taste of it was when I said goodbye to clytie. That was so hard. When I said goodbye to all of you, it wasn't quite as bad at first, because there was just so much going on at the moment. But driving to the MTC made me feel very carsick, from something other than the usual reason. The worst thing, I think, was after I'd hugged you, and dad, and luke, I was ok, but right before I took off with that other sister. I saw the looks on tate and cohen's faces, and it broke what was left of my courage! That look will haunt me until I return. 

But I also want you to know, I'm so so very happy here. I finally can see the changes this gospel has in the lives of others, and the blessings -eternal blessings- that they can receive just because me and my companion left our families for just a little while. but mostly because of the savior. I've seen now, more than ever, that everything I have is because of the savior. And i'm eternally grateful.

Ok, time is short, I have to go. I love you mom, with all my heart and soul.


your daughter

October 25, 2015 (second email)

We have this investigator named "james" who we've been working with for a while. One lesson we sang a hymn for him and his wife, and they loved it so much they gave us candy leis and a whole watermelon. AMERICAN CANDY! yum! The Tongan on the right, her name is Ester, and she goes on vilohoa with us all the time. She loves participating in the work!

THIS BABY is adorable.  I tried to get a good picture of her ADORABLE smile, but the picture kind of blurred. She's SO CUTE.

October 25, 2015

Hey, what's happening at home? I haven't heard from you all in a while.

So, my companion runs for the BYU track team and her scholarship She also studied nutrition before she got here, which I think is extremely ironic on God's part. He sure has a sense of humor. But anyways, every morning I feel like I want to throw up. Running is my worst enemy. Ok. So, I have a little bit of time now, and half an hour later at about.... 11:00. So, for you, that means you have until... like, 4:00 pm. 

SO we have this AMAZING investigator that popped up out of absolutely nowhere. When I was with sister Vaa'i we got him as a referral, and we'd been trying to contact him for weeks and weeks, but he was either never home, or very obviously ignoring us when he was home. Finally, one day, while sister Piva is here, we were trying to come up with a plan, and I thought about him, and we decided just to stop by his house while we were on our way to another appointment. when the time came, we went to his house, and stood there for several minutes calling his name (in Tonga you don't really knock you just call the person's name outside their house) and we decided he probably wasn't interested and started to head off. A member drove up in her car and started to talk to us before we got very far from his house, and after about two minutes talking to this member, the man (we'll call him william) came out from his house. We asked him a few questions and then asked him if he had an opportunity to listen to a quick message. He said yes. Typically, we have a message prepared, but we always leave a window open for the spirit to direct us, and that's exactly what we did! We talked to him about eternal families, and he shared with us that when he was 15, his dad died of a heart attack and he'd been really mad at God for several years. We were able to share with him about God, and how he loves us all. At the end of the lesson, he was completely open, and when we left I knew we'd said just enough to leave him wanting more. We set up another appointment to come back.

Long story short, we've been meeting for a couple weeks, and he's getting baptized! Truly, he is one of those "Golden Investigators" everyone talks about. Every time we come over to his house, he tells us a new way he's changed his life based on the gospel standards, and he tells us the blessings he's received from it! Literally, his conversion has nothing to do with us. His conversion is strictly between him and God. It's amazing! It is truly inspiring to see what the gospel can do in someone else's life. Last lesson with him I got a glimpse at everything. Everything it would be his opportunity to have, to do, to enjoy. He will be able to get the priesthood, his young daughters their baby blessings, and eventually their baptism! Eventually, he and his wife can be sealed in the temple, and AH! I can just SEE the happiness! I want to explode for this one soul who has seen the truth! If Vaa'i and I had given up on him, this would not have happened. He shared with us that he came out that day because he always ignores us when we come over, but that day he wanted to see what would happen if he let us in.

God prepares people to receive this restored gospel! He lives and loves us!


love, Sister Wunderlich