Monday, December 19, 2016

{ wait. what. }

How is it Christmas already?
Whatevs. I'm not complaining.

Honestly, this week was a straight up bllluuuuuur.
But. It was a happy little blur.
I can't tell you how much I love the ward I serve in.
Because of the members.
That's why.
I realize that's the typical missionary thing to say.
Buuuuut it's truuuuue.

Like, this family for instance:

The Salisbury's. <3

I feel like I found my long lost, Hoosier fam. I'm taking them home with me.

Quick story involving the Salisbury's:
Guys. It's cold. Like super brrrr freezing I might just die cold.
Also, all of Indiana is frozen over currently and I feel like I'm slowly crystalizing.
Sister Rowley and I were walking up to the Salisbury's house (they live on top of a hill) and on our trek upward it went a little something like this:
Me: *weeping because my limbs are numb*
Sister Rowley: "It's sooooo col--" *bam* *straight faceplants into the side of the hill and slowly starts sliiiiiiiiding down*
Me: *now weeping because lol* but then karma because *bam* I go down too.
So cold.
So painful.
So icy.
Both of us: *crying* *screaming* *writhing on the frozen hillside*
But! We made it to the top of the hill (surely with the Lord's help) and up to their house, don't worry.
Us: *wet from the ice* *red from the ice* *sad from the ice*
The Salisbury's: What happened??
Us: We fell down your hill.

Another person I looooooove is...

Seeestaa Dirks <3

Who let us decorate her entire house for Christmas this week. :)

Can I just say how much I love Sister Rowley?
She's probably one of the funniest people I've met and we're constantly laughing. But she's so willing to work hard and put the Lord first. It's awwwwwweesome.
Also. Our picture game is...
sub par.
Let's be honest.
But hey, what more do you need??
She also got bit by a dog this week... 6 times... And took it like a champ! Minor hysterical screaming was involved and the owner looked at us like we were psycho.
Excuse me, sir. Your dog bit US.
I. Love. Her.

Wishing everyone the merriest Christmas!

Sincerely, Sister Soloa'i

Monday, December 12, 2016

{ m a d n e s s }

is my life.
so, I'm soooooo sorry that I haven't done a post in forever.

Forgive me?

Where to even begin?

I looooove Sister Rowley.

I love the members in our ward. Especially those who offer to take us on a ride on their zipline after dinner. It's cool. Pants were provided. #thxbropilling

I loooooove the snow. 

But my body doesn't.

I love training. 
Aaaaand I looooove witnessing all of Sister Rowley's firsts on the mission. 

*squeal* "My first door is so cute!!" *knock knock*

The cashier at Goodwill asked if we were nuns. Response: "Nah, but we're missionaries!" One thing led to another and Sister Rowley experienced her first new investigator! The piece of paper is the receipt she wrote her address on. #whatsup

I love the people I serve with.

I love Christmas. 
Especially, blurry Christmas tree pictures taken from a man that couldn't hold the camera still to save his life. But hey. He said we could talk to him again and got his numbbaaa so like. #hooray

Did we stand outside in the freezing cold while it rained talking to our photographer for like 45 minutes about the gospel? Yeah. Yeah we did.

Life is good. The gospel is better. The Lord is best.

Sincerely, Sister Soloa'i

Monday, November 28, 2016

{ Halfway Done, Wholeway Happy }

Officially, in love with my life.
Don't get me wrong, I loved my life before and it was so hard to leave Logansport and everyone in it...



muh babies

I LOVE BEING BACK IN THE CITY (this place is my home for real). 



wait. whut.


confused, but not complaining.

But really though. I have been very, very, very, very, veeerrrrrryyyyyy blessed by the Lord. 
We don't know the area, we have no current investigators, we barely know what we're doing, and this whole week has felt a little something like this:

buuuuuut we have a lot of love for the gospel, each other (seriously we were like instant BFFs), our Savior, and we got FAITH. So like. We're good. 

Sincerely, Sister Soloa'i 

Monday, November 21, 2016

{ 9 Months, New Baby. Fitting. }

This Thanksgiving day, I am grateful for my beautiful 9 months in Indiana.
That's right, people.
Thanksgiving is also my NINE MONTH MARK aka my HALF WAY MARK.
I'm also being transferred.
I'm also training!
I. am. SO. excited.

I could write a massive long post about how much I love Logansport and I will never be able to express my love for the people I've met and worked with here. Seriously, friendships for eternity.
What I truly will never be able to express is my gratitude to my Father in Heaven for what He taught me here.
The past 3 months of my mission have been some of THE hardest times I've ever faced in my life and as a result from that I have never known my Savior so well or felt closer to Him.
Honestly, these past 3 months are the times I will tell my grandchildren about when they ask what I learned on my mission.
These were the months that I will look back on and be SO grateful to the Lord that I decided to serve a mission.
These were the months that I learned to be like Him.

I think that deserves a high-five.

Sincerely, Sister Soloa'i

Monday, November 14, 2016

{ p o e m }

Here is a lovely, little poem that was given to me. No idea who wrote it, but it basically sums up my week. Enjoy.

A mission is a strange experience.  It's a trial and a test.
A mission throws you at the worst, yet teaches you the best.
I've never been so happy, I've never been so depressed.
I've never felt so forsaken, I've never been so blessed.

I've never been so confused, things have never been so clear.
I've never felt my Heavenly Father so distant, He's never been so near.
I've never been so discouraged, I've never been so full of hope.
I feel I could go on forever, I think I'm at the end of my rope.

I've never had it quite so easy, things have never been so tough.
Life has never run so smoothly, It  has never been so rough.
I've never traveled thru more valleys, I've never ascended so many peaks.
I've never met so many nice people, I've never met so many freaks.

I've never had so many ups, I've never had so many downs.
I've never worn so many smiles, I've never worn so many frowns.
I've never been so lonely, I've never had so many friends.
Boy, I hope this is soon over;  Man, I hope this never ends.

Sincerely, Sister Soloa'i

Fall really just means raking season for the missionaries. I'm down.

Still distracted by my camera every ten seconds.

My homie, Kolby, brought her bearded dragon (all sneaky) to mutual. Did I accidentally crush it when I hugged her? Yep. Sorry, Beans.

Shout out to the best sister-in-law for sending me the CUTEST sweater in all the land. looooooove you!

Monday, October 31, 2016

{ My Boyfriend, Cam. }

People always told me, "Don't have a boyfriend on your mission, because he'll distract you from the work!"
el. oh. el.
Little did they know that they should have said, "Don't bring a camera on your mission, because it'll distract you from the work!"
*literally every 2 seconds driving around B E A U T I F U L Fall-time, Indiana*
"THAT'S SO PRETTY!!!!! Can we take a picture?!!?!!!"
And like.
I'm driving.
Sooooo my companion really never gets a chance to answer that question before I've already parked on the side of the road, jumped out, camera in hand, and traipsing around the countryside...
She'll thank me one day.

Sincerely, Sister Soloa'i

you mean, you DON'T jump around when you see pretty leaves??

found bunches of random flowers on the side of the road. almost died.

so green. so windy. so flat.

can we talk about the trees here for a minute??

the branch harvest party! aaaaall my posse was there.

 my "oh my gosh, Mom! I finally learned how to braid!" face.

 tried to be all candid. tried too hard.

when the mailbox is as barren as Abraham's wife. holding out hope though. #Isaac
was that joke too missionary of me?

 Seeeester Nuttall

when you go to contact a referral and you pull up the "address" like...

but it's all good because, bunny.

we taught the word of wisdom to this little girl we're teaching and so we made "Kreepy Kailey" and a bunch of good and bad foods for her to choose to feed her... things got out of hand.

this cat lives outside a retirement complex we go and visit. he's pretty yucky, but he's ALWAYS on this bench. so. he's also pretty faithful.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

{ glimpsing the atonement }

I feel like I've hit the point on my mission that's hard.
That's a word that was thrown around a lot as I was preparing to serve and I would ask returned missionaries for advice. That was always the common theme: "It's hard." Everyone always had their own unique sentence they would tack on the end of it though, like: "It's hard, but you'll love it!" or "It's hard, but the miracles make it worth it." or "It's hard, but you won't regret it."
That word would frustrate me so bad! What was hard??
But no one ever had an answer that would satisfy wide-eyed, don't-know-what-I'm-getting-myself-into, freshly nineteen me.
But, almost halfway through my mission, I think I'm beginning to realize what "hard" means and why those past missionaries could never adequately explain themselves.
Their version of hard, isn't my version of hard, and mine isn't going to be yours.
Buuuuut if I could give one piece of advice to any prospective missionary out there it would be: pray that your mission is hard.
Pray that your mission at some point just beats you and you feel like you can't keep going and you question everything.
I hope you pray that your mission utterly breaks you.
Breaks the person you were and reshapes and builds you into the child of God you are. And because of that, I hope you discover the atonement in a way you had never accessed before.
I'm not saying to go looking for hardship. Best believe I'm still afraid to pray for patience.
But how blessed are we that in our darkest realms of our evermore harrowing sorrows, when we feel like we must have reached our limit of pain and we simply cannot endure any longer, we cry out and Someone is there to relieve us.
One who will succor us.
One who had never done wrong, or caused any ill.
One who was completely, supremely perfect.
One who when He cried out during His realms of sorrow, none were with Him.
Do we ever stop to think that our sufferings are sacred? That they are glimpses of the very act that saved us from our sufferings? That they are opportunities given to us so we, even for a moment, can understand what He did for us?
I believe Heavenly Father doesn't want us to just suffer though.
He's not looking down at us from Heaven going, "Heh heh heh. Suckas."
He desires us to have happiness in this life and joy throughout all eternity.
And if opposition really is in all things, doesn't that mean that when we are amidst pain we didn't think possible, that also means doors of joy once locked have become opened to us? 
I think that deserves a congratulations to whoever, right now, is dealing with trials they feel they can't survive. Your capacity to love and be happy just widened because of that pain you were called to bear.
This is life eternal! This is the journey of becoming like God!
One of my favorite, and I feel the most real, scriptures in The Book of Mormon is found in Alma 31:38, "Yea, and he also gave them strength that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ."
There is no period after the word "afflictions."
God won't just take away our afflictions. If he were to never let us suffer, we would never know Christ and if we never knew Christ, we could never inherit eternal life. John 17:3.
How wonderful the promise that we will suffer and that with that suffering, comes joy as we turn to Christ. Aaaand in turn, we become like Him.
It's really a win-win situation right there.
So again, to the prospective missionary, I hope your mission is hard! I hope you have no choice but to rely on the atonement. I hope you come to know the Savior better than you already do. I can promise you, just like those missionaries told me, you will love it, the miraclesare worth it, and you will never, ever regret it.
But, when it does get hard, the kind of hard that will be uniquely catered to you, and you ask the Father, "Why?" Just remember that someone a lot greater than us already asked that question a long time ago. And though none were with Him and He was left completely forsaken, you won't be.
In fact, it is because of His stripes we are healed.
It is because of exquisite suffering, there is also everlasting, redeeming joy.  

Sincerely, Sister Soloa'i

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

s i s h.

thanks for a goooooood 6 weeks.

Sincerely, Sister Soloa'i

p.s. a member threw us a BYU birthday party... even though we don't go to BYU and it wasn't our birthday. no complaints. 

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