Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Do You Ball?

No. The answer: hard. no. 
I have the GREAT blessing of having a retired college basketball coach for a mission president. I also have the GREAT blessing of being forced to play said basketball for 2 hours when President stops by our zone to teach all of us his many, many skilllzz. 
If you know me at all, you know I DO NOT basketball. I barely sport. 
Shout out to dance for being the only source of exercise I enjoy!
Seriously, what is basketball? I have so much respect for you if you actually know how to dribble that thing without falling on your face... One poor soul did. HAHA. 
I did get complimented on my shot though! THANKS REGAN for making sure I at least know how to throw that dang thing without looking like a total fool. 
But even though I'm almost 100% positive I've never looked more ridiculous or felt more awkward, zone unity is a thing and it was so much fun to just hang out with all these amazing missionaries I'm blessed to serve with. 
But I'll never play again. 
First and last. 

I feel like I've been officially initiated into a missionary.
Because I ate THE MOST horrid meal and totally played it off like, "Oh my goodness! This is the greatest thing ever!" 
First, I just want to say, I am ETERNALLY grateful to the members that feed us. I love these people and I love being welcomed into their homes and getting to feel the sweet spirit that abides in them. It rocks.
Here is my sad tale: My companion and I are sitting there, waiting for this kind brother and sister to finish cooking dinner (omelettes) and we're chitting, we're chatting, we're having a grand ole time. 
And then.
I notice out of the corner of my eye that a huge bowl of chopped tomatoes have made an appearance and before I can say anything, this brother is scooping them out GENEROUSLY onto my omelette (everyone seems to think that vegetarian means I just looooooooove alllllll vegetables). When he feels like my omelette has been sufficiently tomatoed, he sets the bowl aside and I'm thinking, "Okay. Cool. That wasn't a ton. I can handle that."
My dear companion says, "Brother, I'm not a huge fan of tomatoes, so you can totally load up Sister Soloa'i's!"
I watch in horror as he then proceeds to take that massive bowl of tomatoes and straight up dump it all into my omelette.
I almost cried.
I almost murdered my companion.
That thing was more tomato than egg.
Mom, you would have been so proud.

This week was pretty difficult in a lot of different ways. One of them being that NO ONE wanted to talk to us. 
We're two teenage girls talking about Jesus, give us a break people! 
We ran into one lady out walking her dog one day and before we even got near her, she said, "My dog will bite you! He's not friendly!" That thing was the size of my head. Pretty positive it was nice little thing too. 
But the cool thing is, is that every time we felt like we were having a bad day, the Lord always gave us little examples of grace and tender mercies. Whether it was something like we came across a really pretty blossom tree, or someone said they appreciated the work we were doing (even if they themselves weren't interested), or the sun actually shined that day, the Lord never ended our days without allowing us to feel His love in some way first. 
It seems that He's constantly telling us He's with us and loves us. I have such a huge testimony of His love in EVERYONE'S lives. WE just have to notice it. 

Sincerely, Sister Soloa'i

There is this produce store we discovered called Jesus Produce and we buy almost everything there because it's sooooooo cheap... and mostly expired. But whatevs. We're hungry and we're poor and so far, we haven't gotten sick. And hey! All the proceeds go to the homeless apparently! So win win!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

LOOOOOVE L O V E lovelovelove

I feel almost guilty for loving my mission so much.
Am I a freak?
Seriously, people. My companion is the bees knees and I looooooove all the missionaries and just all the people I've come in contact with so far.
The members here are unreal. They contribute so much.
It's so much fun to teach people about something I love so much and that I know will bring them so much joy.
Currently, love life.

This past week L was baptized! Y A Y !
We just love her and it's amazing how the gospel can just totally change people's lives around for the BEST.
I've seen so many miracles, it's ridiculous.

(Cute L's baptism!!)

Something cool that happened with L this week: she has this crazy job at a bakery that she works aaaaaaall night at and then she sleeps aaall day. She's ALWAYS like half dead whenever we see her and it got to the point where she started making excuses to not read her scriptures and pray because of how tired she was.
So we were really worried because like L. Gurl. You're getting baptized. You can't stop reading and praying right before you get baptized! Satan is real and he knows how important this decision is!
So we made her a promise that if she read her scriptures more diligently, that the Lord would bless her with having the energy she needed and she would be able to feel more rested.
Oh. My. Gosh. Heavenly Father delivered.
The next day when we went over, she was supaaaa awake and so excited and said she had woken up at 5:00amthat morning and had read and read and read her Book of Mormon and had completed all of 1 Nephi and had started on 2 Nephi.
She was so excited to show us all she was learning and had so many questions and it was just THE raddest thing eva.
Ohhhhhh how Heavenly Father loves His children and His work.

Okay. So. HAHA. 4 of our current investigators are blind.
They are the coolest, kindest, best people in the WORLD.
But like... what the heck??
Anyway, we adore them and their desire to find truth is amazing and they ask the greatest, most inspired questions. Teaching them is probably the highlight of my week.

Shout out to Regan:
We're teaching this lady named Ms. Jackson and so duuhhh I sing Ms. Jackson by Panic at the Disco every. single. time. we go over there.
My companion hates it.
No one has good taste in music.
I miss you.

Mom, thanks for instilling in me all those weirdo nursery songs like Nobody Likes Me, I'll Go Eat Worms and The Cat Came Back because it's been a real source of comp unity.
I sing constantly as we tract and I receive death threats from dear, Sister A on the daily.
Heh. She loves me.

(We get asked if we're sisters on the daily)

The gospel brings so much joy. AKA Jesus Christ brings so much joy. I've never felt more complete or happy and I don't care how cheesy that sounds because it's soooooo true.

Sincerely, Sister Soloa'i

(...frog legs? I've played my vegetarian card so many times since I've been here. It's been such a blessing.)

Monday, March 14, 2016

You Just Got Hoosiered


I LOVE my companion.
L O V E.
She's seriously the best. And we look like we could be sisters, it's weird.
Cool little story about her: the day I was supposed to meet her, we went over to the mission office and all the new baby missionaries (me included) were in this room getting trained and I was fighting so hard to stay awake (don't judge, I was running on 2 hours of sleep). I was staring outside the door, wondering what freedom felt like (kidding) and this random sister walks by the door. I didn't see her face and it was only for a moment, but I instantly thought, "That's my companion." and lo and behold, IT WAS.
Thanks for the heads up, Spirit, because I was seriously stressing about it.
We get along so well and she's just so SOLID and is such a wonderful missionary. She's only been out 3 months which is nice because I feel like we're learning together.

I've never felt so confused about how I'm feeling in my entire life. Some days I'm like, "Okay. This is way hard and I'm the absolute worst at being a missionary wah wah wah." and then other days I'm like, "Okay. This is the bomb and SWEET IS THE FLIPPING WORK!"
I love it here though. And I LOVE the people.
Hoosiers be cray.
Their ability to talk... and keep talking... is like... astounding. One second we're talking about the Savior, and the next I've heard their entire life story, what they ate for breakfast, how many pairs of pants they own, and whether or not that bird up there is a Pileated Woodpecker.
^true story. I kid you not.
A convo that never ends and that you just can't escape = getting hoosiered.
But I seriously adore these people and honestly, they can talk to me about their bird fetishes any day, any time... as long as they accept my Book of Mormon copy.

Most of the members in my ward (White River, WHATSUP) are converts and their stories are just incredible. They do this meeting here on Sundays called "Why I Believe" and it's where recent converts come and share their stories of their conversions and baptisms.
It's absolutely beautiful to hear some of the most heartbreaking situations be turned into stories of love and rejoicing in the Savior.

A mission is pretty hard, people. Those RMs weren't lying!
I'm sorry I didn't listen to Ashty!!
But the blessings and the miracles I've already witnessed, I would never trade for anything. I love being a missionary. I love the joy the gospel brings. And I loooooooove my Savior, Jesus Christ. He truly does live and does loves all of God's children. All of them.

Sincerely, Sister Soloa'i

Thursday, March 3, 2016


No. I am not going to a Samoan speaking mission. But! I do have an elder in my district, Elder Tutasi, who is Samoan and has been teaching me the language since I got here. It's way fun to learn more about my culture (looking at you, Dad). 

Okay. Guys. Whoever said the MTC was the worst, straight up lied. Because I seriously can honestly say I've never in my ENTIRE LIFE been happier than right... now. 
Maybe my life just wasn't all the cool before my mission or something...
But no. The MTC rocks. Like, I don't even know where to begin.

To say that I absolute adore my zone would be such a gross understatement. I always knew that I would make eternal relationships on my mission, but I never really thought about how much those relationships would mean to me. These elders and sisters are far more than just my best friends. Yeah, that was cheesy. But seriously, I don't know how I even lived without these guys for so long.

The second day I was here, the grandmother of one of the sisters in my zone died. The sister was absolutely heartbroken -- and now here's the incredible thing about this -- so was everyone else in the district. I've never experience how beautiful and spiritual "mourning with those that mourn" could be. The elders in our district gave her a blessing and we all then just sat and talked and cried and cried and prayed and cried. It's amazing the amount of love we feel for one another in such a short amount of time. 

My first role-play practice teach with our teacher was like... extremely, mega awk. But prettttyyyy flipping fantastic. My companion and I were just like,  "Okay. If we're gonna do this, WE'RE GONNA DO OUR BEST!" So we walked all up in that room and just totally let the spirit guide us and we taught about the love of God. 
I may have cried.
I walked out of that room just so overwhelmed with the confirmation that I'm exactly where I need to be and SWEET IS THE WORK. 
Ugh. The gospel is just so true.

I'm the Sister Training Leader of my zone and it's be sooooooo awesome getting to know these sisters and learning about their lives and their backstories. I'm shocked everyday with how strong ALL these missionaries are. I've had several heart to hearts with all the missionaries in my zone and we've seen each other cry on numerous occasions. 
The MTC rocks, but it's also uber hard.
But the SACRIFICES these kids are making and the things they have given up to jump into the unknown and be a missionary of the Lord is absolutely amazing. 
I just loooooooooooooooove everyone.
Literally everyone.

Okay. So. Like. Funny story: there's an elder in my zone who has this crazy, creepy, crush on me and just randomly brings up "our" life and asks me like how I slept the night before and will shake my hand all the time and even brought up once what he imagines our kids could look like. Being totally serious. 
Elder. No. Stahp.
So one day he asked for my email and this is how it went down: 
Me: "Oh DANG, elder! My mission can't have email!" Total lie. WRITE ME.
Him: "What?! Are you serious?"
Me: "I. Know. Right?? Ugh, it's hard."
Him: "Wow. That's really sad. Maybe you can talk to your mission president...?"
Me: "Better not. Exact obedience, amirite?"
Him: "Oh, well we can talk after our missions then."
Me: "Oh mmm uh huh."

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH. so. much. 
All is well.
I am alive.

Sincerely, Sister Soloai

Elder Townsend looking like how we all feel

our sassy Elders
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