Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fresno Week 2: FAKATOMALA, HHOONNKK, Red as the U of U, Punched in the face with the Spirit!,

Well hello again. Might I just add how odd it is to be emailing wearing a skirt in a public library the size of our family room that is "decorated" outside with graffiti? The librarian is Laotian, a bit too flirty, and has the longest hair and strangest tatoos I have ever seen. Haha. Welcome to Fresno.

Well this week has certainly been another interesting and miracle-filled one. :) I would like to start off by telling you more about Sister Tupou. She is hilarious. She's been teaching me Tongan words and I much prefer them to their English counterparts. In Tongan, repent is "fakatomala". That's right. FAKATOMALA. We sometimes say that to people as we breeze past them on our bikes--but only to the drunk ones.

Speaking of bikes, I almost got hit by a bus yesterday. That was quite the experience. Sister Tupou and I stopped to talk to a lady who was just standing on the side of the road. She was apparently waiting for a bus, but we didn't see the bus stop sign (very small and not noticeable). Sister T went on the sidewalk to be able to hear what she was saying, but I stayed on the road on my amazing bike. All of a sudden... HOOOOONNNKKKKKKKKKKK. I turned over my shoulder and the bus was right there. As in right there. As in, heavenly assistance helped me power out of reach of the killer bus. :) I always share such uplifting stories that will make my Mother feel calm, don't I?

Mother's Day quick interjection. There is a family (actually another missionary momma) who offered to let me use her home to call you. I'm so excited to talk to y'all! And about writing questions? I already have a list of things that I am going to mention to y'all. So like Mother like daughter. :)

OHHH. Guess what. Your paleface daughter is not getting along with the California sun. We have been riding bikes a lot since I arrived here, but it has been randomly overcast. However, this week it returned to clear sky time. And I have paid severely for it. Hahahah. We were at a coordinating missionary meeting with our Ward Mission Leader, and boom. All of a sudden I look down and I am red. As in red. As in the color of that university that shall not be named. Here's the kicker. It was only ONE arm. And it was a massive farmer tan. And only one arm. And the watch line was there. THE WATCH LINE. My other arm? Relatively unscathed. Another beautiful note, I got sunburned THROUGH my pantyhose. Hahaha. I have lines from my mary jane style shoes. Oh boy. That was a hilarious discovery. It turned out to be a blessing because the church building was really really cold and all I had to do to warm up was just touch my sunburn. My own personal heater.

President Gonzalez called to tell me about John's mission call. Even though I already knew. I feigned innocence. It was still glorious.

We have been seeing the members come out of the wood work and JUMP on the missionary bandwagon like nothing before. They are calling us and asking when we are available to come and teach their friends in their homes.

We have seen miracles as at least three different investigators have reached out to us explaining that they are ready to be baptized. Now. Oh, the blessing of the area book! The son of a recent convert went over to a member's home last week and told them that he wants to be baptized. This is real. We start teaching him and his friend on Wednesday! Gah!

We received a referral for a woman whose son converted to Mormonism about 30 years ago when he married his wife. This Grandma decided to order "Finding Faith in Christ" and see what it was her grandchildren believed in. We went to her home and my goodness is she so sweet! We were definitely led by the Spirit to contact her. When we received the referral, we called the phone number, but it was incorrect. At this point, even though there is an address, we were a little wary of going there. But, I just kept feeling like we NEEDED to go there. Riding our bikes over to the street where she lived, my skirt kept getting stuck in the tire, and the brake kept fiddling around so we would stop and I would fix it, probably go another 300 feet and have to do it again. We entertained the idea of just going back to our apartment to drop our bikes off and then go by foot to contact some less-actives in nearby apartment complexes, but I just thought it was funny and we continued on. As soon as we got to her home, she was gracious, invited us in, and then began drilling us with your typical preconceived questions. :) Sister Tupou and I just jumped into the Restoration and as we liked to say in the MTC "punched her in the face with the Spirit". Haha. It worked. She wants us to come back, and we're going to help her read the Book of Mormon. She said she had tried reading it before but found it "boring". Haha. So we gave her 3 Nephi 11. Boom.

This is a random question/informative statement---If y'all have been sending Dear Elders I haven't been receiving them...I don't know if you have at all, but I thought I'd just send a little message that mailed letters might be the most reliable way to contact me. Haha. I need people's addresses.

(Side note from "the Momma".... oops we've only been e-mailing. DearElder.com and snail mail to the Fresno Mission Home will work great! We didn't realize the extra letters would be appreciated... :)

California Fresno Mission Home

1814 North Echo

Fresno, CA 93704

(Back to the true creative writer...)

The members have been so awesome! I am now actually enjoying rice. I get excited when I eat vegetables and I have kind of lost my taste for chococlate. I knoooooow. Miracles do happen!!! Haha. I still have the chocolate memories, but whenever I taste like frozen yogurt that's chocolate it doesn't have the same appeal. My body is super benefiting from the healthy diet though. I'm still losing weight. Haaha. I think every single Sister in Relief Society has asked about my condition--it is still awkward to talk about.

I miss y'all so much! It is odd that a mission is kind of becoming a reality now. My goodness is Ether 12:27 the mantra of my life or what! I have come up with a "light and knowledge" plan for my personal study. I have scheduled every minute and divided it between: reading Jesus the Christ, consecutive Book of Mormon reading, Deep Study Doctrine (this month is the Atonement for me), reading Our Search for Happiness, selecting and memorizing scriptures, PMG studying, scripture marking, and general miscellaneous study. I wake up excited to go and increase my knowledge!

I am still Area Book happy. I read it every night--and we have been having such success as we go and find those people that have fallen through the cracks!

The Elders in my zone are awesome. There is one person from Texas in every companionship in my district. It's hilarious. There are lots of "y'alls".

I don't know if any of this has been informative or not!? I am crazy. Might I just end with a slight dichotomy of my life. The other day we were riding our bikes in a particular area of our boundaries...that makes me glad for the protection Missionaries receive. BLASTING from people's houses was music that I might have been privvy to listening to previous to my eighteen months of serving the Lord. Let's just say the Lord knew what he was doing putting me on a bike. I started to bounce my head to the beat (completely invoulntarily) and...I might have lost my balance slightly. Sooo funny how those little things keep me in check. :) But really. I keep telling Sister Tupou, "I knew that song when I wore pants!" It's very precious.

I love you ALL! And miss you dearly. Be nice to the missionaries and offer to give them hand soap. Because sometimes they forget to buy it on P-day. And they suffer severely for it.


Sister Bolliger (who has finally stopped looking around for her Mother when people call her name)

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