So I left the MTC and now I am down at the bottom of the mission on the east coast in an area called Taranaki. It's a super hard area and apparently President only sends the stud missionaries down here cause it's really struggling. I have TWO trainers cause I need the extra help I guess. JK. But they are Sister Inia from Australia, and Sister Pagofie (half Samoan) from Flagstaff Arizona. But they are the greatest. The APs [Assistants to the President] were going on and on about them before I met them and they are just awesome. So friendly and seriously spiritual giants. But we are in the Waitara Branch and when they first got here it had like 20 people at church and yesterday there were 70!!! They mostly have done lots of reactivating people but they have some solid investigators. So all the new missionaries had a challenge to invite someone to be baptized on our very first day. My first night out in the field I invited this single mom to be baptized. Dang, I was nervous but then when I was testifying leading up to the invite, I wasn't nervous at all and I just knew she needed to hear it. SO that was cool. But she laughed and then said "no" and then "not yet", and we left with her saying she was "open to whatever" and you never know, maybe she will get baptized. So she's getting baptized for sure. The next night we had a birthday dinner for Sister Pagofie (her birthday was the 29th) at Sister Inia's Aunty Alwyn's house. And then they had me invite her to be baptized too, and she said "not yet," but she's defs gonna get baptized. Sister Inia has a ton of family in this area, so a lot of our investigators are her family, which is cool but also hard 'cause she doesn't want to push them and offend them. But it's awesome so far.
Church yesterday was interesting, I bore my testimony 'cause on your mission that's just what you do every chance you get. But there are some craaaazy people here. Two of our investigators came to church with their son yesterday, and afterwards he threw up bad in the chapel. You know me, I was out the door dry heaving in seconds. JK. I handled it so well and even got the stuff to clean it up. Didn't actually do the cleaning, but I didn't run either. SO much growth. ;) They soooo need this gospel and he is the sweetest little boy and he knows so much about God and Jesus Christ for being so young. I think I'm just going to adopt him. All the kids are soooo cute, like the islander blood makes them chubby and adorable. Might come home with a Samoan husband. JK JK JK JK.
But we went to this less active member's house and had Cocoa Samoa. It's like hot chocolate and they put rice in it and it's just straight cocoa beans and water. No white person likes it. But I ate it all and it wasn't even bad; my comps were shocked. And then we came back the next day and had more. I downed it. So proud of myself and my strong stomach.
Happy birthday shout outs to MOM, Corey, and cousin Jessica!! You guys rock. Especially you Mom. And Happy Father's day to DAD because that's this Sunday here. But Idk when it is in America. Haha.
Gotta go! Love you all!!
P.S. I'm gonna come back saying "heaps" and "mean" = sick or awesome
Pictures sent by Sister Rudd, the Mission Mom:
1. Elise with President and Sister Rudd
2. The group of new missionaries at the Hamilton Temple, upon arrival into the mission.
3. Elise with her companions, Sister Inia and Sister Pagofie.