Awesome Week in Waila.

Bula Vinaka!

Awesome week here in Waila.

We’ve seen a lot of growth and progress in the ward and people here.  Wherever we go, somebody knows us.  We get tons of smiles and waves and love from the people here.  We’ve got a family on just about every street.  It feels like home even though we’ve only been here six weeks.

This week, one of the people we’re teaching started reading the Book of Mormon and made it all the way to Mosiah 11.

We have lots of meals with members and families here all of which are delicious and very much appreciated.  Highlights included: lovo chicken (tastes kind of like smoked turkey), chicken curry, fried fish, roti.  The best part was getting to sit down and watch families spend time together.  I love visiting with families as a missionary.  Seeing everyone work together and have fun together is a real treat.

We had two baptisms on Sunday!!  For Eseta and Esther.  They were so well-prepared by the Lord.  Eseta changed so much.  She became a really happy person.  She was already, but we watched as she gradually found more and more good things in her life as she looked for them and started making connections with friends in her neighborhood and in the church.  She was so excited after her baptism that she invited us all home for lunch.  She’s got the missionary spirit already, and had a big smile on her face when she told us her neighbor wants to be baptized as well.  (She had already asked her for us.)  Then, she asked her children if they want to be baptized as well.  She was really excited because of the wonderful things she’d felt in learning more and sharing more and feeling the love of all those around her as she made good changes in her life.  Esther, her granddaughter, was a little worried when we first told her she’d be going into the baptismal font since it was really deep for her.  Afterwards, she said it was a little cold but she felt warm inside.

Overall, a really awesome week.  We had a great time on P-day as sisters and watched a movie together.  Had district meeting on Wednesday, and I

managed to find Snickers at a store.  I was so excited I bought one for every member of my district.  Had a full day on Saturday, and went to go gather up the youth for Mutual.  We found one youth, Alvin, baptized last year.  He game with us, and even though there were just four of us there, he said he enjoyed it so much.  We had ice cream and a biscuit eating contest, courtesy of our wonderful youth teacher.  The baptismal service on Sunday had lots of people in attendance.  We were so grateful for the love and support we feel in this area.

Love you all tons and tons,

Sister Hawkins

Meanwhile, in Arizona, the wonderful Kaipelea and Iereneo families made sure Sister Hawkins’s little brother felt that island appreciation at his graduation, even though she was far away.

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