Sister Sydney Barber

Sister Sydney Barber
Sister Sydney Barber

Monday, November 2, 2015

Aloha Oe

  These past couple of days have been the most difficult of my whole mission so far... Not because anything bad happened, but because there is so much change happening... I am leaving Ewa Beach to be a Sister Training Leader in the Makaha ward in the Makakilo Stake. I knew it was coming, but it didn't really seem real until Sunday morning. We got to church and I realized that it is probably my last time going to church as a missionary in that ward. The night before, Sister Blackner and I, after we found out about the transfer news, kept having random breakdowns. We would be talking and laughing and then crying and then laughing and then crying, or it would just get super quiet for a long time. Man... it would be so much easier to leave if I hated her guts... 
   It was fast and testimony meeting too! So, I got up and bore my testimony. I kept it super short and simple, partly because I felt that that was all that needed to be said, but also because I didn't know how much time I had before I became a mess of tears and... I had a cold too, so I just knew it wouldn't be pretty... 
   Anyways, after I bore my testimony, I sat down and then came the tears. So many beautiful testimonies were given. The Choi boys all got up and shared their testimonies. It was the cutest thing ever. 
   After the closing prayer, I was asked to stand up on the stage, so that the ward could sing "Aloha Oe" to me.. that's when I really lost it. One of the YW was leading the music and she started whispering to me to try not to cry, but then she looked at me and was like, "Oh... too late.." haha it was wonderful. ;) Nah.. It really was. My heart was so full looking over all of the people that I have come to love so much. 
   After they finished, I came down, and I was surrounded. It was so amazing. It's nice to know that I may have made at least some kind of impact on the lives that have impacted mine so much. 

   The Dortch girls all came up and gave my leis and hugs and cards. One of the leis was made out of cereal, which I thought was very clever. It looks really cool! Little Lana Dortch just about broke my heart though, when she came up to me and said: "Why do you have to leave?" I told her that I have to give another missionary the chance to be her friend, and then she said: "Why? I don't want you to leave." That did it. I wanted to call President Warner right there and tell him that I refuse to leave Ewa Beach. I don't think that would've gone over very well though...
   I know that it's my time to go. I can't be selfish and keep Ewa Beach 1st ward to myself, no matter how much I want to. I know that the next missionary who comes in will be very blessed by serving here, and I am sure she has a lot to offer them as well. 
  I will never forget my last Sunday in Ewa Beach though... I will always remember seeing the Atanoa family sitting happily together during sacrament meeting, the Chois reunited with their oldest boy, the Dortch family smiling up at me during "Aloha Oe", Kim standing up to be sustained as the new program coordinator, Rachel and Vito sitting in the Gospel Principles class together, Uncle Iosefa telling me that he didn't want to text me back when I told him I was leaving, because he was too sad, and so many more. I will never forget my time here. I am so grateful for Heavenly Father and for his love for me. I know that he loves me, because he allowed me to serve here with all of these incredible people. 
   I know that I will find joy in the other places that I serve, and I will grow to love the people in those areas, but Ewa Beach will always have a special place in my heart. 

   I love you all. I hope you have a wonderful week. Aloha, Sister Barber

Sister Smith and Sister Blackner

Sister Carlson

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