Last week was kind of nuts!
Monday: We went down Waipio Valley, which is this really steep road down into this beautiful valley! It is where a lot of locals live to get away from everyone, but ironically a place that tourists always go to see. We met some less active members while we were down there and saw some wild horses! It was quite the experience!
Tuesday: We had a zone meeting because we just had a meeting with the head of the missionary department. They flew in the Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders from the other islands for it, so it was interesting getting on a plane and flying over for the day. We were able to stay overnight with Sister Ogawa and Sister Smith though, so that was a treat, for sure. :) The training talked a lot about what missionary work should be and how we are spending too much time tracting and not enough time working with members. So, when we got back, we started making phone calls and setting up things with the members. It has made a great improvement in our area.
Wednesday: We went on exchanges with the Honomu Sisters. I was able to go to Honomu to be with Sister Biggs, whom I came out with, so that was fun! We had a really neat experience, which will kind of go against what I just said that the training was, but I am still going to share it.. ;) We went tracting in the morning and we found this guy named Rowland. He is Filipino and so sweet! He listened as we shared about the restoration and asked really awesome questions! I felt the prompting to invite him to be baptized, so I did. He didn't accept, but he really considered it. We shared that that is an act of faith that will bring the light and truth into his life that he and his family need. He didn't disagree. They will be meeting with him again and I am anxious to hear how it goes.
Thursday: Due to conflicting schedules in the past weeks, we went on exchanges with the Kilauea sisters on Thursday. So, Sister Hwang and I didn't see each other for two days in a row, pretty much. We had service in the morning. We helped this man cut down a bunch of trees in the jungle behind his house. We used machetes part of the time and then chain saws the other. It was a blast! Also, Sister Baumgardner (the Sister I exchanged with) almost got cut in half with a chain that was being used as a dog's leash... Yeah... it was quite the day.. haha
Friday: Finally Sister Hwang and I were reunited! It was lovely. We just got back to work and met with an investigator named Dianne. She has a Buddhist background, but has expressed that she wants something more in her life. We talked about the Book of Mormon and Faith. She has had all of the lessons multiple times, but has been struggling to find answers. We then found out after some questions that she has not been praying about the Book of Mormon. She explained that, if she wants specific answers, she is going to need to ask specific questions. She agreed. I look forward to seeing the progress she has made, assuming she has begun to pray as she agreed to.
Saturday & Sunday: General Conference! It was wonderful! So many talks on faith and missionary work! I especially loved the talk by President Uchtdorf on the Plan of Salvation. It is beautiful when our church leaders go back to the basics and explain it simply.
Monday: We went to the temple to help clean it. Sister Hwang and I cleaned the chandeliers. It was so tedious, but so worth it!
Well, it was another wonderful week! I hope you are all doing well and that you remember how special this gospel is!
Love, Sister Barber