Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Week 10

Yay!! Our VISAS finally came this week and we did get our travel plans after ten amazing/intense/hard/fun/exciting/uplifting weeks! I say this in every email but I seriously cannot believe how fast time is passing by! This past week has been a good one for us. Everything is becoming so real so fast. And it is exciting but also a little bit scary at the same time. In only six short days I will be entering into a new place, having to speak two new languages, with new people. This is a lot to take in. But it is possible to take in and possible to accomplish with the help of our Savior. All things are possible through Christ who gives us our strength. I have still been trying to practice and exercise my faith and I love the fact that, fear departs when faith endures. Faith has been a big help to me this past week. I finished the Book of Mormon for the first time on my mission on Wednesday which was really neat. So as I was reading in Ether and Moroni, I came across several scriptures that I loved that talked about faith. Moroni 7:33 talks about how through faith, we have the power to do all things expedient in Christ. Also, in Ether 12:4 it talks about how faith brings us hope. This is cool and so true. And then back in Moroni 7:41 we learn about what we should be hoping for. We hope that through the atonement and the power of the Resurrection that we can achieve eternal life. This is only possible through our faith.  In Ether 12:7, we learn that even Christ had faith. And if we are trying to follow His example, it is necessary for us to have faith as well. I am so thankful for the atonement. It was not easy for Christ and life will not be easy for us. But our trials will make us into true disciples. As we have heard in devotional after devotional after devotional . . . the mission is not about us. But in the end it will be for us as well as our investigators! As long as we are totally devoted, diligent, obedient, and faithful missionaries. Matthew 10:39 talks about how if a person finds his life he will lose it, but he who loses his life for the work of the Lord will truly find life. I think I have shared this scripture before but it is an excellent reminder so I thought I would share it again. I also found a scripture in D&C that I loved as well. D&C 58:26-28. I am trying my hardest to be anxiously engaged to do good things. I know that it is my choice to do good and I realize the importance of it. I was talking to my teacher Brother Honey yesterday and he said that it is impossible to be perfect at all things but it is possible to be perfect at some things. I have definitely improved on a lot of the Christlike attributes since being here in the MTC and am happy that I have the opportunity to improve even more through the duration of the mission. My other teacher Sister Cook said that coming on a mission is like being a butterfly. Before we enter the MTC, we are in our cocoons. Once we enter the MTC and build a foundation for ourselves, we crack out of the cocoon and become a caterpillar. BUT when we finally get out into the mission field with real situations and people is when we can truly bloom, spread our wings, and fly. As humans, we will never be perfect. But what happens is as we go on through this journey we call life, we are constantly improving. We learn and grow and are made stronger. When this happens, we raise the bar for ourselves. There is no such thing as reaching our perfect potential and then just capping off. Life is a process and we are so lucky to have the opportunity to learn every single day. In life, we are on a downward escalator running up. If we stop running, we will be carried back down to the bottom floor. The road to salvation is hard but it is so essential for us to endure to the end and just keep running up even when times get hard! Well, I hope this all made sense! It is amazing how my English is already slipping and I am positive that it will be one hundred percent worse out in the field haha. I love and appreciate you all! Keep us in your prayers this week as we head out to Tahti!! Je vous aime!!<3
Love, Sister Heather Kofford 

​Tahiti or BUSTTT!
Brother and Sister Burnah! They are amazing! Mother this woman totally reminds me of you!!
Posing at the temple!
​This Sister was absolutely darling! She totally reminds me of Hailey Wright! She left for Albania yesterday!
Temple with some friends!
​Sometimes I get four packages in one day . . . NBD!
​Love my cute Thanksgiving decoration! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!
​Brandon gave me this Ohio State shirt!
Travel plans selfie!!
​Our mailbox has been pretty good to us during our stay here at the MTC! Thanks for all the letters, love, and support!!
​TRAVEL PLANS! Luckily all of our VISAS came through and we are all set to go on December 1st!
​Most of the Tahitian missionaries! We are all pretty excited to be on the home stretch here at the MTC! It is going to be hard to leave all of my new best friends!
​These are our desks in our classroom with our cute flags! We are just listening to our watches because the tick is so loud haha! Nobody knows . . .

​Me right now! Packing is a mess!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Week 9

IAORANA! Friends and family! I hope that things are going well for you all out in the real world! I pray for you each and every day and hope you feel the blessings that come daily, because they are always there. All you have to do is seek them out and notice them! So basically we have officially been at the MTC for nine weeks. It has been so long that its hard to imagine life outside of these walls. We love going to the temple each week and the occasional doctors visit with Sister Stevens but that is all of the real world experience that we get. The MTC is so magical and special but I think we are all about ready to move on to the next chapter of our missions and head out to Tahiti! And we get to do this in two weeks from today!! So we are happy about that! It has been an excellent week. As a district and also personally with myself, we have really been doing well at staying diligent and focused. My wonderful mother sent me this legit new waterproof watch that I love and the great thing about it is that it ticks super loudly. Each and every time I can hear it tick, it reminds me that I am on the clock. I am on the Lord's time and I do not want to waste a second. About a year ago in my AP literature class, my teacher had us all turn and look at the clock for exactly one minute. After this, she made the point that we had just obliviously wasted an entire minute of our lives looking at the clock. A very valuable minute and a minute that we would never get back. I have thought back on this lesson many times on my mission and truly do believe that if we are ALWAYS striving to do the things that please God, that we will be blessed. We have been speaking a lot of French this week. In fact, we only speak French! Sixteen hours a day. I feel like personally I have improved a lot which is so cool to see. Also just simply speaking the language seems to solve any problem. If there is ever any tension or an unfocused atmosphere as long as we are speaking in French things get a whole lot better very quickly. At the devotional on Tuesday night some big wig from the MTC came to talk to us. It was cool but the thing that Sister Erekson and I loved most is the fact that he had a down syndrome son who would pass the microphone around to different missionaries to answer questions. This little boy stood right in front of Sister Erekson and I in the isle and it was so fun to be able to think about our brothers together and have a little moment. So . . . our flight plans come on Friday! We are extremely excited for this! We learned from our teacher that we will not be leaving the MTC until December 2nd. I figure that if I can survive eleven weeks here, one more day is not going to kill me haha! I played the piano in sacrament meeting on Sunday which was cool. We sang Christmas hymns of course because the Chrsitmas spirit puts everyone in a good mood. Sister Erekson and I continue to memorize 40 words a day, share our testimony 7 times (switching off between Tahitian and French), memorize one scripture everyday, and try our hardest not to speak any English. I think that the biggest thing I have learned this week is that blessings truly do come through working hard. Heavenly Father absolutely wants us to succeed. He wants this so badly that He is willing to help us in any way that He can, we just have to do our part. Another thing that I have realized for myself is the importance of faith and prayer. In every lesson, Sister Erekson and I stress the importance of faith and praying with faith. It is true that these things are important for our investigators, but they are equally as important for us as well. I am going to try to improve my faith this week in the things that I do. I have said it before but I will say it again, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13) Life is good. The church is true. Have a fabulous week!!!
Love, Sister Heather Kofford

​Beautiful fall temple walk!
​We LOVE the Markhams!!!
​Still smellin' the roses . . . even though they are a little bit dead hahaha!
​Classic jumping pic! Also, note the lovely entirely pink outfit  . . . and I am definitely wearing socks! My legs are not that white!(;
​We love TALL . . . not really but sometimes we think we're cool talking into the little microphones!(;
​Played restaurant with our teacher yesterday . . . hymn books for plates and markers for forks . . . also everything was like $3,000 so that was cool! Probably one of the funnest moments!
​Prettiest Companionship Award!!
​Sometimes SISTER Pruett likes to wear my clothes . . .
We go shopping here lots, but not as much as the Elders in our other Tahiti district. It's really like the mall for them. So funny.
Our typical workout regimen.
Spending time with JS.
Our first SNOW!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Week 8

It has been a great week and the hardest week yet but all is well! I truly am a happy missionary! For the past week, I have been working on the Christlike attribute, "diligence." This has really helped me in my studies, in my thoughts, and in my desires. I have found myself not wasting hardly any time and also having the desire to do more to improve and succeed. We can do all things through Christ but we have to be willing to put in our part as well. Working on this characteristic has definitely made a difference in my life here at the MTC and am challenging you all to constantly be working to better yourself in some way to become more like our Savior. It was a hard week because all of the France missionaries left and it was honestly so hard to say our goodbyes. Also there was some tension between some missionaries for a few days. With these things on my mind, I felt the need to add another attribute to my list of things to focus and work on. And so "charity and love" were now in my heart. After lots of praying and concentrating on these characteristics, things finally got better! I truly do know that God does answer every single one of our prayers. But He does it in His way. He does it in the way that will be most beneficial to us. I know that I will have times in my mission that are very hard. In fact, probably some of the hardest times of my life. But these little waves of hardship that occur along the way are what are going to help when the hurricanes come. I can do hard things through Christ, and I can do them with a smile. Sister Erekson and I have still been memorizing our 40 words a day which is crazy and now we are also memorizing a scripture a day too! This is quite a task because we do not have a lot of free time to accomplish these things, but it helps us to use every minute of our time wisely. I can already tell a difference in my life and see the blessings that are coming through being diligent and trying our hardest to work as hard as we can. One Elder from one of the French districts stayed behind to get a little more help with the language. He got put into our district and broke up the trio of Elders. This has been a little difficult for them but they are coping well. This Elder has told us many times that he has already learned so much and really appreciates our district. He said that ours gets a lot more done than his previous district and that the spirit is always in our classroom. This was cool for me to hear. As I was studying the scriptures this week, I came across 3 Nephi 14. I would highly recommend reading it because it is great! In verse 13 it explains that "wide is the gate to destruction." I still like the fact that we are instructed to stay on the "straight and narrow path." On this path, there is no room for wandering off. We need to remember God in all that we do and really come to know Him. In verses 22-23 of 3 Nephi 14 it explains how essential it is for us to come to know God. I love thinking back on the YW theme and how it says "we will stand as a witness of God at all times, in all things, and in all places." I regret not thinking more about the words of this theme each Sunday when I would recite it because I do know that if we are remembering God in all things, that we can truly come to know Him better. We started a thing called "Family Friday." We all just bring pictures of our friends and family and get to talk about them for a few minutes each Friday. I love this! Thank you for all being so great and giving me so many good things to talk about! I seriously have been blessed with the best family and some amazing friends! I really do appreciate the incredible examples! Well, Sister Erekson and I still like to rock the summery, bright clothes. All of the senior couples always ask us where are coats are and the Elders comment us on making the gloomy days bright. It is a fun time! The languages are still coming along pretty well. We had a zone meeting this week which was completely in French. For the first time, I understood EVERY word that was spoken and felt the spirit probably stronger than ever before! It was THE coolest thing! Also, last night as I was saying my prayer, I got a couple minutes into it and realized that I had not spoken a word of English! I had to laugh to myself because this blew my mind! It is amazing how much help I am getting! I can feel your prayers and I thank you for that! I know that it is through Christ that these things are possible. This is His mission, not mine. I am just helping Him accomplish His divine plan! Well, Thanks for everything! Keep enjoying life! Until next week! 
Je vous aime!! xoxo
Love, Sister Heather Kofford

​Sometimes we like to clean our new classroom with cute black gloves!
​Had to get the picture by the map! Love district 63B
Some new frands going to France.
​Weekly Sister temple pic!
​Don't mess with us!(:
​Ma compie
​The fab district!
​Study time!!
​Saying goodbye to these cute sisters was THE WORST! But they will do great things in France!
One thing I have learned from being a companion with Sister Erekson and Sister Stevens is that it is okay to really stop and smell the roses. For me, I feel like I always want to be doing something. And when I complete that task, move on to the next thing quickly. I have learned patience in waiting and waiting for them in the mornings and for meals and at night and everything in between! But it is a good lesson to learn. Productivity is still so important but its okay to enjoy the little things!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Week 7

Life continues to delight me here in the MTC. It has been a great week! It still blows my mind that I have actually been here for 7 weeks and that we have less than a month left now. We still continue to work hard and continue to progress at rapid rates. The French language is coming along great! Sister Erekson and I love teaching our lessons and feeling the spirit strongly each time we do. We also made a goal a week ago to memorize 40 words a day. Twenty in Tahitian and twenty in French.So far we have been successful at this goal and figured that if we continue at this rate, we will learn 1,400 words by the time we leave. Not including learning things through our lessons and other studies. I totally believe that if you put your mind to something, anything is possible with the help of God. Last Tuesday at our devotional, the speaker actually mentioned this exact topic. He shared a quote that said something along the lines of, "I love the people who strive for the impossible." And then backed it up with the scripture Philippians 4:13. It is true. We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us. The speaker also asked us, "What think ye of Christ?" How can we truly come to know, follow, and love our Savior? We can know Him through asking ourselves if He is our best friend. We can follow Him by imitating His example. Through this, people will want to imitate our example as well. We can also follow Him through living one of our baptisim commitments and ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM. We can love Him through doing the things that please Him. If we need to, we can pray for this love. We need to concentrate on loving people into the gospel. Another thing that I love is the Mormon Message, "You Never Know." If you have not seen it yet, I would strongly suggest watching it. I watch it every Sunday because I love it so much. Strive each day to do a little more to be a little better and you will never know the difference you make in someone's life! We can also witness blessings through being the best we can and serving others. A quote from Elder Holland is, "Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some do not come until heaven, but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ they come." We need to watch for blessings and miracles in our life because they happen everyday. I think we should even learn to expect blessings and miracles each day. If we are asking for them and seeking them out, they will come. So . . . some funny things that happened this week are, one day as Sister Erekson and I were teaching a lesson, our investigator needed to learn how to pray. So Sister Erekson said something and then somehow I mixed up my words and said, "When you pray, you start with In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen." It was hilarious because of course that is in fact how you end a prayer, not how you start one. Also, once when I was sharing my testimony in Tahitian I called Jesus Christ my husband instead of our brother. The struggle still continues to be real, but it makes things interesting and fun so all is well! hahaha. Mixing French and Tahitian happens on the occasion and what is funny is whoever is doing the mixing usually does not even notice. So apparently in one lesson (which was in French) I said the word "about" in Tahitian instead of French like 5 times. My teacher gave me a hard time about this afterwards. Too funny. The French Elders continue to make me laugh. As their English improves they try to use it more and more often. One day while we were waiting in line for lunch, Elder Darguence yelled to some random missionary to please hand him a k.... nife. Of course not realizing that the "K" is in fact silent. Elder Kokona is always a good time as well. He is always singing something and trying to mimic different voices. A few days ago, he walked into our classroom with a white rag around his head as a bonnet and in all seriousness sang, "Everyday is new!" We all about died hahaha so funny! I really do love it here at the MTC. We have all become very close and I consider the people in my district to be some of my very best friends. It is going to be a hard day when we all have to go our separate ways. But we can do hard things with a smile. As a district, we strive each day to become less of who we were and more of who God wants us to be. I realize that it is in fact impossible to be perfect. Even though I am on a mission, I am still human. I still get homesick, I have times where I am not as motivated as I should be, there are times when I get discouraged and even a little scared, and of course times where I need to practice increased patience. This week I came to know that it is okay if I am not perfect, as long as I am trying my hardest to become so each day. If we humble ourselves before God, He will make our weaknesses into strengths and we will become strong. (Ether 12:27) I truly do know that when we lose our lives in God is when we will really find our life. (Matthew 16:25) I am so thankful for the gospel in my life. I am cherish the happiness that the truth brings to me. I love being a missionary and I have truly felt the blessings that come from it! I love you all! Have a great week!

Love, Sister Kofford

We love to see the temple!

Happy Fall!

Ma compie!

They're going to France! Love them both so much!! Clicked the minute I met them!

​Where are the real nuts in this picture??

​Goodbye to my cute Halloween decoration for a year!

Love mail!

​Studying on the top bunk! The bottom bunk is mine . . . and yes my dear mother, I make my bed every single day!(:

Wore the ugly shirt this week and totally rocked it! This shirt has been passed down for who knows how long and every sister has to wear it!

Happy Halloween! Tahitian dancers!! Hope you like the background . . . we couldn't find anywhere to take a pic hahaha.