Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy New Year!

It was definitely a good week! The Christmas season always brings a good spirit and it was definitely strong this year here on Huahine! Christmas day went well for Soeur Hunter and I. Due to the holiday, we only had one lesson so we decided to render a lot of service. We gathered all the food we had in our freezer and refridgerator, cooked it, and delivered it to those in need. It was definitely a good experience and I love seeing other people happy. We also made who knows how many cookies and delivered them randomly to members and investigators and anyone else we passed on the street. So a week ago, the island of Huahine ran out of gas. There is only one gas station on the island and I guess they import the gas by boat every couple of weeks. I do not know how often this happens but I thought it was absolutely hilarious. We drove our car until the gas light came on and then we had to use our bikes. Christmas Day was the first time I rode my bike on my mission. It was quite an experience. I quickly learned that I am not an experienced bike rider. As a child my mom always instructed me to stay on the sidewalk and I could only ride around the block. Here on Huahine, everywhere we go is like an extreme mountain biking trail. It has been quite an adventure. So for our only lesson on Christmas day, it was with a young boy named Naty. He lives very far away from us and his house is only reachable by a dirt road. Of course it decided to rain and there were very strong winds. The trip to his house was very long and tiring. When we finally arrived, we were soaking wet and exhausted. But alas, the lesson went well and it was definitely worth it. We taught about the importance of families and the spirit was so strong. The bike going has been a lot easier since that day. I told myself that if I could survive the trip to his house in the rain and wind . . . that I can do anything. I truly can do anything with the help of my Savior, Jesus Christ. The year 2014 was a year that changed my life forever. I was going through a very hard time in my life exactly a year ago from right now. Each day would drag and I really did not realize my purpose. I felt like the whole world was caving in on me and I did not have any motivation. I was not happy. On January 5th 2014 I made the decision to serve a mission. This has been the best decision I have made so far in my life. Ever since that day, things started turning around for me. Slowly but surely my life transitioned and I found joy. Our purposes here on this earth are to find joy and to come to know God and His son Jesus Christ. The only way we can come to know real joy is through coming to know them. Life is a process for each of us. Life is hard. But the minute we get on the path that God has in mind for us and let Him guide our lives, the minute that we realize that God is there for us every step of the way and that He loves us very much, the minute that we truly come to know that there is a divine plan for each one of us and that there are people waiting for our light is the minute that we can experience true joy. I am so thankful for this gospel. I am thankful for the experiences that I have had, the good ones and the difficult ones. Because they have molded me into the person I am today. I am thankful for the opportunity I have to use the Atonement in my life each day and to improve as a person. I know that we can do all through Christ. As this New Year commences, make a personal goal to make Christ your best friend. Invite Him into your life and let Him guide your paths. I know that you will notice a difference and experience true joy! Happy New Year!! Thanks for all of your love, support, and prayers! I truly do feel and appreciate it! I love you all! Love, Soeur Heather Kofford
Island tour
Island tour with Andy's family
Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
Sister Arbuckle, Sister Kofford, Elder Twede
Some little puddles we had to bike through
The beautiful beach the day the sun finally decided to shine!

Christmas Day

Best Christmas present ever! Skyping Sister Heather Kofford.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Expect Miracles

It has honestly been an exceptionally good week. Have you ever asked yourself, What more can I do for the world? Am I doing the things that the Savior would have me do? Am I doing my best to live by the spirit and let the Lord guide my path? I can tell you that this week for at least one lesson, I was in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. We have an investigator named Tama. He has been receiving missionary discussions for 22 years. That is a very long time. We taught him and his wife once two weeks ago and then again on Thursday. The first time I was introduced to this family, Tama was loud and not very respectful. I told myself that we would probably never get to see the day of his baptism but that we would continue to teach and show our love to him through our examples and testimonies. So Thursday came around and we taught his daughter Heimoana a lesson on the Holy Ghost. The lesson went very well and the spirit was felt. Afterwards, Tama came out onto the porch and told us to wait because he needed to talk to us. So we did just that. Some background information about him is that he is a man of very large stature, has tattoos covering his body, and is just all around tough. So he started to talk and tears started to come out of his eyes. He explained that his heart had been touched and that he knew he needed to be baptised. His wife was there with us too and she began to cry as well because she has been prepared for baptism for years and years and has been waiting for her husband so they could get baptised together. This was honestly the coolest thing for me to experience and it is still very hard for me to believe. I am having a hard time writing about this special event because words cannot do justice for how incredible this moment was. And so Tama and his wife Hinano were baptised on Friday. Afterwards Tama explained to me that he did not know why it took so long and he did not know why he had to go through so many missionaries to feel the truth. But he said, "avec vous deux c'est bien." Which means that with Soeur Hunter and I it finally clicked for him. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to be an instrument in Gods hands. To bring to pass the miracles that are waiting to happen. I know that God shows His love for each one of us through others. I think that relationships are a big purpose of this life. So cherish every relationship. Keep the good ones going and strengthen the weak ones. We are all in each others lives for divine reasons. EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. Also, watch for not only the tender mercies in each day but the miracles as well. They are always there, we just have to seek them out. I know that every good thing comes from God and that His hand is in everything. I know that we can bring miracles through Him. I love a scripture in Fourth Nephi  verse 5, in nothing did they work miracles save it were in the name of Jesus. Our strength and our potential to bring about miracles comes only through Christ. So be worthy of this strength and potential. And he will help us and guide our paths. He will put us into the situations where we can say, I am doing exactly what the Lord wants me to do and He is guiding my path. Thank you for letting me share my experiences with you! I love you all and hope that you have a very Merry and magical Christmas! Keep the true meaning in your hearts always! 
Love, Soeur Kofford
The ward Christmas party! I started out by teaching one little girl how to play I am a Child of God and pretty soon this is what happened! The kids all love me and tell me I have beautiful eyes! I genuinely love them right back !
Smiles in Tahiti!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week Piti in Tahiti!

IAORANA ma famille et mes amis!! It has been a successful but hard week! But nothing I could not do with the help of our Savior. The truthfulness of this amazing gospel is made manifest to me day after day through the small experiences that occur, the thoughts that are put into my mind, and the things I learn from the scriptures and lessons. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is so true. So for some things that happened this last week . . . I talked in church yesterday . . . yep in Tahitian and French! Haha the struggle was so real and it was definitely a stressful process trying to write the talk. But Soeur Hunter helped me edit it after it was written and to my surprise she could not find very many errors! I am sure the pronunciation was a bit rough for some words when I actually gave the talk but I think that it went fairly well! My topic was on missionary work but Soeur Hunter and I decided to talk on the gifts our Savior has given to us and the gifts we can give to our Savior. I talked about the gifts that we can give our Savior. My good cousin Casey wrote me a letter and told me that I could find the answer for the most precious gift that we can offer our Savior in D&C 18:13. So naturally I read the scripture, learning that the best gift we can possibly give is repentance. So that is what I talked about. I hope that through my broken French and Tahitian that I could leave the people thinking about what they could change in their lives and what they could repent of this Christmas. For me, I had kind of a cool realization with what I am going to give. The very moment that I read that scripture, the song "I Feel My Saviors Love" was playing on my mp3. And the words "Give all your life to Him" rang through my mind. So that is what I am giving my Savior this Christmas. I have challenged myself to truly be the most diligent, hardworking, obedient, loving missionary I can possibly be. So I am challenging you all as Casey challenged me . . . look for one thing in your life that you can give up for the Savior. He has done everything for us so its the least we can do to just change one thing for Him. 
Another realization that I had this past week is that God truly is in everything. I guess that before this point in my life, I thought that God would come in and out of our lives. Helping us when we needed help and humbling us when we needed to learn a lesson. This thought was indeed very false. God knows us perfectly. He knows every feeling, thought, and action. As I have been here in Tahiti on my mission I have learned that this is true. Thoughts will be put into my mind and scriptures will come to my rememberence when I need them for lessons. He gives me hope to press on and I truly do know that He knows us and loves us individually.
I am still struggling quite a bit with the languages. Not as badly as last week which is good but yes it is a challenge. There was one lesson which was completely in Tahitian. These lessons are always very hard for me because it takes a lot of brain power to try and understand what is being said. So I got lost towards the end of the lesson and just shared my testimony when it was over. Afterwards, I asked my companion in French what was said. She explained that our investigator, Elie, was having trouble understanding why bad things happen to good people. At the time, Soeur Hunter could not think of anything to say apparently which made me sad because if I would have known what the issue was, I could have answered her question. God gives us trials specifically for us individually. He would not put us through anything that we could not overcome. I would have shared part of D&C 121 and expounded on that. I plan on doing this next time we meet with her but it was frusterating for me to find out after the fact that I could have hopefully helped her.
It is always very hot here and whether its rain or whether its sweat I am always wet. Haha I definitely miss air conditioning. I have over 50 mosquito bites which is also very fun haha. The food is always interesting as well. There are endless new adventures with this new culture. All is well for me though, life is a process not an event and as long as I continue to improve each day with the languages and with myself as a person, then I will be content! Thank you for thinking of me and for your prayers! I can definitely feel them!!! I hope you all have a magical week with the Christmas Spirit in the air. Remember the true meaning of Christmas and remember to give your gift to our Savior! Thanks again! I love you all!
Love, Soeur Kofford
They were all a little shocked when they learned I could play!
Just after a lesson with a recent convert

Monday, December 8, 2014

First Week in Paradise!

Wow! I honestly do not even know where to start! First of all . . . I am typing on a French keyboard so please excuse my punctuation and grammar mistakes.Tahiti is beautiful, the people are great, my companion is fabulous, the food is okay, the weather is very hot and humid, and the languages are rough! I am on a tiny island called Huahine. When President Bize interviewed me to assign me to my area, he said that this island is one of the most beautiful islands. He was right. It really is gorgeous. There are only four missionaries on the island and we are all sisters. My companion is Sister Hunter. She is a native Tahitian. She is super nice and patient and a wonderful teacher. I aspire to be like her. We teach around 8 lessons a day to all kinds of different people. These people come from very humble circumstances. Most houses have dirt floors and missing walls. The bedroom is the kitchen and the living room and everything is everywhere! Every house looks like one of Grandpa Judds barns hahaha. Oh! Also, everyone has at least 42 dogs and 63 cats. We even have 3 cats that legitimately live at our house. The fruit is amazing. For all of the meals, we eat rice, bread, and something else. My favorite thing is cereal hahaha like usual. I found a box of Frosted Flakes at the store and was very grateful! The languages are very very different from what we learned in the MTC. The accents are different and everyone talks very quickly and very quietly. Also, since I am on a little island, the main language is in fact . . . Tahitian. This is great because I cannot even understand the French that is being spoken to me hahaha but it will be great for me to learn. I just need to practice patience with myself and remind myself that these languages, like everything, are a process. Of course I am not going to understand everything on the first day! I just need to accept that! But yes, understanding and speaking the languages have definitely been my biggest struggle. But I can see myself improving little by little each day. So I will live. We have two baptisms on December 19th so this is good news! The gospel is very active here and the members are very nice. I have already been able to witness how the gospel changes lives and it has been such a blessing to see. It truly is amazing how much I already love these people. I am so thankful for the missionary program and for my mission call specifically. I know that I am supposed to be here on the island of Huahine right now. It is hard, but I can do hard things with a smile. I can do all things through Christ. Our extremity truly is Gods opportunity. We have to have trials, humble ourselves, and become weak in order for Him to make us strong. Please keep me in your prayers. Thanks for everything! Have a great week!
Love, Tuahine Kofford
P.S. Nobody can pronounce Kofford correctly hahaha the struggle is real! When this happens I feel like asking the people . . . have you said your name lately, Sister Meriterani?? haha but its good!

Until next week! xoxo

We legitimately taught a lesson right here. We teach lessons anytime, anywhere, to anybody!
Fancy plane to Tahiti!
Our little house!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sister Kofford Quoted in the Church News

LDS Church News

A spiritual feast at missionary training centers with Elder David A. Bednar on Thanksgiving Day

By R. Scott Lloyd
LDS Church News
Published: Friday, Dec. 5 2014 11:48 a.m. MST
Updated: Friday, Dec. 5 2014 11:48 a.m. MST

Elder David A. Bednar speaks to missionaries at the Provo Missionary Training Center in Thanksgiving Day devotional
On Nov. 25, Thanksgiving Day in the United States, elders, sisters and couples at the Provo Utah Missionary Training Center partook of a spiritual feast, then later engaged in a service project assembling food packets for the needy.
At a morning devotional, the 1,468 missionaries in Provo joined with missionaries tuned in at a dozen other training centers around the world to listen as Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles with his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, answered questions posed by the missionaries.
To accomplish that, several hundred cell phones were distributed among the congregation in Provo, on which the missionaries were invited to submit their questions via text messaging. Elder Bednar viewed them on a tablet at the pulpit and selected questions for response.
At the other missionary training centers — in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, England, Ghana, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and Spain — the missionaries were invited to email questions to Elder Bednar at the pulpit in Provo.
Elder Bednar also invited some elders and sisters in the Provo congregation to stand and pose their questions in person.
“Sister Bednar and I are not the teachers here today; the Holy Ghost is,” Elder Bednar said in introductory remarks. “During the time that we’re assembled here together, thoughts will come to your mind, feelings will come to your heart. There will be assurances, there will be invitations to change, and there will be instruction.”
Immediately after the devotional, the Church News posed this question to a few of the missionaries who were assembled in Provo: “What did the Holy Ghost teach you today while you were listening to Elder and Sister Bednar?”
“Today, I found out that the Holy Ghost is a real person, because He said something to me,” replied Sister Isabela Erekson of Loveland, Colorado, bound for the Tahiti Pape’ete Mission.
Speaking through tears, she said, “And now I know that God answers my questions, because He answered my question today.” She indicated her question was too personal to share.
“What I learned today was that by paying attention to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and really trying to listen and feel, our lives become better and our knowledge and understanding of the gospel is deepened even as our questions are answered,” said Elder Justin Jennings of Hurricane, Utah, who is going to the Japan Tokyo South Mission. “By doing the simple things that Elder Bednar said today, we’ll always be able to have that companionship of the Holy Ghost with us. I felt that very strongly today.”
Sister Ashley Hassell of Sandy, Utah, who is bound for the Italy Rome Mission, was one of the missionaries who was called upon to stand and pose a question directly to Elder Bednar from the congregation. After the devotional, she said the Holy Ghost had helped her to understand more deeply the importance of a mission and “the importance of Christ and how much He loves everyone and loves me.”
Elder Nathan Dunn, Dayton, Ohio, who is also going to the Japan Tokyo South Mission said, “The opportunity to listen to an Apostle was really special for me, and I really enjoyed how he bore witness. My question was, ‘What is your witness of Christ?’ As he bore witness, he answered my question, and I learned so much through the Holy Ghost. Through his witness, I gained a greater witness of Christ, and I really appreciate that and the blessing to have living Apostles to lead and guide this Church.”
Sister Heather Kofford, Highland, Utah, also going to the Tahiti Pape’ete Mission, said, “One thing I really loved that Elder Bednar said today is that we’re going to be transitioning from being full-time missionaries to being lifelong missionaries. It’s so true that we are here on this earth to bring the gospel to people and to help them know what we know and to feel what we can feel through the Holy Ghost.
“I love that we can have the Holy Ghost with us constantly to bear witness and to give us answers. I’ve been studying faith a lot through the past three weeks at the MTC, and I loved how he said that we don’t receive a witness until after the trial of our faith and that we can be made stronger each time we have these experiences. I know these missions are for investigators, but they’re for us as well, and they really do prepare us for life and for eternity. I’m thankful for the knowledge I have of the gospel, and I know it is true with all of my heart.”
In the afternoon, Elder and Sister Bednar returned to the MTC to help with a humanitarian project. The missionaries in Provo assembled 366,048 meal packets that will be distributed through the Utah Food Bank to less-advantaged children under the auspices of the organization Feeding Children Everywhere, said Spencer K. Christensen of Missionary Training Center operations.
MTC congregation sings a hymn during Thanksgiving devotional
​Right after we were interviewed for church news!

Arrived and Well!

President Pierre and Brigitte Bize

Final Days in the MTC

Our flight leaves SLC at 6:50 pm so we will be at the SLC airport before then!
We will be in the LAX airport from 7:45 to 10:45 pm (California time).
 I am so excited to talk to you all!

I love you! Ua here ia outou! Je vous aime!!!

Love, Sister Heather Kofford
Our old building! Gotta love good ol' Benny Rich!
MTC President Lon Nalley and his wife, Jane.
We all love Sister Cook!
The sisters!
Posing it up!
Fun temple pics!
I love my name tag!
​Temple with the fabulous Sista Erekson!
Where are we from??
Orometua Hapairai and District 63B!!