Monday, February 23, 2015

First Week With Soeur Martin!

This last week flew by! My new companion Soeur Martin is so great and it already feels like we have been friends for a long time! We have a lot in common and it has been fun getting to know her! Today we went with some members and saw some of the Historical sites here on Huahine! Here is your fact for the week . . . Did you know that the Tahitians on Huahine still offered human sacrifices and ate other humans up until the 1970s?? Ha this was a little shock for me! We also ate MAA TAHITI again this week with a member family! This means that we eat various interesting foods with our hands hahaha! Also I tried FAFARU for the first time! It is fermented fish with a horrific smell! But now they accept me as a real Tahitian! hahaha to think that before my mission I was a picky eater . . .  Anyway, this last week I truly learned that we are capable of much more than we know and that everything truly is possible with the help of God. I was scared starting out the week knowing that I would have to lead the area. Through the miracle of praying constantly for the gift of tongues I can honestly say I never tripped over my words this past week and I never ran out of things to say. Wow this was cool for me. I am continuing to learn to teach by the spirit. I love having the spirit present in lessons and being able to say inspired things and ask inspired questions. I love my mission. I love seeing others happy. I love seeing others use the power of the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ in their lives and change for the better. I love sharing my testimony and saying that we are children of God and that He loves us. I love engaging people to change their lives, to stop their addictions, to read the Book of Mormon, and to pray. We have four investigators right now who are preparing to enter the waters of baptism. Patricia, Marcel, Celina, and Hinerava. Each one has their own trial but at the same time they want to change their lives. Please keep them in your prayers this week! I have learned to never underestimate the power of a faithful prayer! I know that we have a Heavenly Father who hears and answers each one!  I truly do know that we are all children of God. We are all on our own personal path of life with our own trials and difficulties. I know I have said it before but it is through our hard times that we can be made strong. We can improve and progress. And it is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we can be happy and feel joy and peace during these hard times as well. I know that God has more in store for us than we know. He can make us into the best possible person we can become if we simply live our lives for Him and allow Him to guide our paths. Never forget that you are all children of God. That He loves you and has created a divine path for you! He will guide your life and mold you into the perfect you if you let Him! Thank you for your love and support and emails and everything! I am so blessed to have such amazing family members and friends! SO BLESSED! Have a great week! You are in my thoughts and prayers!
Love, Soeur Heather Kofford
Historical site today with Soeur Martin!
Dinner with my favorite member family! This is the MAPUHI family! Soeur Mapuhi is like my second mom! Always slipping me candy at church and giving me other little things! She is darling! Also she leads the music normally in church so it is fun picking the hymns with her! We are eating MAA TAHITI!

Fantastic Tahiti Surprise!

Ty and Alli,

Here’s the experience that my wife and I had with sister Kofford.  (You might want to forward this message to the Koffords?)

We arrived in Huahine Tahiti at 8am Sunday the 8th of Feb so we had to hurry to make it to church by 9am.  We arrived a few minutes late so the opening song was underway.   We were ushered in and invited to sit on the second row. 

After the sacrament a sister missionary who I think had been playing the hymns for sacrament meeting came over to sit by my wife and I.  She asked if we would like her to translate the testimonies into English.  Of course we welcomed to offer and were so grateful.  In between testimonies she asked us where we were from.  We told her Lindon, Utah.  She got excited and said she was from Highland.   I told her my brother Tyler Norton lives in Highland and she asked with even greater excitement, “Tyler and Allison?   I love their family.   That’s my ward… they are in my ward!  I love their family so much.”

I was surprised to learn she had only been in Tahiti for a short time because she did a wonderful job translating.  She even translated my testimony at the pulpit for the congregation.    It was fun to tell the congregation that we just met and that she knows my brother and his family in Utah.

After sacrament she introduced us to Billy who had committed to be baptized the following Saturday.  Billy bore his testimony also.

Words can’t express the blessing it was to meet Sister Kofford that day.  It was a wonderful tender mercy.

Her spirit, smile, personality and love of the Tahitian people was palpable.    Congratulations on raising and preparing such a wonderful missionary.

We met so many members of the church in Tahiti.  Our Tahitian brothers and sisters are amazing!

May the Lord continue to bless Sister Kofford and the missionary efforts worldwide!

All the best,

Brad and Debbie Norton

Monday, February 16, 2015

Change in Progress!

Bonjour bonjour friends and family! 
I hope life is going well for you and that you are all finding the joy, happiness, and peace that the gospel brings. It was a good and sad week for me. My trainer and first companion here on the islands finished her mission yesterday. Soeur Hunter was such a good example to me and I will always love her. I came into my mission knowing that I would learn something new from each one of my companions. Because each person has something different and special to offer. I had the idea that I would find the strengths of each one of my companions and that I would take that characteristic, attribute, or trait and I would apply it in my life trying to improve myself and become a more Christlike person. But I found with Soeur Hunter that she was good in every way. She was a Christlike missionary. I am so thankful for all of the things that I learned from her. I am thankful for her example to me and to everyone. She truly was such a blessing in my life. I hope that one day I can be like her. Like our Savior, Jesus Christ. My new companion is Soeur Martin. She is French. She is taller than me and incredibly pretty. She was our STL the transfer before and she has also served at the visitors center at Tahiti. I have been blessed again with another great companion. I realized this week that change is something in my life that is hard for me. Hard for the natural man. In our lives we get used to things and get comfortable with our habits not wanting to leave our comfort zones and try new things. But in life change is important. Because change is progress. If you think about the transition each one of us had to take changing from elementary school to Jr High. This was hard. There is no more recess, you have eight different classes to think about instead of just one, you have the opportunity to know and keep track of your grades, you have separate lunches and are not always with your friends, you have to learn how to use a locker, the list goes on and on. But slowly we learn to adapt because we have a goal to get good grades and succeed. For me in my life, making the drill team was another change that changed me. The first couple of months on the team were hard. I had little dance experience and did not really know what I was doing. I was scared of all the older girls and I lacked in confidence. But I continued with this transition with my goals in mind. I wanted to be as flexible as Hailey Wright, I wanted to be able to dance like Brianna Palmer, and I wanted to improve my confidence in my social life. With this change in my life and these goals, I progressed. I think that we can also apply this concept for our investigators here on Huahine. With each baptism, there has to be change. Before a person is baptized, they have to change. They have to quit their addictions and be commited to come unto Christ. They have to have faith, putting their trust in God and they have to repent and CHANGE. This is a major progression in life. So all in all change is important. It is a way that we can progress! This week in your lives, find something that you can change. So that you can progress, improve, and become more like the person God knows you can be. Thanks again for everything ! Your love, support, thoughts, and prayers! I love you all ! Have a great week!
Love, Soeur Heather Kofford

Just a bikin it!
Baptism of Billy and Pascal!
Terii drew this for me!
Last day with Soeur Hunter! Easily one of the hardest days for me! But all will be well!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Let Him Guide Your Paths

It has been a great week for Soeur Hunter and I. The days fly by and I can hardly believe that it is already Monday again. Soeur Hunter will finish and head back to Tahiti to finish her mission on Sunday and I am very sad about this.I have been so beyond blessed to have had her for a companion for the past two and a half months. She is the most Christlike and inspired person that I have met. She has taught me many valuable things that have definitely changed my life. I know that our companionship was inspired and that we both truly were in need of eachother. Like I said, I will be very sad to see her go but from what I have learned, I know that all will be well because God knows us better than we know ourselves and He knows our needs better too. I know that there is something that I need to learn from each companion that I will have and that each companionship is truly inspired by God. Just like everything else in life. His hands truly are in everything. It was a fun week with lots of activities that we planned to unify the ward and include our investigators and less active members. On Friday we had a talent show. The Priesthood, RS, YM,YW, and Primary each prepared a dance, a song, and an item of food. It was a super fun night and I am growing to love the Tahitian culture and lifestyle. I learned how to braid leaves into plates and roofs and other decorations and love playing the ukulele. Sunday night we had a fireside on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If you have not watched the clip BECAUSE OF HIM lately you need to go watch it! I truly am so thankful for our Savior Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for each one of us. I know that through Him we can repent and be forgiven, allowing us to receive happiness, joy, and peace, and also we can achieve etermal life. I know that He loves us and is mindful of us. This week I fell upon the scripture 2 Nephi 27:23. I know that we do have a God of miracles and He will show unto us these miracles according to our faith. One miracle that we have seen this week is Billy. Billy is an investigator who we first met around Christmas. He was on the side of the road and he was drinking. We were not planning on talking to him knowing that he was probably drunk but we had to turn the car around and stop anyway so sure enough the spirit directed us to have a conversation. He agreed to have one lesson. So we followed through. After this we lost contact for a few weeks. Then just two weeks ago we saw him again in the city. We had another conversation with him and seemed to lighten his day. Soon after, he called us and explained that he wanted another lesson. He explained that he had had a dream and needed to change his life. The next lesson, he agreed to be baptized. What if we had not talked to Billy that day on the side of the road? Where would he be today? He has turned a complete one hundred and eighty degrees and is now on the path to eternal life. I know that God works through us to help others. And right now on my mission, I know that I am exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I need to be doing. I would not change the decision to serve a mission for anything. I have learned and felt so many things that have changed my life for the better. I am coming to know who I really am, what my potential is, and what I am capable of doing as a disciple of Christ, I have realized what is really important in life, and I have found true happiness. I have also learned how to recognize the spirit in my life and let him direct my words, actions, and decisions. Life with the spirit is the best life. With Him by your side, you cannot go wrong. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the earth today. I know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us, a Savior and brother who sacrificed His life for us, and the Holy Ghost who can be our constant companion if we invite him in. I am so thankful for the gospel and the happiness the truthfulness of it brings! I hope you all have found these truths in your  lives. And if not, search it out. You will not regret it! Thanks for your love and support and encouragement! I love you all and hope and pray that you will all have a fabulous week! 
Love, Soeur Heather Kofford

A member made us crowns and leis! Missionary life in Tahiti is such a blessing!
Always one of my fav lessons! I get to play with so many Scotchys! God knows me so well!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Bonjour friends and family!
I hope all is well because it was a very successful week for Soeur Hunter and I. I started out the week a little scared knowing that we were way over booked and that I would have to go on splits with members of the ward and also with one of the two STLS that were coming to stay with us for a day. AKA . . . I would have to lead the lesson. This was a very scary thought for me because like I said last week, the things I had been fearing most were about to come true. I would have to listen and respond and lead the lessons in a foreign language. Good thing God has more confidence in us than we do in ourselves. Because all went well. I truly do know that God gives us difficult tasks and obstacles in life to overcome so we can improve, progress, and become more like Him and our Savior, Jesus Christ each day. At the time when I lacked confidence and truly was very scared to live through the week, I had a very comforting thought come to my mind. YOU ARE NEVER ALONE. OUR SAVIOR IS ALWAYS OUR COMPANION. Wow this hit me really hard. Maybe because it is so true. He knows how we feel. Down to every last little worry or fear. He has already paid the price. So before each lesson I pleaded with God to help me receive inspired things to say during the lessons. And I truly did see His hands in my life. I know that God lives and that He loves us and knows us individually. We also had two baptisms this week! Peari and Heimoana have never glown brighter. It is amazing to see the light of Christ shine through their eyes. There is nothing better than seeing our investigators progress, and feel the love of God. This is only possible for them and for us as well through our actions. It is essential for us in our everyday lives to do a little more to become a little better. It is only when we do our part that God will provide the rest. He has given us this amazing thing called faith. And when we ACT by faith is when the blessings will come. I know that this church is true and that only through it we can receive true happiness, peace, and joy in our lives. We always share our testimonies at the end of each lesson and I say that every time. I love this gospel and am thankful for the opportunity that I have to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. So this week, I challenge you all to keep in mind that you are never alone and you always have our Savior as a constant companion. Also, take action. Have the faith to do a little more to be a little better each day and I know that God will bless you with your efforts! Thank you for your love, support, and prayers! I love you all! Have a fantastic week!
Love, Soeur Heather Kofford
BAPTISM of Heimoana and Peari!! YAY
Serving in paradise!
LOVE LOVE LOVE Soeur Hunter!
Just a fishin!
An American, a Tahitian, a Frenchy, and an Australian. All working together for the same cause. To bring others unto Christ.