Monday, July 20, 2015

Whose Will is Our Will?

Iaorana my amazing friends and family!
I love you! Thank you for all that you do for me! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers and goodness! I can feel your love each day and do not know how I got so blessed to have you in my life! Sœur Shariatmadari and I had another amazing week! I love my mission! We had the baptism of Frere Tapena on Saturday which was such a miracle. His wife and two daughters got baptized in March, but he did not have the desire to follow their example, change his life, and work towards an eternal family. He had a hard time even accepting the missionary lessons. One night at the start of my companionship with Sœur Shariatmadari, we had a family night with this family! It was way cool because he came for the lesson and listened! We like to start out and introduce everyone a little bit and so we did! I had everyone say their name, something they like in life, and a desire they had. We went through and everyone shared their thoughts and we laughed and had fun and then it was Tea's turn, the older of the two daughters. When it got to the point where she shared her desire, she said that she wanted an eternal family and to be sealed in the temple. This really touched me because if I had one desire in life . . . it would be that as well! The cool thing is that this desire is Gods desire as well! God loves each and everyone of us and wants us to be happy and joyful in this life and to also receive eternal life and life with Him again. Anyway, we taught the lesson about marriage and temples and finished the night. This was the night that the father of this family, Frere Tapena, accepted the missionary lessons. Since this night, every Tuesday at six we would go to teach Him. At the start, he would not often be there and we would really have to practice our Tahitian for his lessons that would usually turn more into an argument haha! We continued anyway seeing the progression little by little! After weeks of this He finally stopped fighting us and admitted to us that he already knew it was all true, he just was not ready to change and convert his worldly desires to the desire of God. This made me think a lot because it is always hard for us to see broken families when we know they are capable of so much. Slowly we figured out all that was keeping him from the waters of baptism. He had some major issues with the Word of Wisom and other things that were controlling his life. We made him a promise saying that if he would do all that he could and decrease his sins little by little that he could be ready for his baptism the 18th of July! He just laughed and I really did not think he took us seriously. The next lesson we arrived with a member and to our surprise he had agreed to this date! So we worked and worked and worked on his obedience and sure enough he was ready for his baptism! Also, I wish you could have been there! The spirit was stronger than I have ever felt before! Tea the daughter cried and was probably one of the happiest people I have ever seen! It was a beaufitul moment! These moments are such miracles in themselves and they make all of the challenging times worth it! But I know these little tastes of heaven on earth only appear when we give our will to God! When we do our best to keep our faith, show our obedience, and find our potential through our love for Him! And I truly do know that the true happiness in life is when our desire and Gods desire are one in the same! And why not have the desire of God? Its the best thing we can possibly receive! So this week, turn your hearts to Him, give Him your will! Everything else is already His. And I know you will be blessed! The Church is so true and I love being able to share this knowledge with our other brothers and sisters! Missionary work is a life process! Search for opportunies to teach! You will not regret it! I love you all! Thanks again for everything! Have a great week!!
Love, Sœur Kofford
Baptism of Frere Tapena!
Tahitian dancing!
Long skirts for days! Trying to hide from the mosquitoes!
Love these brothers in the ward! Great ukulele session!
Heiva dancers!
Cool hats a ward member made for us!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Ca fait deja AHURU AVA'E!

Iaorana friends and family!
 I love you! I cannot believe that it has been ten months already since telling the world goodbye and entering this great work for our Heavenly Father! I love our Heavenly Father! I love the knowledge that we have that we are His children, that we chose to come and live our life on earth, and that we have the chance to return and live with Him one day after our life here in mortality. In the scriptures we learn that eternal life is coming to know God. I am also thankful for the opportunity that we have each and every day to come to know Him more and more through our actions, thoughts, choices, and decisions. Like I said in my letter last week, we need to be obedient because we love Him. As I have been coming to know our Heavenly Father at extensive measures over the last ten months, I have learned a little bit of how He works. I love the scripture in Alma chapter eight verse ten. It talks about Alma when he preached the gospel he worked a lot with the spirit and stayed with God in his fervent prayers. And through these things He was able to find success with the people of Melek. He helped them to repent and be baptized. So we have been trying to do the same thing in our lives as missionaries. We carefully invite the spirit and try to keep a prayer in our hearts and with God we know we can do His will. It was another great week! We still have our baptisms for Frere Tapena and with Mihiau! They have both completely changed and are so happy to be getting baptized but are both going through really hard trials and temptations. Yesterday after church we had a cool experience! We went to a members house and helped them prepare the food and ate swordfish with them! It was so good and we had a great time! We then took the brother with us to come to one of our lessons. We soon found that our lesson was not there but taking advantage of the situation I knew there was someone else we needed to go see. So we headed to Frere Tapenas house. When we got there all he could do was smile and ask us how we knew he needed help. He had fallen back into smoking and had hit a low. We shared a message with him and left him with a blessing and he was feeling better than ever by the time we left. I truly do know that everything happens for a reason in life. God puts things together in such perfectness and I still am amazed sometimes at His love for each and every one of us. We truly can learn to do the things that God would have us do, become the people that God would have us become, and find our true potential and the true happiness of life if we will just listen to Him through His spirit! This week I challenge you all to do the things necessary to invite the spirit into your lives. He will lead and direct your paths and help you find the true happiness that only God can help you acquire! This church is so true! God lives and knows us and loves us individually! I love you all and am so thankful for each and every relationship that has been formed in my life! Keep enjoying life! Happiness is a choice! Choose today! Thanks again for everything! Have a fantastic week!
Love, Sœur Heather Kofford
We love our mission!
First time fishing on a boat in Tahiti!
Our team was so thankful to have athletic Soeur Kofford help them win at soccer and basketball... Life goal is to become athletic haha! but it was fun! Love our Papeari ward!
Protecting ourselves from the mosquitoes!
Beach volley ball today for p-day! These are the sisters in our zone! Papeari or die!
Fishing with my roommates!
Enjoying our p-day at the beach!
Loving the hay fields!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Miracles After the Trial of our Faith!

IAORANA mes amis et ma famille!! Je vous aime beaucoup!!
I hope you all had fantastisc week because my companion and I sure did! Last week was a struggle with being sick having the dengue fever and not being able to do as much as we normally would! The start of this week we still had some side effects of this virus but we decided to tough it out and go to work! We came home every night this week absolutely exhausted but we tried our best to do our best! We saw many miracles this week! Frere Tagihia was an excommunicated member that got rebaptized on Saturday! His wife has been waiting 27 years for him to find himself and come back into the church. Then we had a family night with their broken family that was supposed to be on the power of prayer. At the last minute I asked my comp if we could change the message to agency and we did. We talked about our agency and our choices and décisions and it was amazing to feel the spirit pour our message into their souls. At the end of the message, we committed everyone to choose one thing to change in their lives. A couple days later we got the news that he wanted to be baptized. He quit smoking, drinking, and drugs in one week in order to be worthy. Now his daughter in law is getting baptized on the 18th of July where before she would not even talk to us! I love seeing people change! We also have good old Frere Tapena haha! He likes to drink, party, smoke, and take drugs. His wife and two daughters were converted at the beginning of this year and he did not want anything to do with it. Finally a couple months ago we begged him into taking the missionary lessons. He only speaks Tahitian and so for each lesson we took the time to really prepare the lesson but then as soon as we would sit down and start to teach he would fight the system and we would spend the entire discussion answering his questions haha. Then last Saturday we showed up for his lesson and he was drinking. We joked with him and told him that we were going to take his alcohol and throw it away. We then taught him again about the Word of Wisom. The next time we went back to his house he told us that he accepted our commitment to be baptized the 18th of July! So he too will be baptized this day! I found a scripture this week that I really love! Its in Job 5:17. It says "Happy is the man whom God correcteth!" Each one of our investigators and ourselves as well are being corrected! We all have our weaknesses and our sins and our imperfections and something that blocks us each day from following the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ! But as soon as we humble ourselves and allow ourselves to realize that we really do need God and we need His spirit in our lives and we need the knowledge that repentance is possible through Christ, God starts to correct us. He keeps us in the fire until we are about to burn. He watches us every single step of the day. And then when He can start to see the change, He starts to see His image in us . . . we are able to feel His love and we re happy! So as you go throughout this week, humble yourselves before God, let Him correct you, because He can change your heart! And you can become a piece of fine silver! I love our Heavenly Father! I love His son! I love this Gospel! And I am happy! Thank you for everything!! I love and miss you all!!! Have a fantastic week!
 Love, Sœur Kofford
Enjoying a P-day in paradise!
Kimberly Hunter's wedding reception!
Playing with Bob the cat!
Brother and Sister Tangigia at his baptism!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sick but Happy!

Iaorana friends and family! My companion and I can successfully tell you that we survived the "dangue fever"! Yay! This was the first time that I have really been sick on my mission and I am so glad that things are looking better! We started out the week being so sore and not being able to move! We told Soeur Bize about the dilemma and she informed us that we did infact have the lovely disease and that we needed to stay in the house to heal. This was hard for me to accept, but we did it anyways since we could not really move. A few days later we finally thought that we were feeling better until the other dangue side effects came rolling into play. We got a rash that itches like no other and prevents us from sleeping at night and is super sensative in the sun and outside. Haha It has been quite the adventure but do not worry! All is going better now and we are ready and excited to have a week of normal work and good health ahead of us. Being sick is just another one of the trials of the mission. But we managed to keep a positive attitude and endure to the end. haha! We actually did have a really great week though! We had the baptism and marriage of Emilienne and Tihote on Saturday which was so amazing! I think that I am happiest in life when I can see others happy through the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I am so happy for their little family! Now their goal is to go through the temple in a year and be sealed as a family! I love the Plan of Salvation and this church! I love our Heavenly Father who provided us with this happy ending and I am thankful for our Savior, Jesus Christ because all is possible through Him! So I just had a cool thought the other day that I wanted to share. One day during the week, I went on splits with Soeur Lavelua another sister in our house because my companion was more sick than me, Soeur Laveluas companion was sick, and we had some people that really needed to be seen. So Soeur Lavelua and I worked and worked and worked. We had fun but I was sick and weak and it was about all I could to to hike the mile hill with my bike at the end of the night and get into the house! When we got there I found that my companion was already asleep. Knowing that there are certain responsibilities to do before going to bed I was a little discouraged thinking about all I had to do and about how tired and exhausted I was. I found myself laying down on our little couch in the kitchen not really feeling like doing any of it. Then I thought back to when I was a little girl. When I would be so tired and end up falling asleep in some random spot for the night. I can always remember that my dad would come and carry me to my bed. He loved me and knew I was tired and knew I could not get my two little legs to carry me the few steps to bed. His acts of love provided me with the comfort of my bed and a good night sleep when there was no possible way I could have done it alone. Then I continued to think back on my life with situations similar to this. As I got a little older and the destination of my bed was a little farther away, I remember my dad waking me up and asking me if I could walk to my bed. At times I was still so so so tired. I really did not want to leave the temporary comfort of the couch for a good night sleep, but we both knew that if I could just endure through the last couple steps of the day, there was a better end waiting for me. And so at times, I did walk to my bed in the late hours of the night with my dad by my side to guide my wobbling steps. After thinking of all this, I thought about our Savior, Jesus Christ. He knows our lives and the steps we take. He knows our trials and our griefs and our pains. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows when things are too hard and too much to bear and at these moments He carries us. He will never leave us stranded in a situation we cannot handle! But sometimes when He knows that we are capable of something, that we have to do something in order to reach our potential, or that this hard obstacle in our life really is a key to our progression, He leaves us to take those last few steps! Because He knows its better for us and He knows we can do it! So the night when I was so tired on the couch deciding how to spend the last few hours of my night, I took the last few steps and even though it was just one night with little decisions I am glad I did. Now I know that with other situations simliar to this one in life, all we have to do is our best and take the last couple steps to the destination of a happy ending! Because one day all of these little steps will mold the path that we take to the place we call eternal life! So in your everyday lives . . . just take those last couple steps! Well I love and miss you all! Thank you for everything!! I hope you all have a great week!
Love, Soeur Kofford
Marriage of Emilienne and Tihote!
Baptism of Tihote!