Monday, October 26, 2015

We Have the Power to do Good!

Hello friends and family!
I cannot believe that another week has come and gone! I feel like I say this at the start of each email, but it is honestly true! This last week has not been the easiest week on my mission, but don't you worry . . . I am still alive and working hard! The beginning of the week started out with a sick Tahitian sister who had to go to the doctor everyday to get scans, tests, and such. My companion is the driver, so naturally she had to take this sick sister to the city for the first four days of this week. I was left in the area searching for sisters with cars who could take me and be with me from lesson to lesson. This does not seem like a big thing, but it was stressful in the moment. We then found out from three of our progressing investigators, who so badly wanted to get baptized, that their parents did not approve of their request. With these three it looks like the situation is going to take some serious faith and work! Their names are Marwinda, Tane, and Rai, so pray for them! This was a little bit of a let down because no one likes hearing that the baptism won't go through. Then on Thursday, Soeur Statsny and I received two sister missionaries that have personal or family issues that are going home this week; they could not handle being anywhere else but with us. I love these sisters, but it has definitely taken a toll on me mentally. They are sad and homesick and have no desire to work or be missionaries. We have been trying to find enough energy and motivation for the four of us. These little things added up and turned into trials for me. Then I realized that God does not give us trials (or temptations) that we are not able to bear. (D&C 64:20) So that helped my confidence a little bit. God knew I was capable and that I could find sisters in the ward to work with, deal with the stress of a struggling area, and help these sad sisters all at the same time. The only thing we can do in these challenging circumstances is to put our trust in God. He knows best. We need to let Him work out the situation, so we can be the instruments in His hands. To do this, we have to watch and pray continually. (Alma 13:28) We have to try to be the person who God wants us to be. We exercise the correct Christlike attributes when needed. We need to have hard moments like this to see how we will respond and how we can improve and progress! When our desire to be better is there, the desire to act in the name of Christ and do as He would do, we have the power to do good. We are agents for ourselves. As long as we are doing good, we will not lose our reward. (D&C 58:28) This reward can be a reward of eternal life one day, but it's also the reward of peace in our hearts and even though we are not perfect, we know we did our best and that God is pleased. He is smiling down upon us! But we have to know as well that it is always our choice to do good. We should be anxiously engaged in a good cause and do many things of our own free will to bring to pass much righteousness. Our agency is so important and does the most important thing for us in the end if we use it wisely . . . which is making us into something better! At the end of the day, we all need to ask ourselves, "Am I not only doing good, but being good?" I want to be a good daughter of our Heavenly Father and show my love for Him through my faith and actions of obedience! I am thankful for challenges, responsibilities, and new opportunities to learn and grow; it helps me to draw nearer unto Him and guides me to who I need to be! So this week as you go throughout your lives, be good! Trust in God and He will lead your paths! I love you all! Thank you for everything!!! Have a wonderful week and Happy Halloween!
Love, Soeur Kofford
Some of my favorite Tahitian friends!

Monday, October 19, 2015

What Will We Do With Our Hands?

Bonjour friends and family!
I can hardly believe that another week has come and gone! I can honestly say that every single day in this past week has flown by! I am loving life! I love my companion Soeur Statsny! I hope that I will be able to stay with her until the end of her mission, because I do not want her to be transferred! She is so awesome and we have a lot in common! She has the mission figured out and is easy to talk to and be around! I also love our investigators! There are always people waiting and being prepared for the good news of the gospel! I now know the ward members better and I love them as well! Elder Haleck from the seventy came to talk to us on Tuesday and I had a great experience! I learned again that I am here to love! I had a peace in my heart, because that is already what I am doing! This gospel is a gospel of happiness and love and I am so privileged to be sharing this knowledge with others each and every day!
A cool study that we did this week was focusing on what we do with our hands! From the early minutes of the morning we start. We exercise, we get ready, we cook, we study, we ponder, we learn, we open gates, we hug, we serve, we flip through pages, we talk, we wave, we blow kisses, we wash, we eat, we do an infinite amount of things each day with our hands. And often we do not notice the good we do. We do not compare our lives and hands to the life and hands of our Savior, Jesus Christ. What did He do with His hands? He beckoned "Come Follow Me!" He comforted the lonely, healed the sick, lifted Peter and helped him walk upon the water, washed the feet of His disciples, blessed the sacrament, created the earth, multiplied the fish and bread, and prayed fervently with our Heavenly Father. He did all of these things because He loves us! He was there to love! He is still there and He still loves! And He can also show His love through us! He accomplished each and every one of these things to show us a perfect example. So that we might parallel our lives with His and use our hands in similar ways. I also love how He used his hands during the Atonement. In the garden of Gethsemane, He suffered in prayer, clasping His hands and paying the price of our sins. Upon the cross, He sacrificed His hands and allowed nails to be driven through them. And with His Resurrection, He came back into the world inviting us all to come unto Him to to touch his hands. (3 Nephi 11:10-15) It is our choice to come unto Him! Through the little choices we make each day, we can choose Him and His love! He loves us and knows us perfectly! He is there to love! And so are we if we are to follow His example! So this week as you all go throughout your lives, pay attention to the things you do with your hands! There might not be a blindman waiting for the touch of sight . . . but there will be someone that is lost spiritually who will need your light to find the way back. There may not be someone needing to be lifted up to walk on water, but there will be someone going through a trial that will need you to lighten their load. There will always be someone in need of your hands! God will bless you with opportunities to serve, if you will just look! I know that Christ lives! He is our brother and friend! Come unto Him! 
Thanks again for everything! I say it every week but I truly am thankful for your love and support! You all have been such blessings in my life! I love you all! Have an amazing week!
Love, Soeur Kofford
Love Sister Stastny!
Mini conference!
Leadership council!
Played soccer where the world cup was held! Tahiti came in second for their beach last season!
La vie est belle!
Loving the beach!

Monday, October 12, 2015

I Have Kept Faith!

Hello again friends and family!
Time seems to just keep going by faster and faster! It has already been three weeks since Soeur Statsny and I started together! Half a transfer already! Cannot believe it! It was a crazy week with lots of things happening! Soeur Shariatmadari had some scary moments and ended up getting her appendix out yesterday! I felt so bad that I could not be there for her! I love this missionary and consider her as one of my very best friends! So keep her in your prayers! Also last night, there was an emergency transfer and we had to help some sisters get settled. Since being here in Mahina, I have noticed that I am a bit more tired. I think in Papeari, there was so much to do and I was numb to the fact that we are still human and can still get tired. With the transfer, a little change in lifestyle, new people and a new ward, I have realized that the mission has taken a little toll on me haha! But do not worry! I am still going strong and working hard and hopefully being the missionary that God wants me to be! 
There was a story given in a General Conference once that I really enjoyed! It was about a group of runners in the Olympics. Their objective was to do a relay with a lit torch. The idea was to be the fastest group to finish with the torch still lit. This takes much skill. Even if you have some of the fastest runners, you have to take care of the torch to make sure the flame does not go out. Steady and surely is how the win will be earned! I had a realization this week that was pretty cool. As missionaries, we go through certain phases. New missionaries are full of energy and are ready to climb the mountains that are placed in front of them! Trials are big and hard but we are determined. The unknowing outcome scares us a little bit, but at the same time gives us hope to continue. We have in mind the missionary and person we want to become, and even though the outcome is far away, we are able to press forward towards the final destination. Slowly, the progress sneaks up on us! Before we know it, we are speaking in different languages, we are reading people and finding their needs, we are learning how to find unity with our companion, we learn to juggle everyone else's problems before our own, and at the same time we deal with personal challenges that can break the heart and soul a little bit. Missions are crazy things . . . let me tell you! Then we get thrown into even more responsibility! God starts to test our capabilities knowing our possibilities from the beginning!  Then we find peace! A peace that burns the flame within our heart and gives us joy to keep going and to literally give 110 percent! You find a groove that works for you and you run with it! You hold your torch up high and you literally find the joy that only comes through the truthfulness of this restored gospel! Then you hit a peak! You know what you are capable of doing, you know that God trusts you and you know how to put your trust in Him! The mountains that we were once climbing have become but hills that are easy to tread. But at the same time, you slow your pace a little because you are searching for the next person. To pass the torch and help their light shine. As I studied the definition of a leader, I learned that it is a person that takes care of themselves and then is capable of helping others take care of themselves as well! I hope I can be this person! Who can keep my flame lit and endure to the end! Helping others to find what I have and to know that the mission is the race track where everyone wins! At the end of my mission, I want to be able to read the scripture in 2 Timothy 4:7 with a smiling face and the fire of my torch burning within me! I want to be able to say that I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith! 
So your commitment this week is just that! Continue in your lives to keep your torch shining! Fight a good fight and make the best out of every day! Even when days get challenging, finish the race! You can do it! Put your faith in God and everything is possible with Him! He loves you and I love you! Thanks for your love and support and prayers! It really does help! Have a great week!
Love, Soeur Kofford
I love my MTC Sisters!
The gang is back together again! I love these missionaries!
Tacos for dinner! This is at our Ward Mission Leader's house! He and his wife both speak English, and the house is amazing! We almost thought we were back in the states this night haha!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Find Joy in the Simple Things!

Bonjour Friends and Family!
I love you and miss you all! You are always in my thoughts and prayers! We had a great week here at Mahina! We do not have lots and lots of investigators, but the ones we do have are golden and I love them so much! We have seen many miracles this week which strengthen our testimonies and allows us to know again and again that this really is the work of the Lord! One of my favorite things that happened this week is that we were having a lesson with one of the couples we are working with. We were sitting on bleacher seats for a little volleyball game, when a bus drove by and dropped off several returning students from school! My eyes were directed to a young girl and I was prompted to talk with her. She was sparkling and darling and when I told her a little bit about who we were and the amazing job we do each day, she immediately accepted the lessons. Her name is Ranihei. She explained to us where she lived so we could stop by after talking to the couple. When we got to her house the atmosphere was a little strange. Her mom did not want to come out at first, but then she finally accepted our proposition to start the lessons with her cute daughter! Not wanting to waste time I asked if we could share a little message right then and there. We were invited into the house where we found the dad. There were already Books of Mormons,  Hymn books and other church items all over the place. In my confusion, they explained that both parents were members, even returned missionaries who had lost their way many years ago. This was heartbreaking and I know that this encounter was inspired. God needs them to re-find themselves and is giving them a second chance through their daughter! We committed them to talking about baptism and to pick a date in October for her to be baptized! Such a miracle! It was sad for me to see this couple so far from the things they once knew and practiced. I set the goal in my mind that no matter what life throws at me . . . I hope I will not fall far because I will continue to find joy in the simple things! 
A couple weeks ago when we were having a hard day, I fell upon one of my old journals and found a compliment inside that one of my past companions had given me. She said that she liked working with me because I was kind, happy, and positive! On this hard day, I realized that the problems that were surfacing were there because things were too complicated between my companion and I and with other other things that were going on. Simplicity is so important in life! And the thing that I love is that the gospel is based on such simple principles. It is true that there are greater depths of gospel truths that can be found through pondering and personal revelation, but the most important things are in the most simplest truths. We are children of our Heavenly Father who loves us and we love Him! We have a brother, Savior, and friend who is Christ. He is constantly there to help and heal our hearts and souls! We are not alone! We have a comforter and guide who is the Holy Ghost! And as soon as we have made the sacred covenants at baptism and continue to invite Him into our lives through our worthiness, His presence will assure us of the good and warn us of the evil. We have a knowledge of an eternal life that will also give us an explainable joy during our mortal journey here on earth! The church is so true and it changes lives! So if any of you are struggling with the challenges of life, go back to the simple things! Remember who you are, why you are here, who you are capable of becoming, who loves you, and where you are going! 
I also loved General Conference! Lots of inspiration and personal revelation was received! I hope you all loved it as much as I did! I know that we have a living prophet and apostles that lead and guide our church today! I know that these men are called of God and are doing their part in helping us find our way back to our Heavenly Home! I loved these sessions of Conference because the topics were not complicated, new or strange. The things talked about are the same gospel truths that will save us in the end if we will just continue to find joy in the simple things! So this week, keep reading your scriptures, praying, and obeying the commandments! Put your trust and faith in God! He knows best! This church is true! I love our Heavenly Father and I am so thankful for my life and our identity! I love you all! I pray for you! Keep loving every day and have a great week! JE VOUS AIME!
Love, Soeur Kofford
A mountain view! I miss this!
Sister Stastny and me!