Monday, November 30, 2015

Every Missionary is a Miracle!

Bonjour friends and family!
I hope that your Thanksgiving was splendid and that you all enjoyed family time together enjoying the many blessings that come from our Heavenly Father! Everything that is good comes from him and we will be eternally grateful! We also had a great Thanksgiving, except for nobody knows about this holiday here in Tahiti and we were so busy and focused all day long and totally forgot it was Thanksgiving until we showed up at our faatamaraa (or dinner appointment) where the Taie family had prepared a beautiful Thanksgiving feast for us both! Soeur Cromar and I were so happy and so blessed! Life is great! Our week was great! Full of happy moments, laughing and of course, miracles! One story is of a girl named Ani! My last day with Soeur Stastny we were stood up by one of our lessons and were walking back down the mountain from his house when we saw a girl in a red shirt. I remember this moment vividly, she stuck out from everything else in view and right as we saw her, we knew we had to talk to "the red shirt girl." I have never met anyone like Ani. After getting to know her, in the middle of our little message we were sharing with her she told us that she would like to serve a mission one day. She then proceeded to ask us how she could become a member of the church. I loved these questions and we were smiling ear to ear when we responded.We set up her first real lesson for the next day she was free, which was at the beginning of  last week. Soeur Cromar and I taught her about the restoration and then committed her to be baptized on December 5th! She accepted and now is preparing to be baptized and wants to eventually go on a mission. 
This gospel truly is amazing! It is the good news of a lifetime that literally changes a life! A cool realization that I had this week is that, EVERY MISSIONARY IS A MIRACLE! This is so true! Missions are not easy. It takes a lot to prepare mentally, physically, temporally, financially, and in every other way possible! Missionaries are set up to such high expectations and have to be worthy to take the name of Christ upon them and act as his representatives each and every day! Missionaries have to preach about commandments, obedience, and Christlike attributes hourly when they themselves are not perfect at these things. They have to give up the things they knew and loved in normal life to be able to know and love our Heavenly Father on a deeper level! Missionaries have to be refined and polished to have the spirit constantly with them in order to be the person Heavenly Father needs them to be. Each missionary has their own story, and each of these stories is truly a miraculous thing! It has been a blast getting to know other amazing missionaries in the mission of Papeete, Tahiti. One elder from France went to the library one day and found a Book of Mormon sitting on one of the shelves. Of all the other books he could have picked to read, it was the simple blue book with gold letters that changed his life. He is the only member in his family and went through a lot to get where he is today, here as a trainer in this mission. Another sister missionary just got here from Vanuatu. We have had the privilege of having her in our house. She was converted with her mother only a couple years ago. She worked and sacrificed so much to get where she is today, a noble daughter of our Heavenly Father here in Tahiti! 
God loves His missionaries! He knows us. He calls us, He chooses us, and qualifies us! He allows each and every one of us to use the wonderful gift of the atonement to grow and progress, to become something better and to continue to be a miracle in the lives of others! Missions are truly something that could never be described in human words. I am excited for the miracle I am and to have made it this far! I am thankful for my Heavenly Father and his love for me! I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ and his sacrifice he gave us so that we could progress and improve! I am thankful for my fellow missionaries, the noble and great ones called from on high! The stories of Ani and these two missionaries that are close to me are only a couple of the million missionary stories in the world! So now, when you see the missionaries, remember who and what they are. They are representatives of Christ, called as miracles to be miracles in countless lives! When you see the missionaries, take a minute and ask them their story! Maybe they will even help you to find that you are a walking miracle as well! 
Well, know that I love and miss you all! You will all be in my thoughts and prayers especially during this holiday season! Thanks for all of your love and support! Love you all! Have a great week! 
Love, Soeur Kofford
Somewhere over the rainbow!
Up early dropping sisters off at church! Our joke of the week: "We woke up like this!" hahaha
My Huahine family came to visit me again!!! Love them!!
Happy Thanksgiving! We even got to eat a pumpkin pie!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Iaorana friends and family! 
I hope all is well for you and that you are all getting excited for this holiday season! Thanksgiving is this week which is awesome! What a great opportunity we have to remember what we are thankful for! Life is full of blessings, all we have to do is notice them! So Happy Thanksgiving! 
This week was one of the refiners fire! There is no way that I could explain everything that has happened, but it has been a week that has forever changed my life! It was cool for me to see that even through all of the trials and hard aches we were faced with this week, my first reflex was turning to our Heavenly Father through prayer! Faith in him is a big thing and one that is not always simple or easy! It is learning to give our will over to him and put full trust and confidence in him. Knowing that he knows all from the beginning and that he is not there just to watch us suffer, rather to help us out of the fire that we are in and to help us realize that we are capable. We are all just part of something bigger and better. A scripture that I found and loved this week is Ether 3:14. It starts out by describing our Savior. He was prepared from the foundation of the world to save HIS PEOPLE! Christ died for those who cared. He died for those who would love him and those who would use his atonement in their lives. So this week, I kept my head up and I told my Heavenly Father that I was one who cared. I am becoming one of Christs people. I can honestly tell you that I have come to know my Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ on my mission. I love them and I live for them. This takes a whole new meaning when a person says "My mission changed my life." For me I think it was on my mission that I found my life! I am so happy to not only be able to say that I have a testimony of this church, but that I am converted by the true faith. I want to live my life for God to be able to become the person he needs me to be! I love being guided by the spirit each day and trying my best to do his will. I am so thankful for this gospel and the opportunity that I have to share this knowledge with everyone we see! I am thankful for our trials and weaknesses that give us insights and hints to our future strengths and to a better future. I am thankful for the people in my life and for the impact they have had on me. I am thankful for my friends and family and for their support and love. I am thankful for our Savior, who is Christ and for his atoning sacrifice for each of us! I know he died for me and I know he died for you, because we are the people who care. We are his people! He is waiting to deliver us so come unto him in all that you do! 
Thanks again for everything! I truly do love and miss you all very much! Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a great week!
Love, Soeur Kofford
The new comp... SOEUR CROMAR! She's awesome and I am happy to be serving with her! She's Tahitian, but don't you worry, she grew up in Springville, Utah! hahaha
Our cute sisters! We had a FHE on smiling and happiness last night! Way fun!
Locked out of the house and naturally I was the one voted to climb in through the window! haha
Fat in the language of Bishlama is "fat fat." So now I can say that I held a "fat fat cat!" I probably have too many picture of me holding cats on my camera but it's all good! I love them! hahaha
Beach soccer with the district!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Surprise Miracles!

Iaorana friends and family!
We had a crazy and amazing week! First of all, my comp Soeur Stastny got a call on Friday night saying that she would be transferred for her last four weeks as a missionary! We were not at all expecting this call and it shattered our world a little bit . . . but all is well and eventually the verdict was that she is going to Huahine! The beautiful island where I started my mission! She is going to love it there and I am so happy and excited for her!! 
This week, we had a leadership meeting that was super cool! One of my favorite things was a story that our mission president, President Bize shared with us. He said that when he was young and married, with his first couple of kids, he had a nice job. He liked this job and it allowed them to live nicely within their means. This stable life suddenly shifted into something insecure, when his job and career were threatened and eventually he lost his job all together. He was lost and did not know what to think or do. So he turned to the Lord. He fasted and prayed and went to the temple. During all of this he pleaded with our Heavenly Father. In his prayers he expressed that he had been an honest tithe payer for his whole life and that then was the moment that he was in need of Heavenly Fathers grace. A couple days passed and sure enough he received a call saying that since he spoke English from his mission, he was selected for a job offer in California. They took a leap of faith and moved the entire family to California. After time, they learned that this new life was a much better life and that this was the path that Heavenly Father had planned for them. This story is cool because President Bize had already earned this blessing through his previous obedience! Then I thought of a story in the Book of Mormon that has the same ring! In Alma 5, Alma the younger talks about his dad. Alma was a priest for King Noah and was eventually rejected from the kingdom. At this time in the Book of Mormon, it says that Alma and his people were protected because of their faith, their change of heart, their humility, and their trust in God. They were delivered from their afflictions because of the things they had already done to show God their love. 
Since we have been here together at Mahina, Soeur Stastny and I have seen lots of potential and lots of success together, but at the same time it has been hard seeing people use their agency in wrong ways and seeing people choose other things before God. When we had the realization that God can bless us for our already existing obedience, we immediately decided to pray like President Bize and to be blessed like Alma and his people! It was a beautiful experience! We shared with God that obviously we are not perfect missionaries, but we do try our best to do his will and that we have experienced the "change of heart" talked about in Alma 5. We had total confidence in God and could honestly feel that good things were coming our way! 
On Saturday, we had our third lesson with Tevahine! She is the mother of a darling sister in our ward. Her husband is a hard Catholic and did not want anything to do with us. In fact, she had to take the lessons in secret because her husband was so scary. This week, somehow he found out about her secret lessons and got really mad. But after everything cooled down, he accepted that she could continue with the lessons. When she got to the lesson, we were going to teach about the Plan of Salvation but the spirit changed our minds and we talked about obedience and how we have to put God first in our lives. We committed her to be baptized on Wednesday and she accepted!!! Her program and interview are done and shes good to go! So blessed! I want you all to know that God lives and he loves us! He listens to us and he answers our prayers! I have such a love in my heart even just writing these special sentences! 
I love all of Alma 5, but there is one verse that truly is amazing, verse 26. It asks us a question, it talks about those who have already had a change of heart . . . those who were faithful, humble, stripped of pride and envy, those who put their trust in God and acted, those who not only had the light of God's face shine in our countenance, but His image engraved in us through who we are. It asks if we as these people can feel this change of heart right now? As members of this church, we need to seek for that! The church is a happy thing and we should be happy people! Always changing and improving and finding the joy in the progression! And it is through these acts of obedience and dedication that you will be able to call on God at any moment in life because you have already earned his blessings! He is waiting to bless you all! Like he blessed President Bize, Alma and his people, and Soeur Stastny and I this week! So continue to change your hearts and then don't be afraid to ask! It shall be opened unto him who asketh! 
Thank you all for everything! I love and miss you all! Keep being good! Have a great week!
Love, Soeur Kofford 
Tahitian dress shopping with our dear friend Maeva! Love her!
Playing the piano for our leadership meeting!
Fun family night with Orirau!
Love these two sisters! Also Elder Brown peaking through in the back!

Monday, November 9, 2015

We Shall Be Known by Our Works!

Iaorana ma famille et mes amis!
Another week has come and gone! It was another great week and I am amazed at how the Gospel allows us to be constantly learning! I finished the Book of Mormon in French and it was such an uplifting experience! I want to read it one more time before coming home and I know that these efforts will bless our missionary work here in Mahina! I am so thankful for this piece of truth that we have and the power that comes from it! I have grown to absolutely love the Book of Mormon! If I could give any of you advice on how to improve your life, I would tell you to make friends with this book! It changed my life and it will change yours! 
This week, the scripture that rang through my head was again John 14:15. Christ talks to us telling us about His fathers commandments. Everything good in this life comes from God. His love is obvious and never ending! As we taste of His goodness and love, we too realize that we love Him back! What can we do to show this love? Obey. Obedience is the easiest and the hardest thing to do in the world. It is learning to let go of our wants and desires and to fully trust in the Lord. We are so blessed here on earth because we have the chance to show our dedication and obedience. Now truly is the time that we have to prepare ourselves for the day when we will meet God. Our death will not change anything. If we are obedient in this life, we will be able to continue on this path afterwards. But if we do not learn to obey during our life here on earth, we will not be capable of reaching the standards in the afterlife. Also, our overall goal and objective is to become like God. Obviously God obeys His own commandments, and He is perfect and happy doing so! He loves His commandments. He asks us to trust in His perfect knowledge and gives us hints of true happiness through His sacred commandments. Obedience is the first law of heaven, it started before this life and will continue forever! The things that are bound here on earth will be bound one day on high. So choose today to obey! In every aspect that life provides! A scripture that I love is in Moroni 7. It says, "By your works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also." Something that I learned on the drill team is that, "we will never be perfect, but we can be perfect in trying!" If we spend our life trying, picking ourselves up and continuing when we fall short, and having the desire to serve our God because we love Him . . . God will know us by these works and efforts and we will become good! So whatever the weakness is in your life right now, give it up and get to know God! Be perfect in trying and you will become good! 
Life is beautiful, God is good, the church is true! Mahina is continuing to progress! We have some awesome investigators who are all working hard to come unto Christ! If you could pray for Tane, Marwinda, Rai, Poeiti, Tevahine, Matatoa, Audrey, and Teura that would be great! Miracles are waiting to happen! Thanks again for everything! I love you all! Have a fantastic week!
Love, Soeur Kofford
Ate dinner with the Bennett family! This is Becca! Gods special children always have a spot saved in Soeur Koffords heart!
Moi et Soeur James! Pday patio chairs in the ocean!
Decorated for Christmas!
Dancing on the beach!
Soeur James lives in my house! She was on the West Lake drill team! Happy to find that we can still kinda dance!
I miss dancing, but I've still got my flexibility!

Monday, November 2, 2015

There Are Always Blessings!

Hello again friends and family!
I hope your week went well and that you all had a very Happy Halloween! For those who are wondering, here in Tahiti, Halloween is celebrated. But instead of cute creative costumes, things are scary and dark. Pumpkins are not carved with cute happy faces but rather with evil and frightening ones. Haha a little bit of a different feel this Halloween, but all is well and still had a good time! The transfer happened and surprise . . . Soeur Stastny and I are staying together another transfer! I will be her last companion. We are both happy and excited to be sharing another 6 weeks of our lives together! I love her and look up to her a lot! Amazing missionary! We had a baptism this week which was awesome! Ranihei reactivated her entire family through her choice to be baptized! We have also been blessed with finding new investigators who have been searching for the gospel for a long time whether they know it or not! I pray that we will be able to help them to make the decisions that will change their lives and bless them forever!
Now as we have entered into the month of November, I have already been thinking about the Thanksgiving holiday and everything that I am thankful for in my beautiful life! Honestly, my blessings are endless. I was born in the gospel knowing its principles and truths since childhood. My family has been the best support system that I could have ever asked for! I have an awesome dad who not only has let me be his daughter over the last 20 years, but his son as well! Getting to do all of the boy things like hunting and fishing and stuff! What a blessing! I have a best friend as a mother. Holly is fantastic in every way and I hope that I will be able to be just like her one day! I trust her with everything and have been craving to have a face to face conversation with her for about 14 months now! I have a perfect example of a brother! I am sure that he knows a lot more than I do about the important things in life and am thankful to have him there to learn and to grow! His light and smile fill up an entire room! I have a supermodel little sister who is probably the nicest person I have ever met! She has a heart of gold and is gorgeous inside and out! I have also been blessed with amazing friends that have shaped my path on this adventure called life! I am thankful for their presence in my life! I have been blessed with being from Highland, Utah, where life truly is beautiful! I have been blessed to have made it to the point in my life where I was guided to serve a mission and truly get to know my Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ! I am so thankful for them and their endless love for me! We have so many blessings in life, it's a little crazy! I think that often we do not even recognize all of the blessings we have been given. And then you start a mission and it's a different story!
When I entered into the mission field fourteen short months ago, I agreed to give God my all: my whole heart, might, mind, and strength! I chose to repay our Heavenly Father back by being exactly obedient to Him, His commandments, and His mission rules. I chose to be worthy and invite the Holy Ghost into my life. I chose to take the name of Christ upon me and to represent Him at all times and in all things and in all places. I chose to respect our mission president and obey his counsel. I chose to leave the world and the old me behind me giving everything to God and having trust in Him. All of these things were choices that I made, but having them as an option was a blessing in the first place! God is strengthening me in ways that I did not know were possible! I can honestly say that I have seen miracles through obedience. I have loved getting to know the Holy Ghost and the happiness that is within when he is invited into our lives. I have loved inviting others to come unto Christ and trying to help them feel His love for them each day! I have changed my view of the world through understanding who I truly am, who I can be, and who God knows I can become! I am amazed at all of these amazing blessings and they are not yet done! In a missionary's mission call, it is said that if we choose each of the blessings listed above, we are blessed with even more blessings! I have been and will continue to be rewarded with a knowledge and testimony of the restoration and the truths of this gospel. I will be rewarded with goodness in the later years of my life, and I will come to know a happiness that is only attainable through the truthfulness of this amazing gospel! God is a God of miracles and blessings and happiness! I love Him, and I know that He loves each and everyone of us! As the month of November presses on, make choices that will bring you closer to Him. Show your love and thankfulness for Him through your obedience. And choose blessings that will bless you even more in the end! I love you all! Thank you for the blessings that you are for me in my life! Have a great week! 
Love, Soeur Kofford
These are my second parents! The HAUATAS!!! Love them so much! Best couple missionaries!
Ranihei's baptism!
Moi et Soeur Kaiha! This is the sister I replaced when I first arrived at Papeari and now we live in the same house at Mahina!
Soeur Teaves's birthday!