Monday, January 25, 2016

Last Transfer!

Iaorana family and friends! 
Another week has passed by and I am now in my last transfer of my mission! I will stay here in Mahina with Soeur Raherimandimby and I am happy with that news! So unless something crazy happens, I will be here until the end!  We had a great week filled with amazing things! We had the worldwide missionary broadcast which was uplifting and good! We made some goals to be better as missionaries and have already noticed blessings! We also had the blessing of going to the temple last week! I love the temple and we are so blessed to have one here in our mission! I truly do know that it is the house of God and want to invite you all to go more often! Being from Utah, we need to definitely take advantage of all of the beautiful temples that surround us! Going to the temple helps us improve our relationship with our Heavenly Father and gives us the force to continue to do good and progress on the right path! Our investigator Tuane is also doing great! We had a tender mercy with her this week! She told us her story and we found out that she has two children that she gave up for adoption. One who is in the islands . . . and the other who lives at Papeari! Sure enough, I know her son and was able to show her pictures of him which was really touching, because she hadn't seen him for years! Then went back another day to do another lesson with her, and she started talking about her family. She told us that she had one brother who didn't live too far away and was already a member but is inactive. Another brother is totally against the church and has mocked it his whole life. She said that she later found that her inactive brother talked to her rebelious brother and found that he had, in fact, been baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Out of curiosity, I asked what ward he was baptized in and again it was Papeari. Then a little bit more excited I asked what his name was, Tapena Opuu! He was one of the people who was baptized while I was at Papeari! It was a way cool experience, and I know I must have some eternal connections with this family! Just a cool little tender mercy! I would love if you could keep praying for Tuane! She needs your faith, love, and support!
This week, we received the February Ensign, and I have already loved reading some of the talks inside! Especially the talk that discusses the bond between happiness and the Book of Mormon! I know that these two things correspond directly and I am so thankful for this key to happiness that we have in our life today! It talked about how we need to have good relationships in our life! The people that are present in our lives are very important! Their standards and decisions will either help and lift us to be better than we are, or tempt and threaten our mortal and eternal happiness through things that are not aligned with Gods will. It also talked about aligning our actions and beliefs to God! I love a quote by Gandhi, "Happiness is when what you think (or believe), what you say, and what you do are in harmony." When we find that we are capable of living this quote in our lives according to the will of God, we have become his disciples. Everything we do revolves around our eternal potential, and we invite and involve God into our everyday lives and decisions. I am currently trying to live this quote! To think, say, and do according to Gods will! We also have to work hard! I have learned to love to work! Working is a critical factor in obtaining happiness! I also love the thought by President Monson that God left us an unfinished world for man to work his skill upon! We all have special gifts and talents. God will put opportunities in front of our eyes to magnify and enhance these blessings, but we are the ones who have to recognize these gifts and have enough faith to act! The temple is also directly related to true happiness and also the law of consecration, to share what we have for the benefit of others! The ultimate source of happiness is found in Christ, and when a family is founded upon him, there is no greater thing! In these family situations, we have to be careful of the spirit of contention. The devil does not want us to enjoy happiness during this life, so he will do all that he can to try our families. During these times, we can totally avoid this contention through becoming peacemakers! To not do or say anything that could cause a dispute or fight. We need to be patient. Patience is a sign of humility. Ultimately this happiness is possible for each of us, the children of God. It is his goal for us! He has given us several helpful tools to help us along the way! So in your lives, try applying some of these things that are suggested in the Ensign! Remember the center of it all is Christ! He loves you and is waiting to deliver you! Allow yourselves to have these sacred experiences with him and our Heavenly Father! I love you all and want you to know that I am happy! This church is so true and everything happens for a reason. Even with the trials and hardships that come, there is a peace that enters our lives when we know we are on the right path, which allows us to be happy even during these hard times! Thanks for everything!! Have a great week! Also, if you could pray for the Patii family and the Tetoe family that would be awesome!! I love you!
 Love, Soeur Kofford
Beautiful day at the temple!!
Best friends!
Selfie with the temple!
Utah missionaries serving in Tahiti!
Moi et Soeur Daniels! Les Soeurs Jumelles! The twin sisters!

Monday, January 18, 2016

He Does Everything With Wisdom!

Iaorana tout le monde! 
I hope you had another good week! Life is a good thing, and it is amazing how much can happen and how much can change in a week! We had a good week! It is definitely the sick season again here in Tahiti. In our house, one sister from each companionship got sick this week. This took a little toll on the work and called for some time at the house. But, now we have seemed to regain our health and are all motivated to get out and give it everything this week! Since I have been here in Mahina, we have been visiting an inactive member, Marie Ange. She is a super nice lady, but because of some past circumstances, her husband has turned against the church and will not let her come to church. She started smoking again and their family's lives fell apart little by little over the years. Even with the time and effort we put into this family each week, we did not see much progress, but had the feeling we needed to continue. Yesterday, as we were out and about making sure everyone was still coming to church, we decided to drive down to their house just to see if by chance Marie Ange wanted to come with her daughter in law, Lysiane, who is not yet a member. As we approached their house, we noticed their truck was out and running on the side of the road. Then, we saw Marie Ange and Lysiane! They looked gorgeous in their dresses and were already on their way to church! This was such a tender mercy, and I know God has been working on them and gave them the courage and the force to come to church yesterday! I also know that they will be greatly blessed thanks to this sacrifice and obedience! Such a miracle! We also had our first lesson with Tuane this week! She is a friend of our new converts, Marwinda and Tane. Her schedule is a little crazy, so its taken some time to actually have her first lesson happen. Since the day I met her, I had been praying in my heart that we would be able to fix her baptism and that she could prepare herself for the baptism invitation. When we arrived at her lesson, she was ready and was glowing! Just as I had imagined, she accepted the invitation to be baptized. She shared with us some experiences in her life that led up to this decision. She truly has been being prepared, and it is her moment to change! We will be working on helping her stop smoking, so that would be awesome if you could all keep her in your prayers! Lots of little miracles this week! These little instances make it all worth it! To see others change through the truthfulness of this Gospel! Yet again, I have realized that God is in control! This is his work, not ours, and he is always willing to give us a miracle if we will change ourselves first through humility, try our very best to do his will, and follow the spirit, and ask for his help!
A scripture I loved this week was Jacob 4:10! We cannot question our Lord, but let him council us; he governs his works with wisdom, justice, and a great mercy! He knows everything from the beginning! He allows us to go through trials and hard times, to come to know him even more and to more rely on him! I also love something I learned in Relief Society yesterday. "With trials in our life, we will never lose . . . either we will make the right decision and win in the situation, or we will make the not so right decision that turns out to be the right decision in the end, because we learn and progress from the mistake!" But for all of this to happen, we have to get to know our Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ. We need to know these two people better than we know ourselves. If we know them and have this special relationship with them, our whole life will be centered on them, and we will always be doing what God needs us to be doing, either winning the situation or learning from it! So let us remember them, get to know them and to trust them! They do their work with wisdom, justice, and mercy! They will make more out of us than we ever could! I love our Heavenly Father, and I love our Savior, the Christ! This church is so true! I love you all and hope you are enjoying your Christ-centered lives! Have a great week! Thanks for everything!!
Love, Soeur Kofford
This is on the mountain of Atima! What a beautiful day!

The Nelsons from my home ward took Soeur Raherimandimby and I out for dinner!

The Nelsons also brought me a package from home!

Monday, January 11, 2016

We Are All Leaders!

Bonjour friends and family! 
I hope you all enjoyed this last week, and I hope you are all excited to live this week! Life truly is great, it is a choice to be happy and to love each day! A cool realization that I had this week is that our eternity can start now! We know that eternal life will be a life like God and with God but also with our family. We cannot yet live in his presence or at his level as humans, but we can enjoy the blessing of an eternal family and the fact that we can be happy and joyful everyday! So let us not wait, let us start our eternity now!
We had a good week! Lots of lessons with lots of potential investigators! We had our interviews with President Bize which went really well! I love this man, he definitely has changed my life for the better! I have been so incredibly blessed to be under his inspired direction for the last 16 months of my life! I will miss him and Soeur Bize so much when I finish my mission! My companion is doing well! She is awesome and I have learned so much from her! In my interview with President Bize, he told me that I am most likely going to finish in Mahina! Haha I will only have served in three areas and have not had very many companions, but I have loved every minute! 
At our leadership meeting this week, a lot of new Zone Leaders and STLs were called, so we were trained about how to be good leaders. As members of the church, we are all leaders! There is not one calling that is higher ranked than another. We are all on the same path learning things as we go and changing to become better! Through our experiences, responsibilities, and good desires to follow the example of Christ, we are transformed from worthy members to leaders and disciples of Christ. To be a good leader, we have to help people! Life is a constant process of goal setting and reaching. To reach these goals, we need the love and support of others! So, when in leadership positions, or just as ordinary people, we can help our friends set goals that will help them find their potential. Then we have to be genuine and sincere, helping these people until they reach these objectives, or helping them to reset goals and find a different way of approaching it if things didn't go as planned. Next, we need to be good examples. We never know who is watching, and it is so important, especially as missionaries, to be the example of Christ in the lives of others! The best way to teach is through example! After this, we have to inspire those who we guide. This can happen through knowing our true identity. When we know who we are and what we need to be doing, helping others becomes easier. We can inspire those we love through positive thinking, speaking, and doing! As leaders, we play an important role in the progression of others. We all have to change to improve, and changing is not always easy! As we help others change their lives and their hearts, it is a win-win situation for everyone; everyone finds joy and is happy! We know that others are placed in our lives for divine reasons and everyone from time to time feels a little lost or lonely. These people are in need of you and your natural leadership skills that come with being members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! Remember who you are and what you can do! I love a quote that states, "Your mission will be for you if you are able to forget about yourself in the process." This serves the same meaning in life. Callings and responsibilities are there to help us help others in perfecting ourselves and becoming more like our Savior, Jesus Christ! So keep up the good work! People are always in need of what you have, so don't be afraid to share these blessings! Thanks again for everything! I love you all and am so thankful for those who have played significant leadership roles in my life! I would not be where I am today without your examples and guidance! Have a great week! 
Love, Soeur Kofford
Said "goodbye" to Soeur Cambell! She was shipped out to the islands for her last two months! Then we will fly home together on March 15th! 
Sister Erekson, my MTC companion! Love her!
Hike for a Zone activity! Thought it was going to be a littler stroll through the jungle, but then it turned out to be about five hours long! hahaha Fun times!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Be one!

Iaorana friends and family! 
I hope you all had a great New Year! 2016 will be full of great experiences, blessings, and miracles if we stay righteous! Our week was great! We enjoyed the love of members, being invited into their homes, and accepted in their family celebrations and traditions! I think some of the best moments in life are spent with food in front of us on the table haha! Things are good with my new companion! I know that God loves me, so he gives me companions as future best friends! It takes our day to day efforts, service, and charity to make these relationships come to pass! I love each of my companions and know they are truly inspired! Through Soeur Raherimandimby, like with Soeur Shariatmadari, and Soeur Cromar, I have learned that having fun is very important in life! Often, I get so caught up in work and everything that needs to get done, and it's nice to have companions that remind me to stop and smell the beautiful Tahitian flowers!
Our week was full of searching! We did not have lots of fixed lessons, because everyone was busy partying and drinking haha! We still managed to find lots of new investigators and have extremely productive days! Productive days are the best days . . . no wonder missions are so great! 18 months of productive days, brings joy!
This week, I really did try to focus on being one with my companion! The definition of unity says, "The fact to become one in thoughts, desires, and intentions, first with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and then with others." Change calls for new goals and objectives. We recently just changed years, and I just changed companions. My goals for now until the end of my mission are to be 1. obedient, diligent, and faithful 2. completely consecrated 3. charitable (the bond of perfection). I know that through these three promises I made with Heavenly Father, he has helped me to have the spirit with me and to find success through love in our companionship! I know that in our lives, God wants us to succeed! He wants us to feel joy; we are his glory and his joy! For these things to come to pass, we have to be one with him. We have to know him. Through these efforts, will come his grace in helping us accomplishing difficult things! So this week and this year, be one with him! Align your thoughts, desires and intentions with his and life will be even more beautiful!
I love you all! Thank you for your examples of truth and righteousness! Happy New Year once again! 
Love, Soeur Kofford
My cute new companion! Soeur Raherimandimby from Madagascar but raised in France!
Marwinda and Tanes baptism and marriage!
Making cookies on Christmas!
Cecile's baptism!!