Thursday, August 29, 2013

MTC Dorm Rooms!

Today Courtney sent us pictures, as per request, of her Room and Study Desk.  YAY!!  Looks like she has moved right in and  is working hard!
No Courtney Pictures this week.  :(

4 Week Already!!

Bula Vinaka Matavuvale!(: 
Vakacava tiko?! I love getting all your emails and hearing all your stories(: They make me so happy to hear that things are so good for everyone!! Things here are going so so good! We GOT OUR FLIGHT PLANS!!!(: I leave on September 7th! Thats in 9 DAYS!!(: I leave the MTC at 12:00 and our flight from SLC is at 3:40 i think! And then we fly into LAX and have a 7 hour layover! That will be fun... haha then at 11:30 p.m. we leave LAX and we're off to Fiji!(: I cannot even begin to tell you how excited i am to get there, but how scared I am to leave! Haha(: Its like mixed emotions! But, when I get to LAX I get to call you so i'll let you know about that when it gets closer!(: Make sure you are all there though! I am so excited though! It will be so much fun! There are 21 of us flying together!(: So basically we will be able to convert the whole plane.. if we aren't the only people on the plane.. haha(: 
Anyways, things this week! Neil A. Anderson can and spoke at Devotional!!!(: I was so in love with everything he talked about! and it was even better because I made it through the whole thing(: But, one thing he said that I think was probably the COOLEST thing he said was "We love the things we sacrifice, and we sacrifice the things we love"! This totally could apply to each and everyone of our lives! So it was really cool, there were so many more things he said, but I would just be quoting his whole talk if I told you all the cool things he said! Haha(: Lets see, what else happened this week! After devo it was POURING RAIN!!! And they made us walk back to the MTC! Good thing i LOVE the rain(: It was so fun! I loved it and it got me even more ready for Fiji!(: Haha
Amanda being here.. i mean Sister Munton.. has been so much fun! I can't believe she already leaves on Monday! I am going to miss her! I love going and talking to her each night and just being able to relate to someone is AMAZING! Haha(: I love it! I will probably cry when she leaves! haha(: But, we will be able to see eachother eventually! More of our friends left! which means our group of friends is getting smaller and smaller.. which is kinda depressing! haha but atleast we aren't the last ones to leave!(: 
On sundays they choose people randomly to give talks and so last sunday I got chosen.. hah it was kinda scary being put on the spot like that! But the topic was faith so i talked about how Nephi had to have faith to go into the house of Laban! And then i shared a scripture the one that talks about having faith in things that he could not see! And then just bore my testimony! it only has to be like 5 minutes so it was pretty easy! I was actually really shocked that I was able to come up with that on the spot!!(: So Go Courtney!!(: or sister rich.. haha 
I got a package from Grandma and Cea! I was so sad they took my funeral potatoes!!! I wanted to eat those so so bad!!!!/: But the cupcakes were SOOOO good!(: Thank you! And i LOVED the dress and the skirt grandma!(: All the girls in my zone always borrow my clothes and say that they wish they knew you so that you could sew them clothes(:Haha So thank you!!!(: Oh and the Pretzel M&M's... I ate like half the bag last night!(: Haha They were so good! You guys are so awesome! I am so happy that I had you guys so close to send me packages and letters!(:
I can't believe I have already been here a month! Its weird that it feels like every day is so long but now it feels so fast! Its it weird! But everyone told me that the days go by so slow, but the weeks so by so fast! And the weeks go by so slow but the months go by so fast! Which I can testify that it is true(: haha! Umm.. Nothing else really happened this week!
We have our last sunday this week and we are singing in Fijian "God Be With You Till We Meet Again"! When we practced, I cried! So i don't know how i am going to get through it in Sacrament meeting! Haha(: But, it is so pretty! Sister Tinaicavaraba left on Monday and it was so sad to see her go but we sang it for her and she said it was so beautiful adn the people are going to love us! She told me the little kids are going to love me! Which made me so so SO happy!(: And she told me that I am doing really good in the language
for only learning it for 3 1/2 weeks! She told me when i get there i will catch on so much faster(: So it made me so excited to get there and to be with the people! If all the people are like her, I already love them! Haha(: 
I am really going to miss my teachers though! They have been so awesome and so encouraging! I am so lucky I got to have them!(: They said they were going to miss us so so much! Haha(: So that made us sad too! but, we still have a full week with them!(: Sorry this letter isn't that exciting! Nothing fun has happened! Oh I sent my back pack to grandma! I need her to sew it up for me because it is all weird when i put things in it! haha So grandma I send that to you but i sent it to rebeccas house because i dont have you address! Haha(: So she will probably bring it by soon!
But there are some things I need(: 
I need just like a plain white shirt.. i have some but they dont match.. haha and having a plain white shirt would be awesome! 
I need some ribbon that i can tie on my luggage! I totally forgot about that! 
umm.. i think that is it.. i might think of some more but i'll write it down for next week!! Haha(: 
Love you all so so so much! you are all doing great! Keep up the good work and keep loving heavenly Father(: 
Au lomani Iko!♥

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

3 Weeks Down

3 weeks down, 2 1/2 more to go!(: 
I cannot believe how fast this week went by! I feel like it was just the other day when I was on here talking to you! Haha(: But i guess not! Anyways, this week has been really good(: No ER trips, which made it so much better! Haha But this week has overall been a really good week and I am hoping next week is just as good, and as fast! Haha
So cool experience! Every day we teach an "investigator"! Our teacher told us to bring nothing with us but our scriptures! So we did.. We were talking about the atonement and how it blesses our lives and how we can use it everyday! So I was already excited, because the Atonement has been something I have really been studying here in the MTC! But anyways, so me and my itokanis (companions) were so nervous, because we had no notes, nothing! It was so scary! Anyways, we went and taught the lesson and I couldn't believe how awesome the spirit was when we were talking! It was so cool how the spirit impressed me so much to talk to him about how ghe can apply the atonement to his life and he answered back and i COULD UNDERSTAND HIM! It was so cool! I never have been able to understand them before! But it was so cool! Then after the lesson, he told us this was the best lesson we have taught yet and he said it was guided by notes or by anything but the spirit and thats how it should be! So that was the cool experience of my week(: 
My companions are awesome!(: Its amazing how heavenly father puts people in your life for a reason! And i don't even know why.. b ut their still awesome!(: Their names are Sister Manusavaii Uluselle and Sister Alofoe! I call them Sister M.U. and Sister A. Haha(: They call me polangi! Hahaha(: I love it! They have really helped me break out of my shell here! They have been so awesome! Their both from Samoa! So its fun to have the island impact before I even get to the island!(: 
Our teacher brings his laptop sometimes and he shows us pictures of Fiji.. OH MY GOODNESS! I cannot even begin to express how excited I am! I will be so excited to share my experience with you guys when you come(: Oh and I got this paper that is like my  missionary certificate, and it says i will be returning on January 27, 2015! So if you want to plan your trip around then you can(: Anyways speaking of my teacher, they are awesome! We have 4, but 2 of them are our main teachers! I have Brother Engel and Brother Crump. Their both so awesome! We call brother Engel Brother Angilosi(: Its his Fijian name! Anyways, they are all so nice and so funny! they tease us like Fijians and so I am getting use to the Fijian humor, which is so different from American! But I love it(:
We also have made this cute little friend from FIJI!! She is so cute(: Her name is Sister tinakacavaramba!(: Try and say that(; haha i can! But she is so cute! I will send a picture of her! She is hilarious and loves talking to us in Fijian! So she is awesome!(: 
Also, I lasted through Devo this time(; Of course it wasnt an apostle talking, but he was part of the seventy and he was awesome! He said that as a missionary no matter what, the most important thing is Faith Over Fear! That was really cool to hear and i love it! It has helped me get through this week! Also we had sundays frieside last week and this guy talked and i forgot his name.. but he is a football player from BYU and now he is some big news reporter.. Just not sure from where! Dad might know!(: Haha but he was awesome too! It really helped us realize the impact we as missionaries have on others lives and their families lives(: 
Anyways, nothing else has really happened this week! It went by so fast its all kind of a blur! I got a huge bruise on my leg from being Courtney and from talking while i was walking which wasn't a smart idea! Haha but its better now! One of my really good friends i've made since i've been here left the other day and it was really sad to see him go! He is from Samoa and coming to LA/Riverside smaoan speaking! He got me a samoan shirt and signed his name on it so i never forget him! Haha he is so awesome! So if you ever meet an elder mosile in the redlands samoan ward BE NICE(: Haha! oh and AMANDA GOT HERE!!!(: That was probably one of the highlights of my week! I was so excited to see her! She is so cute and we seriously talked forever! It was weird actually seeing someone i know! It felt like a dream! But, i woke up this morning and saw her at breakfast! So i know it wasn't!(: Haha! oh yea, Rachael send me cocobean cupcakes! She is sooo cute and we ate all of them of course(: They were so good! And so thoughtful of her! I got my blanket from grandma and a cute little note from her and Cea!(: so thank you for that!(: I LOVE IT! Becca wrote me another letter! She is the cutest! She related something to a song in Wicked and she was so cute! She sent me Pixie dust and everyone was laughing at me and thought it was cute(: I LOVED IT!  And your dear elders are so fun to get(: I love reading them! Tell carly I wrote her back so she should be getting a letter in the mail soon! But, it sounds like she is going to have a good school year! Anyways, i love you all so much Keep working hard at being the best person you can be! You're all so amazing! I am so lucky to call you my family!<3 
I will let you guys know as soon as i find out my flight plans! I heard we most likely will be having a long layover in LA...(; Haha 
Tell Annie i said CONGRATS!! I AM SO EXCITED FOR HER!!!(: And i am excited to go get your package(: Tell everyone i love them! Tell Brad and Ryan congrats and they will absolutely love their missions!(: They'll be awesome! 
The food here is gross,... but its okay! I go and buy snacks from the store and Cea has send me some stuff(: So has grandma(: I got my blanket! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I slept like a baby last night! Haha! Yes i would love if you could get my true to faith to me! haha i need it for lessons and study(: And yes i will ask around and see what everyone says about the sheets(: I don't have anyway to get them here though.. so if i need them you'll have to send them to me here! Haha(: 
But thank you so much for everything! Sorry this letter is all over! I kept having random thoughts in my mind and so i write them down! I will send pictures in the next email!(: You guys are so awesome and i love you! You are all in my prayers and i love you(: You guys are awesome!<3 
Au lomani iko!<3 
-Sister Rich 
p.s. i send a letter to our address, but it is for Joe! Haha if you could get it to him that would be awesome!(: Vinakalaka levu!<3(:
 The Fiji District and the Tongan District
 This is Sister Tinaicavaraba  :)  She is my cute little friend from Fiji
My Friend, Elder Mosile, who is going to the LA Somoan speaking mission, got me this shirt and signed it :) 
Look who I found at the MTC!!  Amanda!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Week 2 was Sick!.. Literally

Leaving the Dr. with a z-pack and Orders to sleep

Bula Vinaka Matavuvale! 

Week 2 is complete! Only 3 1/2 more to go before I leave the MTC and I couldn't be more excited!(: So a lot has happened this week! Mom, I took your advice and made a list so I remembered everything! I will start with my story.. which I am sure all of you know! Haha(: But, here it is! So as you know I had a weird cough for the past few weeks, it has slowly been getting worse and so I finally, went and got it checked out at the doctors. Of course, he just said it was the flu and it was going away.. but he prescribed me some allergy meds and tussin for my cough! The next day it was 100 times worse and I felt like I was going to die! So we went to the doctors again and he said it was nothing and prescribed me a z-pack... so now, I am on 3 medications and I have no idea what I have.. so i went back to my flat and literally slept all day long. And in the MTC that is very rare! But, I got too! I woke up just in time to go to devotional that night and I had heard that someone really good was speaking so, I wanted to go! So we went and everything was fine! I had a little headache but that was it! Then as soon as it started, of course I felt dizzy, and couldn't breathe, and my head was killing me! So in the middle of AN APOSTLE speaking, I had to get up and leave.. Not only did I get up, I had to climb through like 15 people to get to the stairs to climb run up! I finally made it outside and got over the awkwardness of it and still couldn't breathe, and now to add onto the madness i was having a really bad pain in my side! I laid down so i could catch my breath and before I know it the EMT and everyone is surrounding me! They take me the urgent care where I secretly call grandma..(: haha and then they take me to the Emergency Room and Cea was there waiting for me!(: Turns out, I had pneumonia in my lungs and it was pressing up against my diaphragm which made it hard to breath! They hooked me up to an IV and drugged me up and gave me an antibiotic and then let me go! haha(: SO Tuesday night was pretty eventful and my companions got a good laugh out of it(: Since they had never been to a hospital.  haha !! But everything is good now! I am feeling so much better and can eat now!(: 

Celena came to the ER!!!  YAY!

Anyways, other things! I got so many letters and packages! I am loving it! it makes things so much easier to get through the week!(: I have something to look forward too(: I got one from Tali, Jessica Judd, Rebecca, and Carly! I loved all of them!! There is this cool thing called Dear Elder! It might be easier for you to use mom! That way you don't have to hand write me letters!(: Haha! You'll have to figure it out though! I know they print it off and give it to me that day, so it is super fast and you don't have to pay for it at all!(: So that might be  something to look into! The packages i get are so fun! Cea makes them so cute and everyone is so cute in the letters and sounds like they are doing so good! Grandma, thank you so much for the clothes! I LOVE THEM!!!(: 
We got to go to the temple today and i bawled the whole time! It is amazing the peace you feel when you go and the movie.. AMAZING! that is all I am going to say! 
Oh I got like 3 priesthood blessings this week! It is so cool how i could literally ask any guy here and they are more than happy to give me one(: their all so powerful and the spirit is so strong, its amazing! On Wednesday, the day after the ER, I  got one and Elder Johnson gave it to me and it was amazing! He said that heavenly father is blessing me with the strength to get through the day! So after that, I went back to the flat, showered and went to work! Haha(: And I made it through the day(: 
Lets see! I get called so many different names, white girl, polangi, and sister vutuniyau (which means rich in fijian!) etc.. Its funny! I can't keep up with all of them! (: I have also become pro at volleyball(; Everyone plays that so i was forced to play and i had to learn! 
Anyways! I hope everyone is doing good! I love getting your emails and letters and packages!(: Please keep sending them because they keep me going!(: 
Mom, yes I want a blanket! I miss comfy blankets!(: Plus my classroom is freezing so i will take it to class with me(: Yes i need a water bottle! I drink so much water here! And i don't need those skirts because i have more than enough! I don't know how I am going to get my luggage to Fiji! Haha(: I am good for now! I will let you k now if i need anything(: I love you all so so so much! I couldn't be more  blessed to have each of you in my life! You have no idea how much each and everyone of you have impacted my life in such a positive way! Keep doing what your doing and keep being awesome!(: you are all in my prayers! Tell Carly I miss her and I am so excited to hear all about school!(:  
Au lomani Iko! 
-Sister vutuniyau

A few other Pictures
 Sister Johnson was the first person who talked to me in the MTC! She is so nice and it turned out she was in the same branch as me and she was going to the Marshall Islands (same mission as Jared)! She was so nice and helped me get through the 1st 2 weeks(: 
She left this week and i was so sad to see her go!

 When I got home from the ER! The girls in my zone decorated it for me! 

All the people going to Fiji.

Friday, August 9, 2013

MTC Pictures

 From Courtney:

Okay i am going to explain these pictures!(: the one of me in front of the mailbox is when i sent my first letter to you guys(:
then all of my badges to get me into the mtc! My english and fijian badge(:
my class and my whole district including my district(:
my beautiful... view of the MTC
my district in front of the temple(:
the guy im standing next too in the cafe is amandas cousin!(:
and my and sister MU stealing the cart so we can get out of here(: Haha

First Real Letter

Vakacava tiko?! I miss you guys so so SO much! i hope everything is going as good for you as it is for me!(: Anyways so the day in the life of Sister Rich... its not that exciting! Haha(: But here it is:
6:00 am - wake up and shower
6:30 am - scripture study
7:00 am - breakfast
7:30-10:30 am - usually class part 1.
10:30- 1130 - language study
11:30 - 12 - lunch
12:15- 3:15 - class part 2
3:15- 4:15 - language study
4:30 - 5:15 - gym
6:45 - 9 - personal and district study
9 - 9:30 - can you guess? yep more study!
So pretty much you can say i am studying for the WHOLE DAY! This is why i never studied, i'm catching up on all the studying i missed here(: Haha! But really i wish you could all experience this with me! it has been such an uplifting experience and i love it! The first day i got here our teacher talked in Fijian the WHOLE time! We has no idea what he was saying! haha but they didnt hesitate to start asking questions and teaching us stuff! It is such an interesting language! It is so hard too! I am the only white sister here.. so that means everyone can make fun of me, which is pretty easy to do! Haha but it's okay i am use to it(: I have two companions! So we are a trio! I call them Sister MU and Sister A. i cant pronounce their names.. haha but their both from Samoa and super nice! They think i am so weird because of the way i say things... but they have no idea what they sound like to me! Haha(:
The first few nights were really hard on me.. everyone told me that as soon as you lay your head on that pillow that first night, you think to yourself "What did i get myself into?" and that is definitely what i thought! The thought of not being able to see your family, talk to them, hug them or do whatever you want for 18 months... no wonder people think we're crazy! Haha(: It is weird for me to wrap my head around but it is definitely all worth it! We had devo the 1st sunday and it was so good, everything i needed to hear!(: One thing he said was a quote by President Hinkley.. i dent remember what it says exactly.. but it says something like do what you are doing and the lord will guide you with his hand.. it was exactly what i needed to hear! I love it!
Yesterday all the new missionaries came in and it was so nice to  not be the newbies or "greenies" as they call it!(: I LOVE IT! But everyone here is so awesome and filled with the spirit, you cant escape it! i joke and call the MTC spiritual prison! Haha.. it actually reminds me of BYUI, were stuck here and you want to leave but you don't because it is just so amazing and you love it!
anyways, we have 2 teachers right now, their switching soon, but we are teaching one, he is our fake investigator! haha his name is luke.. and the first time we were allowed to bring notes and the second time we were, so we got in there the second time and i totally blanked, oh and let me add that we have to speak in Fijian, and this was only our third day... haha so i went in there and we were starting the lesson and i ment to as if we could start with a prayer but i completely blanked out.. so i just asked him can you masu?! hahaha masu means prayer. he looked at me and just started laughing.. which made me laugh an dmy companions were cracking up! Then he went back and told our WHOLE class.. haha so everyone teases me now!
My class, aka district, is so good(: Their so fun! We have fun learning Fijian which is good! There is one guy in my class, elder johnson, he reminds me of my friend, Joe so much! I love it because i have a guy i can talk too! He is hilarious. he is white so me and him are always getting made fun of!
Anyways, so my first week was very adventful! i loved it and am loving it more and more each day! I miss you guys so much but i know that what i am doing is what Heavenly Father wants us to do! Keep doing what you guys are doing and the lord will keep blessing you!<3 I hope this was long enough.. the screens are super big so it doesnt look that long but it feels like it took me forever to write! haha oh and mom i kinda failed at your atleast 1 picture a day thing.. but i took alot of pictures! haha so here you go! I sent you guys letters the other day so go check the mail aghain! Theres something for carly in there!
Au lomani iko! Be safe!<3 love you all! When you write me i will try and respond as soon as i can!(:
-Sister Rich
p.s. tell jess i said i love her! Did you give her that letter? oh and i have no idea what picture i am sending because i cant see them but the group pictures are of my district! the ones of the two girls are my companiosn adn then just the girls in my zone!(: and the one of my smelling the tree, i guess it is supposed to smell like cream sode! haha so we smelled it!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

1/2 a Letter later..

We got this first letter from Courtney on the Saturday after she left.  It was a quick one just to let us know she was ok.  and still alive!  She still sounds a little overwhelmed, but doing great!

Hi Mom!! vakacava tiko?! I don't have that much time.. but I wanted to write you and tell you i love you and everything is fine! I am not dead yet!(: The MTC is probably the hardest thing i have ever done but the best thing at the same time! My scripture.. D&C 6:8 has helped me so much! I know i have the desire, and i know i will help at least one person in this generation! Anyways, i am the ONLY POLONI girl in my district! I have two companions, but just until the other girl can come.. but they are so nice! Their both from Samoa and pick up the language easily! But their nice! Everyone is so nice and the spirit is so so so strong here! I feel like I am back at BYUI! But without Rachael, it is kinda hard.. haha! Anyways i am out of time but, before i go will you please get a few peoples email addresses for me?! Rachael, amanda, grandma, and there was one mopre but i forgot.. haha but thank you! Au lomai tiko! i am alive and i love you! My pdays are on thursdays so i will write you longer on thursday and explain EVERYTHING! tell everyone i said hi and i miss them!
lomani iko..
sister rich
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