Flaxmere

Kia Ora Everyone!
I hope you are all having an amazing week! This has been one CRAZY week! So I left the MTC on Tuesday morning at like 4:30am. I cried so much because I truly love the people that I met there. I will always love the MTC and all of my teachers and companion, and district. So Sister Pega, Sister Malupeng, Sister Tomasso, and Elder Fafeitai, and I all flew to Wellington. When we got off the plane, we met President Hudson (The President of my mission) and his wife. We also met the AP’s (Assistants to the President), Elder Tu’ipulotu, and Elder Gagon. They are all super cool! We spent the whole day at the mission office. There is a super sweet senior couple serving there, named the Kronmiller’s. They helped me a lot. (Fun story, they are from Springville Utah, and they know heaps of Weights there!!) We had some fun orientation stuff, and we got to go street contacting in Wellington! It was super cool! Even in the big cities, the people here are so kind and friendly!
I LOVE Wellington! I was hoping I could stay and serve there, but I am assigned to serve in… Drum Roll  please…. The Hawke’s Bay Zone! It is the Northernmost zone in our mission, and I am serving in the Flaxmere area. I love it here! I cover 2 wards, and 1 branch! (They are like different congregations.) So we cover the Flaxmere 2nd ward, the Karongata ward, and the Kiribas branch. (They are from Kiribati, and so they don’t speak English, but we still go and visit their church services…It’s interesting)  It is definitely a culture shock being in this area) and I was scared out of my mind to come here, but I’m doing better now. Anyways, so Shortly after we arrived at the mission office on Tuesday, I was told that I would be the DESIGNATED DRIVER in my companionship. I pretty much cried. (If you know me, you know I HATE driving, and driving on the other side of the road TERRIFIES ME.) So I had to stay at the Mission office longer than the other missionaries, because I had to take my drivers test. The Kronmillers helped me a lot, but driving through the busy streets of Wellington is a nightmare.

My companion’s name is Sister Matekeua! She is from New Zealand, and she is actually Maori! She is assigned to be the Sister Training Leader (STL) for our zone, so it is really cool to see how that all works. She swears that since she is training me, that I will be a STL one day, but I doubt it. We have mostly just been meeting people from the wards this week, and visiting some of the people that are investigating the church. All is good. I have actually driven a lot over the past week because Sister Matekeua is an STL, so we have to go to different places all over our zone. She has been out 9 months, and she teaches me so much! The reason that I have to drive, is because she doesn’t have a license, and so yeah… It’s been a struggle. But I am getting there.

Fun fact: The water in our whole area is contaminated, and so we have to boil it before we can drink anything… So we don’t drink much water which probably isn’t good for us. Also our flat is pretty nice compared to the other houses in this area, but it is still pretty poor. (Be grateful for all that you have! I definitely took it for granted!) But Yeah, I have so much more to say, but no time! The computers here cost money and so we have to budget our time wisely, but I am safe, and happy, and learning everyday! I hope you have a great week!!!

Spiritual thought: Isaiah 41:10, Fear not. God is always going to help you. Even when you go somewhere where you don’t know anyone. Even when you have to drive on the other side of the road. Even when you feel like you are going to pass out from exhaustion. The work must go forth, and the people around you need your help. So open your mouth and say something!! God will help you!!

-Love you all! Ofa Atu, Sister Weight
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This was during our one day proselyting with field missionaries when we were still at the MTC! (Sister Pega, Me, Sister Ropati-Lealiiee, and Sister Christiansen)
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These are the sisters from our MTC district. We all got matching sweaters. (Me, Sister Malupeng, Sister Pega, and Sister Tanuvasa-Fuaga) Yes this picture was illegally taken at the MTC, because we wanted a picture in our sweaters!
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Fleas, Death, and Doors oh my!

Hello, Aloha, Kia Ora, Malo e’ lelei, Talofa Lava and Bula! I hope you are all having a WONDERFUL week because I know I am!! This week was seriously THE BEST! First of all let me explain the subject line. So some of the island sisters have fleas and the residencies are kind of infested so we are just praying that we don’t get them. I have had a few bites, and they are super awful but at least mine aren’t as bad as some. I am grateful for that. I don’t even know how to treat flea bites… Oh well. As for the death part, everything I love has been dying!! My favorite pen died, and my straightener died, and I just don’t understand. But it’s ok because the elders got to go shopping last P-day, and we got to go shopping today, so I bought some replacements. The MTC drivers just dropped us off at a mall in Papatoetoe and we shopped for an hour. It was so fun. I love New Zealand. The door part of the subject line is because WE WENT PROSELYTING THIS WEEK. My companion, Sister Pega, and I were paired with Sister Ropati-Lealiiee, and Sister Christiansen, who are currently serving in Auckland. We went knocking on doors and street contacting in the Otara district! We were mostly in a town called Otahuhu. It was SO FUN. We got so many return appointments, and we got to meet so many new people. We got pizza hut for lunch that day, and we ate this really yummy dessert called a lamington. We ate with Sister Tanuvasa-Fuaga, Sister Malupeng, and Sister Finaupepe. I loved getting to meet new people. Even when they didn’t want to hear what we had to say, I would still try to get to know them. We also got to go to a less active member’s home to teach him! His  name was brother No’oloa. He was this super cool dude from the cook Islands. (Can we just take a second to appreciate the totally cool accents here. Ok moving on.) He still reads the Book of Mormon everyday, he just doesn’t want to come to church. He asked me to sing him a hymn, so I sang love at home. It was kinda awkward, but he said he felt the spirit so that was good!! (So we went proselyting all day Wednesday). It was such a good experience! It made me even MORE excited for the next 18 months. There was this one lady that slammed the door in our faces, but as she was slamming it she said “Have a good day darling”, so I didn’t feel too bad. The people here are just so friendly! Even when we went to the mall today, people recognized our badges and just came up to say hi! It’s great. I love being a missionary! I love New Zealand! Sister Pega and I are literally just so close! I feel like I have known her forever! Her conversion story is one that will make you ball your eyes out, and count your blessings for all that you have. I have gotten more appreciation from the islanders even though I’m white because I try to get to know everyone. I think I know everyone in the MTC, or almost everyone. They still call me a Palangi.. (not sure if that’s the right spelling, but it means white person) but I don’t mind. They took the privilege of playing volleyball at sport away, because we aren’t allowed to spike, and too many people were spiking. So now I play rugby with some of the sisters and the elders. It’s intense… but it’s cool. I am almost out of time, but my spiritual thought for this week is: Why does God have people go through hard things? Read D&C 122:5-8. This scripture is written when Joseph Smith is in the Liberty Jail. I think that the answer to this question is because He TRUSTS us. He Trusts that we will learn from our hardships and later help others. That we will become stronger. Anyways, I love this gospel, I love this work, I love being a missionary, I love my teachers, my companions, and especially my district! I am SO blessed!! I wish you all well! And this is my last P-day at the MTC, because I fly out to my mission really early on Tuesday! God Speed everyone! I love yous heaps! (That’s proper grammar here).

-Sister Weight

I LAVA LAVA NEW ZEALAND

Kia Ora Everyone!!! I am not quite sure how to use these computers so if the format seems a little off, sorry! But hey, I don’t care because I am in NEW ZEALAND!! I still wake up everyday and think that I am dreaming! First of all, I love it here! I love my district, and my companion and the people here are SO GREAT. My companions name is Sister Pega. She is from the Phillipines! She is the only active member of the church in her family, and she inspires me so much! She speaks 3 lanuages, and we get a long really well! When we teach our investigators there is a bit of a language barrier, because her english is broken, but we have been working on that together. I am so grateful that I was paired with her! She is like the best friend that I needed to help me get through the MTC! I Love here! Ok next, my district! I am in the Nephi district. (We are all named after different Book of Mormon Prophets!) Our district is Sister Pega (Who will also be serving in Wellington), Sister Tanuvasa-Fuaga (From Hawaii, goes to BYU provo!, and will serve in Aukland), Sister Molupeng (From Phillipines, will be serving in Wellington too!), Elder Ellsworth (From Oregon, serving in Hamilton), Elder Rakatia (From Fiji, serving in Fiji), and Elder Mohetau (From Tonga, serving in Papau New Guinnea). I love them all so much! This district was definitely inspired! So far in the MTC we have taught 4 different investigators! I love them so much! I really hope we can help them come closer to Christ through our lessons! Our district’s teachers are Sister Famietau, and Brother Ailuai. I love them! They are seriously just the greatest! (If you haven’t already noticed, I love everything about being a missionary!) The missionaries here are from all over! Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, The UK, the USA, and some little obscure islands that I’ve never heard of before! There are 3 languages spoken here: English, Samoan, and tongan. So we have lots of translators. The MTC presidency and their wives are seriously so great! (President and sister Gibson, President and Sister Terry, and President and Sister Morris.) They have been like loving parents to us here. There is only 1 zone in the whole MTC. Our zone leaders are Elder Grow and Elder Gijultos. The Sister Training Leaders are Sister Welker and Sister Petty. They are all so Great. So the MTC works like this: Every 3 weeks all of the Missionaries are sent out to their missions, and the next day, the next intake of missionaries arrive. So every 3 weeks they are cycling through about 70 missionaries. (Unless you are an ESL (English as a second language) missionary, then you stay for 6 weeks.) The sisters are 2 to a room, and the elders are 4 to a room. We all either have a blue dot on our badges or a red dot and that tells you what shift to eat in, and what shift to go to sport in. We have sport everyday, and I love it! I have been playing volleyball with the Samoans and the Tongans. It is intense. They say I play good for a white person though, so that makes me feel good. (My arms are pretty much just permanently cherry red from playing so hard core). It’s all good. Elder Alof’aae and I started a game of soccer the other day, but someone stepped on my ankle and it got bruised so I think I’ll just stick to volleyball from now on.  The weather here has been mostly cloudy and rainy. When I first got here, I was freezing all the time because this is their winter. But I think my body has adjusted now. Oh, the FOOD here. This is important: IT’S SO GOOD. The only hard thing is that we have to eat everything on our plates! Sister Gibson stands by the rubish bin to make sure that we don’t throw anything
away. But, the chefs here are so talented! I love the food! I have gotten to be good friends with the chefs, so they usually only make me eat half of a serving. But I am still always STUFFED. Friday morning breakfast is my favorite because we have French toast, bacon, and fried bananas. It’s pretty much like eating heaven. (Also the Samoans and Tongans eat like 2-3 peices of bread with EVERY meal. Not toast, just bread.) The first few days I ate the bread too, but then I got sick so the chefs bought Gluten Free bread for me. They are the best. They always take care of me, and make sure that I have a dessert that is Gluten free. I Love all of the missionaries here! I am going to be so sad when I have to leave! We are all so close, and everyone knows everyone. I wish I had more time to write, but I want to send pictures so I am going to figure that out now! Have a great week everyone and thank  you for your e-mails! If I don’t have time to respond to everyone I am so sorry, but know that I love you and that I am thinking of all of you!!!  Oh and P.S. We went to the temple yesterday! All of the missionaries were in the same session. It was so cool. I will try to send pictures!! BYE!!

Intake 13    4 August 2016  No 2

Intake 13  4 Aug 2016  Nephi District No 1

I LOVE THIS PLACE!!

Hello Family!! I am in New Zealand! I flew with one other sister and 4 other elders! It was the longest flight ever, and no one next to me spoke english. (They were all asian). Then we got picked up from the air port by the MTC bus driver (who is like this really huge funny kiwi) He’s pretty  great. We also met up with one other elder and a few sisters that flew in from Hawaii. So far I am the only one I have met that is going to the Wellington mission! There are people going to Tonga, Aukland, Hamilton, and much more! The accents are so cool. The weather is rainy and cloudy, but like  56 degrees… I love it. I love the people! My companions name is Sister Pega from the phillipines, but I haven’t met her yet. Everyone here is so nice!! I took a bunch of pictures, but they don’t allow cameras in the MTC. They said they let us oustide on sundays to take pictures by the MTC sign so hopefully next time I get to email, I will have time to send pictures!! I love the people that I rode on the plane with, and while I was on the plane I wrote all the details of our traveling down in my journal so I am hoping I can take a picture of the pages, and you can read them so that you can read everything without me wasting e-mail time! I didn’t end up having to check my carry on, all was well. And when we got to Auckland, I borrowed a trolly so that I didn’t have to carry all 3 suitcases (they were WAY too heavy to carry all 3 by myself). But at least all my bags arrived! The Maori language is everywhere, and half the elders’ and sister’s name tags are way too long for me to pronounce. Anyways thats all the time that I have!! Have a great day!  I’m thinking about all of you!!
P.S. I GOT MY NAME BADGE. IT IS SO COOL.
P.P.S. I AM IN NEW ZEALAND AND IT IS PRETTY MUCH THE COOLEST THING EVER.
P.P.P.S I AM IN THE NEPHI DISTRICT. IT DOESN’T GET MUCH COOLER THAN
THAT.

-Sister Weight!

Not Goodbye

Hello everybody! This is Ashly’s twin sister, Shelby, and I will be keeping up her blog while she’s gone so that you all can read about the fantastic adventures she has while she’s in New Zealand. Today, Ashly left the Salt Lake City airport and flew to LAX where she got onto another flight headed for New Zealand. She was able to call and let us know that she made it to LAX okay, and although they were running a little late, she and the group of missionaries that are all flying out together were able to make it to their next flight just in time to board.

This is everyone this morning before she left:

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While it definitely wasn’t easy to let her go, we are so proud of her decision to serve our Heavenly Father, and the people of New Zealand, by dedicating the next 18 months of her life to teach and serve them. Her excitement is infectious and I can’t wait to see all of the exciting things that she will be able to do through her service!

This is everyone at the airport today:

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Ashly has been my built in best friend for the past 19 years (and she always will be), and even though I know this time apart will be difficult, I also know that it will be incredibly worth it! Her testimony of this gospel is amazing and I look up to her so much! While I was thinking about what to say in this post (most of her other posts will be the words that she sends via her weekly emails; I’ll just be putting on here so you all can read it), I couldn’t help but think that this isn’t goodbye. Ashly has chosen to leave her family, her friends, her education, and her life for 18 months, so that other families can be taught the gospel and be together forever. This means that there are no goodbyes. While we may be half a world away from each other for a little bit, we will never be far apart because we are always together-even if it doesn’t always feel like it! So while there may be times when this journey gets rough, I know that she is doing what is right, and that she is off to share her light and happiness with the people of New Zealand.

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Good luck Sister Weight, and not goodbye-simply, see you later! We love you and are so proud of you!

-Shelby Weight