The inevitable happened. I got head lice. Since my arrival I have tried so hard to keep my hair free from the pesky little critters, even praying for help. A couple of weeks ago my hair was itchier than usual. I wasn’t sure if it was just dirty or filled with dust or if it was what I had been dreading. I sat in front of the mirror and started checking my hair. To my complete dismay I found them. I was so disappointed but accepted it. Well, I thought I had accepted it. I went on with the usual tasks of my day but as the day wore on I couldn’t stop pondering on the infestation of my hair. I quickly became depressed about it and thought that my hair seemed so itchy (it was probably just all in my head to be honest). I became frustrated and moody. At the end of the day I washed my hair and began combing through it to rid myself of the lice. Even though there weren’t very many lice, I was so disgusted at what I was finding. When I was done I tidied up and lay on the kitchen table silently crying and feeling sorry for myself (it sounds so ridiculous as I type this but at the time it was a very real concern to me). I started wondering why? I had prayed so fervently that I wouldn’t get head lice and did all that I could to prevent them from coming. As I was brooding a thought came to mind: “Will I really endure all things for Christ?” For so long I’ve claimed that I will endure all things because of my love for Jesus Christ and now, Heavenly Father was testing me. Will I really endure this for His Son as I have claimed? Head lice may not seem like a big deal but to me it is and God knows this. I knew that despite my strong dislike and disgust at head lice I would not only endure this because of my love for Jesus Christ but I would endure it well (or try my best to do so). I thought about all those who have served and fought for freedom in wars both ancient and recent and what they would have had to endure so that we could enjoy the freedom we have at present. Surely they would not have abandoned the cause for which they were fighting simply because of a case of head or body lice? And what about me? Would I so easily abandon the cause for which I was fighting simply because I got head lice? No. No I would not. Why? Because the cause for which I am fighting is an eternal one and in the eternal scheme of things my case of head lice is insignificant.
Thursdays are our days for service. But last week we didn’t have any planned service with members of the ward or those we were teaching so Sister Tuilotolava and I decided that we would get a couple of rubbish bags and pick up rubbish in the town square. Towards the end of our service we were picking up rubbish along the side of the road and were almost done when a bus (when I say bus what I really mean is a van that is used as a bus) was heading towards us. As it went past the drive threw his rubbish out of the window which landed in front of Sister Tuilotolava. All I remember is watching him and seeing him watch the rubbish drop with a look on his face as if he was doing us some kind of service. In that moment I wanted to pick up those pieces of rubbish and run after the van and throw them back at his face. I was so dumbfounded at how he could do that. I wanted to yell after him and tell him off and began to feel my blood rising within me. But I didn’t. I stood where I was on the brink of tears. I knew that I couldn’t. I am an authorised representative of Jesus Christ and I cannot behave in a manner that is un-befitting of the sacred calling with which I hold. I couldn’t fathom how people could treat us thus. We are authorised representatives of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world! We have given up everything to serve here and to labour in an effort to help people and this is how we are treated? I began to ponder on how Jesus Christ was treated during His Mortal Ministry and was deeply humbled as I recognised the parallels between His Ministry and that of His appointed servants. The wonderful thing about experiences like these is that we begin to truly learn of Jesus Christ and the type of person He was. We begin to see just how perfect He really is and just how much love He had for mankind. As my service wears on I begin to realise just how amazing Jesus Christ is and how in comparison I am nothing.
On Saturday the weather was terrible! It was raining all day. During our baptism that evening as we were waiting for our investigator to get changed one of the members turned to us and told us to go and get an umbrella from our house for him. When I realised what he said I looked at Sister Tuilotolava shocked at what he was asking us to do. Clearly if we were to walk to our house and back to the chapel we would get wet. If I were back at home, male members and friends would be running to their cars or their houses to get umbrellas for us just as women and as missionaries. They would never ask us to do such a thing. They would be the ones serving us and ensuring that we were taken care of. I had turned back just in time to see him wink at someone from across the room. Sister Tui, ever so humble, told him that we would get it for him and we would be back soon. I reluctantly got up and followed her. As we were walking in the rain to our house I felt so disrespected. I turned to Sister Tui and practically yelled: “They have no respect for us.” She tried to calm me down and told me that we would just keep serving them. I didn’t want to hear it. Serving them was the last thing I wanted to do after the way we were being treated, as if we were dogs ready to run and fetch at their every request. I felt as though they had no respect for the sacred calling with which we held and had no respect for us as women. We retrieved the umbrellas but as we were walking back I had had enough. I threw the umbrella I was holding as hard as I could on the ground and let out a half scream/gasp and began to cry out of frustration. Sister Tui pulled around to the back of the house and we stood there in the rain, holding each other and crying. When we regained our composure we walked back to the chapel only to see that the member who had originally asked us to retrieve the umbrella, had one in his hands already. I wanted to throw the umbrellas at him but I didn’t. I walked away and followed Sister Tui to the wall to witness our investigator be baptised. As we were walking alongside him I looked at his smiling face. He was so happy. He was so excited. I thought to myself, it’s all worth it because of people like him; people who are so prepared and so ready; people who desire to follow Jesus Christ. It’s all worth it. And isn’t that just the case for the trials we face throughout our lives? No matter what happens or what we are called to endure, it will all be worth it.
It will all be worth it.
This is Raroo! I went on splits with the STL’s and met this little boy at our dinner appointment. He reminded me so much of my own brother who has down syndrome and it was one of the highlights of my week. He is so funny and has a crack up personality.
Oh yeah, so Ametira gave us a bunch of green bananas which are like gold! We put them in our house to ripen up but oh man. Such miracles. So we’re riding home with our bananas that are about to fall out of the basket haha and people are driving past looking at us weird lol.
Man this is my favourite thing to eat. Like whenever I eat it. I always feel so comatosed afterwards but honestly I’d eat the plate too if I could.
Man let me tell you guys about me and my sis, Sister Boss. She came in the intake after me and we just vibe! She’s awesome. We got to stay at their house because we didn’t have water and man we just had so much fun.
Elder Berends let me cut his hair. Woop! It was my first time ever cutting hair but I told him that it wasn’t at first just so he would let me do it. I was actually really surprised that he did. You can follow his mission life here (http://elderdanienberends.blogspot.com/