Week 21: Goodbye Mount, Hello Rototuna + Sandwich chapel + OTC & Sister Sapoi

Dear EVERYONE,

Kia Ora :)

I am no longer in Mount Maunganui!!

When I received the call that I was being transferred to Rototuna.... My first thought was: "That sounds like a cat food brand or something..." I'm not kidding haha. I said goodbye to as many people as I could, packed all my belongings into two suitcases, and took a two hour bus ride to my new area in Hamilton. This area is totally different from Mount Maunganui. Our ward is HUGE in comparison. The church building, which is nicknamed "Sandwich Chapel" (because it is on Sandwich road)  is much bigger and there are a lot of wards in Hamilton. There is so much potential here and a lot more families, which I love. The Ocean is not close here, but the Waikato river runs right through it. It has a different vibe than the mount. We share the area with the Elders, who are the zone leaders here in Hamilton. I've gotten used to having the whole area to ourselves, so now I've got to adjust to working with them. 

Sister Sapoi is lovely. Wow!  I am so happy she is my companion. She is from Tonga but has lived in Auckland with her family for some time now. I can't wait to start working with her. She sings beautifully, is very smiley and just nice. She taught me how to make Otai ( a yummy Tongan drink) my second day here. I have a feeling I will be eating and learning how to make a lot of Tongan food while I am here. 

The unique thing about the area is that I will be spending a portion of every day in the OTC (Online Teaching Center) about 3 hours or so. There are 38 Sisters who work in the center, answering calls, skyping people, online chatting, contacting other missionaries, etc. Sister Sapoi is teaching me how to teach online. It is amazing because we connect with people all over the world. My normal self hates office work... but something changed because there is a much deeper meaning behind what we are doing. It has actually been quite fun. We go by our first names in the center, to make us more personable to the people we are talking with, so that has been weird to get used to. My favorite thing so far has been having a conversation with someone who has requested a free bible, and bearing my testimony, and then convincing them to meet with the local missionaries in their area. I then get to call the missionaries, tell them all about that person, and give them the referral. I get to bring good news to everyone! Free copies of the bible and book of Mormon! Referrals for the missionaries! There is a purpose for our lives! Fun. 

I had a hard time saying goodbye to people I have grown close with in Mt. Maunganui, but I feel there is so much room in my heart for those here in Rototuna. I think this is the most inner peace I have felt about any change in my life, honestly. I am doing better at accepting God's will for me, and just looking to Him for everything. I feel so blessed and so happy :) 

Have a fantastic week everyone!

Sister Barker

                                                    My New Comp Sister Sapoi





     Good Bye Pictures: Mount Manganui





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