Sunday, September 6, 2015


Pueblo. The "puebs", pebbles, pee-eb-lo. The first time out of the Springs and last month of my mission brought bittersweet, unexpected endings as well as new beginnings. Beginnings of eternal friendships and a new life.

I couldn't have asked for a better companion to support me in my last few weeks than Sister Faa. My "silly Brett", Faa Ma, was from New Zealand. Sister Faa's sense of humor and love really helped strengthen me. I learned a lot, but we'll start with her NZ-isms. 

1. Pumpkin carving doesn't exist, and halloween is not a popular holiday. For the first time EVER, Faa carved a pumpkin, lit the candle, the whole deal! Our house mom told her "you'll never guess what the best tool for carving pumpkins is." Thinking in the "you'll never guess" category, Sister Faa eagerly shouted "a wooden spoon!" .... Not so much, but nice try!

2. The letter "R" is often a silent letter when used in New Zealand. So cah=car. Sister Faa goes by Larvina, but it's pronounced "La-vina". It made for some really interesting conversations for sure! She also called the trunk of the car "the boot" I was really confused for the first few days. You want me to pop the what? The trunk. Haha

3. Avocado. In almost every other word where we would "apple" A sound (Bandana bananas) for example, she would say "banona" Except for avocado. She said used that apple sounding A where we would say "aw-vo-caw-do" haha

(reading this out loud, I realize how badly I need to restudy my long and short a sounds. It would be much easier to describe!)

We may have been from two very different continents, but the beautiful gospel brought us together, and thank goodness for that. We have no decent pictures together (i.e. the above "good 6:30 morning" photo) but I still love her so much. Larvina is the most kind, loving, compassionate, service-oriented, thoughtful, friendliest New Zealander I know. (granted, I only know one, but she's still the best). Even if she eats catsup (or should I say "tomato sauce") with chips and pickles on peanut butter sandwiches. She still would jam out to God's Not Dead with me, rest with me, taught like an angel, and made me laugh in every single way. Thank goodness for people like Sister Faamausili.

We had the blessing of living with the beautiful Montgomery family. They were like my parents away from home. The little sister I never had. I love this family so much.

 Elly and I shared clothes, hair products, and shoes. Mom would make me feel-good food and kept my momma updated. And Dad (Bishop) introduced me to the best pickles I've literally ever had. More than that, this family reminded me how important love is. They never give up, and they have extreme faith. I hope they know how great their impact really was for me.
Also Elly should marry my brother. The end.

I didn't expect to come home early, but I know now that God has a plan for me. He guided my entire mission and he will continue to guide my entire life. The experiences I had in Colorado will forever be in my heart. Thank you, everyone, for changing my life.