Monday, December 15, 2014

You are the kindest, most patient family ever and I loved your emails!

Ahh I really just love you all so much.

Mom, I am the same as Adam and Mckay with being corrected... (I commented on how they hate to be corrected - they act like they should already know everything).  I've been trying to work on it for a really long time haha. Hopefully it's getting better. I don't think it's anything you taught us, just the natural man in us ha. 

Have an FHE lesson on being chastened...I heard a definition of being chastened that I really be chastened is to free from fault through teaching. I think that was the gist of it at least...Read either Jacob 4 vs 9 and 10; Hebrews 12 vs. 11-13 (not the ones before it necessarily haha); and Ether 2:14-15 along with the next chapter where he sees the hand of the Lord vs 9--Because The Bro of Jared accepted the Lord's chastening (for 3 hours--danggg) and humbled himself and repented, he grew and progressed to the point where he was able to see the finger of the Lord and was told that no man has come before the Lord with greater faith...where a chapter ago He hadn't prayed to the Lord in a while.  Now you aren't the Lord, but He has commanded us to honor our father and mother. And I guess you and dad are pretty wise sometimes.

Wow, that was not supposed to be so long...  haha sorry about all of that, doesn't have to be for the blog, but I really love this subject ha. Something I'm working on is being more humble and teachable.

So transfers...Sister Iosua-Fiu is going down south, and I am staying in Ellenbrook! I'm excited to stay, but I'm sad that she has to leave. I so don't feel like I know what I'm doing yet haha. Probably should...oh well.

But you are never going to guess who my companion is going to be!!! SISTER VEA!!!!!! read that right. Crazy huh?! Companions in the MTC, visa waited in AZ, in the same district for 2 transfers here and now we are companions! And for Christmas!
Sad news is that she scratched up her leg pretty badly in a biking accident. But she is tough.

Oh and Sister Jardine is coming to the Dianella Zone!

Coolest idea ever...making quiet bags. You guys rock.

This week was pretty eventful. Theresa finally moved out! She's the one who was in a really bad situation at home. She is now living with some members in the ward and doing really well!! She came to the ward Christmas party Saturday, church on Sunday and the broadcast of the Christmas devotional Sunday night! It was down at the chapel by the temple, so she got to see the temple, and she loved it!! She said now another reason she wants to be baptized is so she can go into the temple. She described it as the spirit at the temple jumped over the fence and into her haha. Made me laugh a bit.

Our ward Christmas party was great! One of our investigators made it, and a ton of less active and part member families came - everyone enjoyed it! The theme was Jerusalem markets, and it looked legit. I'll have to send pictures next week when I find my camera cord.

Ok, I am so sorry, but I have to go. I really really love you all and hope you have the best week ever. You are the best family ever. Don't hate me for my bad emails!


Here are some pictures the mission sent us from the Newsletter.  Baptisms and temple trips.  :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

kangaroos, kangaroos, and more kangaroos...

Hey guys!!!

I am feeling a lot better. I went to the Dr and it was pretty pointless ha. He said that I have tonsillitis (the computer says that is how you spell it but it looks pretty weird, so I don't know), but that it is viral tonsillitis rather than bacterial or whatever. Basically it should go away on it's own, but I should rest my voice. But it was already feeling fine, so I didn't really think I needed to. It was all good for a week, but then we were singing a lot and it started hurting again, so I guess maybe I'll take him seriously now. Maybe he went to school for a reason haha.

Our 8 week transfer is almost over. One more week and we'll find out what's going on. I read in the email of one of the sisters that I came out with that she hit her 4 month mark, so apparently I've been out for 4 months. Time is such a funny thing. I can't believe it's December. It came so quickly!

Oh I got your Not for Christmas package with my camera!! Thank you so much, I loved it!!!! The advent calendar and my Christmas pillow case are wonderful!! And thank you for the camera! I promise to send pictures more frequently now.

Mom, I was reading your letter and wishing that I was there to help you. Busy day. You are incredible. It's so true--Heavenly Father wants us to be happy, and when we listen to promptings about the little things each day, our lives are so much smoother and happier.

There was a baptism in our ward this Saturday. It was beautiful! It was a woman the elders have been teaching. She was so ready to accept the gospel. She bore such a strong testimony of the gospel and the Book of Mormon. She has two sons, one wants to be baptized in a few months when he turns 8! The other is working on it. We sang at her baptism as well.

We had dinner with a member whose backyard attaches to a golf course. They took us out to the golf course to take pictures with the kangaroos! So that's the picture with me standing awkwardly in the corner haha.

The one of me and Elder Renner, the elder who waited for his visa in Park Hill, is for Grandma.

The sunsets here are gorgeous. You really can't capture it on camera, but I tried anyway. Sorry about the speed limit sign.

This last week we saw tons and tons of kangaroos. I really haven't seen any in the wild up close until this week, and then it was just crazy! They were waiting until I got a camera to come out ha.

The picture of the little pond is where we went to do our weekly planning. It's the most beautiful park. And we took a little break to feed the ducks the rest of our pizza rolls.

We taught the young women lesson this week, it was on the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is a beautiful group of young women, they are smart and sweet. Mom, we shared Because of Him and ended with He is the Gift. Crazy. (crazy because this is what I emailed her about my lesson the same day: I want to show a video at the end, not sure if I'll show "He is the Gift" or "Because of Him".  Kind of cool how the lessons are the same across the world).

Dad, yeah a lot of missionaries live in houses, at least where I am. No they aren't cheap, but we are so spread out that we need to be in this area, and this is the best deal they could find. I never showed you the house, did I? I'll have to take a picture this week.

We get to watch the Christmas devotional on the 14th of December. Man, I took living in America for granted. Everything is so much faster ha. You have to wait longer to get your patriarchal blessings, to watch conference, to do anything like that.  I love that story about President Grant. When you don't forgive someone, you are weighed down, and it is hurting yourself. You are so wise too.

I have the best family ever. I love you guys and am so grateful for you!

I learned how to make coconut buns this week! They are delicious, and I don't even like coconut ha. Crazy. I'll make them for you when I get home, or just send you the recipe next week.

I am so excited for the Christmas season, but at the same time, it is so busy that a lot of people don't want to listen. And sooo many people go out of town! A lot of the members and some of the people we are working with are going back home to New Zealand for the holidays, or even just moving back there.

We are sharing the He is the Gift initiative this Christmas, which is incredible! Sharegoodness intro video
He is the Gift – Christmas Video – #ShareTheGift - YouTube  It's such a powerful message that Jesus Christ is the first gift, and He is the best gift I've ever received. I cannot comprehend the extent of Heavenly Father's love for us. And the love that our Savior had in order to accept Heavenly Father's will and sacrifice Himself for our sins is incredible to me.  (It's 2 minutes long and well worth the time).  

Tell Mckay and Adam that I love them!!  
Rach, email me! I love you so much!!
Hey you three, I love hearing your mission stories/experiences/whatever.

I got a package from Wendy and a letter from Marianne! They are both the sweetest!!! They both made me smile so much. I love you guys so much!!! Hope all is well! Have a wonderful week!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Forgot thanksgiving but it was Sister Iosua-Fiu's birthday!

 I forgot about Thanksgiving, but it was Sister Iosua-Fiu's birthday on Thursday!! I made crepes that were decent, no where near as good as our Sunday crepes though...

So I've been a bit sick lately, but nothing too bad, it was really just my throat. You know my tonsil that is usually a bit swollen? It was massive haha. I'm feeling a lot better today, but I'm going to go to the Dr. today just because Sister L wants me to, just to be safe. But I really am all good, I'm not just saying that. I have a bit of a headache, and also since I was sick this week, this email will be a shorter one, sorry! I just can't think about what happened right now.

Sister Iosua-Fiu was soo patient and took really good care of me this week.

Unfortunately, not as many people as we were expecting came to Invitation Sunday, which was a bit sad, but the talks were wonderful! And those who did come, as well as the members we've talked to, were touched by them. One recent convert spoke about her conversion story. She shared how Heavenly Father transformed her and how the gospel has brought her so much joy and how it has healed her. It was beautiful!

Cool thing, a few of the less active members we are working with shared with us that they are considering/have considered going on missions! I am so excited because I can just see how they would bless those around them and how much it would bless them!

I am so sorry about this email, but just know how much I love you and how grateful I am for yoU!!!!!!! I love your perspective on things! You are so wise!

(This is mom:  I always have a hard time writing to "Sister Formica" instead of her first name.  I think she may feel the same way with signing her name.  Maybe closing with "Me" is her way of avoiding that whole thing.  It makes me smile.)  

(We asked her what she wanted for Christmas -- this was her answer).  
things I need: lozenges--the throat numbing ones

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hola Familia!!

Ok, I get it, I have been awful the past few weeks at emailing. I am so lucky that you are all so loyal and loving and email me anyway. Best whanau (family) ever.   (Finally a long enough e-mail to get a feel for how she is doing!  It sounds like a few of us said something to let her know we missed hearing from her.  :)  Grateful for the results).  

So last Monday, a member took us shopping and bought us so much food, it was incredible. We are still good from last week, so no worries there Madre.

So remember the fast Sunday where the Pacific Area fasted to know who to invite to a special Sunday?? Well that Sunday is this week!! It's here! One of our friends who was baptized a little while ago is speaking about her conversion story. It is going to be so powerful. Our bishop is currently in Utah on business, and he is coming back the night before so that he can speak at it as well, poor guy. He's going to be so tired.

I am so excited though. I can't remember if I told you this, but we have been having a hard time getting some of our investigators to understand the importance of coming to church, and this last Sunday morning, I realized that I needed to recommit myself to truly having a spiritual experience each week before I can help others to do the same. I went to church with some questions in mind, and the answers I received were immediate. Sacrament meeting, Sunday school and relief society each addressed the questions I had brought. It was such an incredible experience and it strengthened my testimony of Heavenly Father's love for me and strengthened my love for going to church. I know this experience will help me to help those we teach have more of a desire to go to church.

Heavenly Father gives us so many tender mercies.

If I already told you that, just ignore it ha. But it's true.

So this last week, the elders in our district had an investigator they wanted us to meet, so we were able to go to a lesson with her and teach her. She is absolutely incredible. She has such a thirst for the truth, and a desire to follow Christ. Her partner is less active, but talks about the church and knows that it is true, and that has been something that she has struggled with--that he isn't acting on what he knows, and that's the only example that she has. She is also dependent on family who insist that she go to this other church, and they will not take kindly to her choosing something else. But she really wanted to come to church this Sunday. She moves back and forth between 2 houses, and all her stuff was at the other house. She told the elders that she couldn't come because she didn't have anything, and they arranged with a member to pick her up and take her to that house before bringing her to church, just so she can change quickly. Oh, she's in the later ward, but was coming to ours because she couldn't come later). Well they show up a bit late, and the elders called us outside...the member didn't end up taking her home, because she didn't want to be late to see her grandkids in the primary presentation.  So she didn't want to come in because she was in casual clothes and had no shoes and didn't feel comfortable. There were all 5 of us sisters there (the sisters from the other ward were there as well) and we all ended up taking off our shoes and sitting in the back with her. She loved it and said at the end that she couldn't believe she almost let one little thing keep her from feeling so good.

It happens all of the time. So often, we let one thing keep us from being happy, or from doing what is right. We need to keep our end goal in sight. When choices come, we need to ask ourselves if it will help us to reach that end goal. If it won't, we need to ask ourselves what is most important. I don't know if I explained that well, but hopefully you know what I mean.

It was a strange Sunday, but it was so good! It was the primary presentation, which was adorable. This less active family we have been working with came on Sunday!

Oh, I almost forgot. We were able to go to the TEMPLE twice this last week! Once with our zone for a session and once with the recent converts in our ward to do baptisms! I've now gone through the temple more on my mission than I did at home ha. I'll try to send pictures this week, but if I don't have time then next week! 

Man I just love love love the temple. You feel so peaceful when you are there. I left Friday night so excited to work with the three of us, and so full of love for my companions, and just everyone. I feel like since that night I've been feeling a bit more like myself than I have felt since I got here. But guess soon as I was just so excited for all of us to get to work...we got a call Saturday morning telling us that Sister Reynolds was being transferred Monday morning. Worst ever. I hate emergency transfers. You just aren't expecting anything, and then...BOOM.
This last week or two, there have been a lot of things going on in the mission. Several missionaries were sent home for different reasons, and so there are a ton of transfers happening today. It's pretty crazy. We're really going to miss Sister Reynolds, like a ton. Also, this coming week is Sister Iosua-Fiu's birthday, and so Sister Reynolds is going to miss it, and we didn't even get a chance to celebrate early.

In other news, Saturday morning we went to the temple, and Graham was sooo happy! It was his wife's first time as well, (she's coming back to church) and he just said that it was the best feeling ever. He loved it.

Saturday night we had a potluck with a lot of the same people plus investigators at our ward mission leaders house. Some people were able to ride the go-cart (not the missionaries sadly). They brought out their snake, and half the people freaked. Our zone leader ran away because he is terrified of snakes, but we convinced him to come back and he came back and held it for a minute because he's a champ.

I think we are done singing. Seriously we have been singing at every single thing that comes up--all of our district and zone trainings, baptisms, sacrament meeting. Now that Sister Reynolds is gone, no one is going to want to hear us anymore haha.

I was sick all last week--my throat felt like there were knives in it each time I swallowed, but I'm all good now!

I know so much has happened, but I can't think of anything else right now, so I love you! You are the best! I have such a skux whanau (skux=attractive basically).

Oh, we had a training on gaining the trust of the members/working with members, and I thought I'd get your thoughts... What are some things the missionaries do that help you to trust them? Or some little things that you might have seen done that should be avoided?? Those are pretty much common sense ha, but I figured it would be good to ask anyway.
(I am having a hard time thinking of anything specific, so if you have any suggestions, e-mail me or add them to the comments below and I'll get them sent to her.)

I love you soooooooo much!!! You are the greatest!
Adam is so funny. Tell him and Mckay that I love them and they are the best brothers on this planet. Tell Rach that I hope her fireside went well and I love her too!!! I need Grandma Chipman's I guess this week tell her that I love her (gpa too) and that they are the greatest and this is her birthday shout out and that I sang to her in Australia!

Have the best week! Adios!
Sister Formica

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Halloween!

It's so strange that it's 11:30 in the morning here and you are all going to a fireside ha...but thanks for the emails! Everyone was talking about how crazy emailing is after your birthday, but without you guys, Brad and Corisa it would have been empty...and I might have cried. Ha, just kidding.
Good thing my birthday here was huge.

It's way cool that you are going to a missionary fireside! Please tell me they randomly called Rach up to talk...but I want to hear all about it after!

There was a special fast yesterday throughout all of the Pacific Area for hastening the work! Members were encouraged to fast about who to invite to a special sacrament meeting each ward is having at the end of the month. Missionaries were basically encouraged to fast to receive revelation on how we can invite more people to church each week.

This week was interesting but good. On Halloween we gave little ghosts (lollies with tissues over them) to people. It was the best, everyone loved it and thought we were so creative (the benefits of being somewhere where they don't usually celebrate it).

We were able to teach 9 lessons that day, which was awesome!! Birthday blessings haha. I don't know how other missions compare, but it was so cool!

There was some major celebrating going on for my birthday!  It was awesome. Thursday during our dinner hour our zone leaders dropped off a ton of stuff for my birthday. Then my birthday morning my comps got up early and made this big breakfast and they gave me a big kangaroo (not sure how I'm going to transport it places when I'm transferred...or bring it home haha) and a frozen coloring book. So sweet right? And then that night we came back at the end of our day and our STLs (Sister Training Leaders) had decorated our apt during dinner hour like a haunted house and had cake and stuff. I've never had more junk food in my life though. I never want sugar again...ok false, but it feels like it currently.

The two girls who are getting baptized are doing alright, keep praying for them and their families please!

And G is now married and sooo excited for his baptism! And the elders in our ward (our zone leaders) have 2 baptisms coming up too right now, so there's hopefully 5 within the next few weeks!!!

With three sisters it's a little rough at times. More hormones or whatever ha. With three you have to work harder to have unity and peace, but in the end it's a really good thing. We are learning and growing together.  I know I am learning to be more patient and have more charity which is a blessing that will help me for the rest of my life...that's something I remind myself a lot haha.

I love witnessing the hand of the Lord in our lives and in the lives of those we speak with. He truly is preparing His children to hear the gospel. He loves each and every one of us so much.

Even if it is hard and I miss people a lot, I am really grateful to be serving here now. My mission has already given me some much needed perspective.

Man, I have to go, but there were funny things I had to tell you...I'll try to remember them for next week.

Love you all soooooo much!!!


Sister Formica

(the P.S. parts have to do with what we wrote to her:  McKay just laid down on the floor by the front door. I asked him if he was okay and he said, "I'm tired." Me: "It's kind of a strange place to lay down." "No it's not." (of course - haha). Then he said "Tell Becca I love her." He's tired of doing homework.
PS of course he's tired...he's insane and trying to do too much. In front of the door is my favorite place to lie down too!

Glad Grandma's bday was so great! Did she have fun? No one told me about her haha, just the party. CAN I PLEASE HAVE HER EMAIL?!  

Monday, October 27, 2014

umm...Missions are the best!

Hey guys!!! Hope you're all doing well!

Um so this week was a little different, but really good! I'm in a trio/threesome/whatever you want to call it with Sister Reynolds from the MTC  and Sister Iosua-Fiu! It's weird having 3 sisters, but it's really fun!

We witnessed so many miracles this week. One night we didn't have any food, so Sister Iosua-Fiu wanted to go to Hungry Jacks aka Australian Burger King. When we got there it was closed, so we went somewhere else instead and when we get out of the car this man kinda slows down and looks at us. We start talking to him and it turns out He is less active--he was baptized in 2010 and he's in our ward! It was perfect timing.

We were able to speak to the parents of 2 of the girls who weren't allowed to be baptized, and both of their dads gave permission!!!! And we found out that one of the families everyone has been baptized except this girl and her younger brother, and as a family they have thought about coming back a few times! Which is a big change from the way they were acting towards us before. Huge change.
And the other dad said that we can come teach their family about tithing. His english isn't too hot, so it was a bit hard to understand him, but he said that he wants his children to know the importance of tithing when they grow up. Random right? His mom was a member of a different church but she taught him that by paying tithing you will never be poor. Might not be wealthy but you won't be poor, and he wants that for his kids. They've been teaching her forever and this is the first opportunity we have to teach the whole family!! Ahh!

Um running out of time, so I'll just wrap things up. Just a few more things.

We have done sooo much weeding in the last week. And spider slaying. I always have to kill the spiders...rude right? Just kidding, it's not that bad. I killed 3 redbacks!!! At least Sis Reynolds said they were redbacks ha. I wouldn't know. But that was intense.

This is NOT the Rebecca I knew!  She looks like she is actually enjoying this experience!  :)
We did a zone service project weeding this nature reserve or something...I'm pretty sure that's where the weeds belong isn't it? We were basically weeding a forest.

We're pretty much out of Ks (Kilometers) so we are biking everywhere we can, but sis reynolds and sis Iosua-fiu hate biking. I like that we are almost out because it forces us to bike haha.

I gave a talk on Sunday and afterwards realized the whole congregation was probably sea sick because I was swaying back and forth a little bit...oops. Sounds like a really awkward thing to do while giving a talk, but I don't think it was that bad. Oh well.

We went to a Samoan family's house for dinner and I had raw fish for the first time...not the biggest fan, but it wasn't that bad. Lucky us they gave us a big thing of leftovers. Whoo. But our ZL really likes it, so we gave it to him.

They have a pool table so I taught them how to play crud, but we used church words instead. One of their kids couldn't remember what the letters where though haha. He kept spelling ELDS.

Oh and I met a deaf woman at a park and was able to have a conversation with her for a while. It was soo much fun! She was so sweet. Australian Sign Lang has pretty different signs from American sign language, unless I really just forgot that much haha.

Our ZLs are doing like a 12 days of Christmas thing with my birthday! So that's been super fun. They gave me candy corn! Which made it seem a bit more like Halloween!

We went on a walk with one of our investigators--she is in a really bad situation, and she is choosing to remain in it, but she wants to raise any future kids in the church, and she wants the gospel, she just isn't willing to make the changes right now that she needs to in order for that to happen. Ahh. Agency. It's a gift...and a curse. Just kidding, it's such an incredible gift and I am grateful for it.

Whenever I decide to wrap things up, I think of 10 more things to say haha. Sorry no individual emails this week...

Um, I know other things have happened this week, but I can't remember what, and I have to go, but I am so grateful for you all! Love you! Hope everything is good!


Sister Formica

Oh last one! One of our investigators who has been investigating since foreverrr (aka 2009) is getting baptized. They had to get married first, but they are doing that this week! Ahhh! So excited for them! And he can't wait to get baptized and go to the temple with his family. (They are members). He is the best missionary to his extended family who are all in gangs and whatnot. He gets all teary whenever he thinks about them and sharing the gospel with them.

Oh and here are some pictures thanks to my companions. You're welcome Mom haha.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hey guys! Sooo I didn't keep a list of things to tell you this week because this week FLEW by. Seriously I have no clue what happened, but here I am emailing you again, without a list, which means my brain is empty.

I can definitely testify to the importance of planning. Daily, weekly, whenever it is, it's important ha.

We had zone conference which was really good. A lot of emphasis on planning and on prayer.

Holy cow, I LOVED general conference. I used to kinda laugh whenever missionaries got all worked up about conference...ha. Oops. Has it always been this good??  I mean I always loved conference, but I LOVED conference.  It is amazing. And it went by so quickly. I was bummed that it was over already... just 6 more months.

There was so much about supporting the prophet and our leaders. It's true. In church the other week our bishop (who's a biker--dad!) gave an analogy about wards and working together. No time--I'll send it next week ha.

So I loved all of it, but can I just say that D. Todd Christofferson is brilliant? They all are, but his talk especially stuck out to me. "we can have faith in God because He is perfectly just and trustworthy."   And Lynn Robbins or whatever about which way we are facing. 

(To read D. Todd Christofferson's talk, click here).  

Heavenly Father is so merciful to us. He is the most patient person ever.

Mom, tell Katherine that I wish! But I was told that it was too late to start planning something like that. Even if it's small. Bummer right? I'll still celebrate Halloween in my heart, and if I hear of another ward doing it, I'll let her know.

One minute! Gotta go! this is the weirdest email ever. SOrry. But just remember, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!! Church is true. Have a wonderful week!

Rebecca has lost her camera, so it will be a while until we get pictures ... Luckily it was very old and falling apart.  :)