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.  :)  

Monday, October 6, 2014

I've been out for 2 months. Is that not unreal? Feels like nothing but also foreverrr

Hahaha I just love our family. So much.  Reading your emails definitely helps me get through the week, seriously.

It's crazy because everything is different here, but the differences are slight, so you're slightly thrown off because you feel like it should be the same since it's not ridiculously different. I think if things were completely different (like I imagine they would be in Africa) then it would be fine because it's expected, but because everything is just slightly different it throws me off a bit more, because I'm not expecting it. 

I feel kind of out of it here. I was studying yesterday though and I realized I just need to love the people and pray for and serve them and everything else will take care of itself.  It doesn't matter if I fit in really, or if they love me back, because the missionary doesn't convert people, the message does, and really the spirit does. So if I have the spirit with me we are told that we will be recognized as servants of the Lord. (obviously if they like me it'll be easier to get in to teach them, but they don't have to love and adore me ha).

Last thing, I just am a quiet person I decided.  We are pretty quiet when it's just two of us. I like to listen to people I guess. And it was the same with Sis G. I never thought I was a quiet person, but I just don't have much to say?   I don't know. It's all good.   Just funny.

I love Australia and I love the people, I just need to work a bit harder to connect with them. 
The general women's broadcast was AMAZING. Have talks always been this good and I just didn't pay much attention or are they getting better? Ha. I need to live the gospel joyfully. And doing so, everything else will take care of itself.

Fun things about Australia:
The ice cream truck plays the song "What Child is This?"
The mailmen ride around on motorcycles dressed all in neon yellow. I think that sounds like a fun job.

One of the elders in our ward had had a really hard day, so we took them ice cream and were eating it outside. The next day I went to eat some and there was something really weird looking in it, so I'm poking at it, and it was a frozen sick.

We went to this older lady's house to help her get ready for an inspection, and I got to get rid of all the spiders and cobwebs. It made me paranoid of spiders. So many. Everywhere. And then the next morning in our flat there was a big one appeared out of no where on my arm. But I killed a black widow or two, and some other really gross looking ones. Just call me the spider slayer.

There's this couple with the cutest family who is in our ward.  They have 4 little kids who are soooo cute. The dad is really kind and respectful of us.   His mom is also in our ward.   He plays the didgeridoo so well. It's really cool. He's going to teach us how so I'll be a pro when I come home!  (Oh Good!  We've had one for about 10 years.  We need a pro!)

The gospel brings so much joy and so many blessings. I love it. It just makes sense that God has a plan for us and that He would tell us about it. That He would tell us the way to return to Him.

I love you so much!!! Gotta go because we are going on a hike and having a picnic and then playing SPORTS! So excited!!

Oh dad, last question, sometimes when people investigate the church, they look through the internet and find all these things that people say weren't possible with the Book of Mormon, like something about horses and what not, I don't remember too well. But things that people who are reading anti-mormon lit talk about with the Book of Mormon.  Sometimes this keeps them from embracing the gospel.  Sometimes they overcome the doubt.  What changes them?  Do they just start really reading it with an open heart?  Because answering those specific concerns about the logistics or whatever it is that people are concerned with isn't going to change anything, you know?  

I love you!!! I can't believe Rach is coming home! That is so unreal! And seems so far away haha. I'm so sad that I won't be there. But she doesn't need me anyway ha.  Not True!!  Rachel's last email talking about the airport:  "I am sure you already know this, but nothing big please and thanks. just our little family, no posters no nothing. stinks that becca won't be there. but that's okay.... I can't believe I am actually emailing about this. mum it doesn't seem real! like at all. so strange."  They really do need each other -- time together will come.  So grateful for that.  :)   

Have the most wonderful week. You are the best.



PS I would send a letter, but I pretty much tell you everything in my emails.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

koa ora bub

koa ora bub (samoan--it's like aww, cool, or aww cute. But everyone says it all the time)

Ok, so I'm in Australia and it is crazy here! I absolutely love it!

We didn't email yesterday because it was public holiday.

President and Sister Lindsay are just about the cutest/best people in the entire world. This mission is so much smaller than AZ, well...less missionaries, huge area. But it's super personal. President Lindsay wants us to call him whenever we need to, or whenever we have a miracle to report and when we get our first new investigator and whenever anyone sets a baptismal date. But yeah, I think there's like 130 missionaries, and like 5 zones.  

My companion is Sister Iosua-Fiu. You say it like Yo so few, but say it fast. She's from Melbourne, but she was born in New Zealand and she's Samoan.  She is the best! I love her!! She's a really good missionary and she is so kind and super patient and really funny.  (Just found out Leslie Schelly's niece was Sister Iosua-Fiu's companion earlier!  Small world).  

We live in this flat that's actually huge. It's a house with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and it's just the 2 of us. Crazy right?? It's fun though.

There are multiple sets of missionaries in each ward, we are with the zone leaders, but some wards have like 4 companionships. It's so fun.

Oh, so the craziest thing is that I'm driving already!! It's not too bad, I haven't killed us yet. But a lot of the Australians don't have drivers licenses, they all just drive illegally because it takes like 4 years to get a license here. So when someone can drive, they start right away. Not gonna lie, I was terrified. And the morning I was supposed to drive for the first time it was pouring rain. Perfect. But it isn't that bad. Oh, there are a bajillion and one roundabouts though.  And for those of you who aren't aware, I HATE roundabouts even when driving on the right side of the road! It's all good though, we pray a lot that we will get places safely. And driving on the left isn't too bad, there are just some weird things to get used to.

Um, I haven't seen any poisonous things yet (shouldn't have said that, now I'm going to jinx myself). But I thought I hadn't seen any spiders really either, but then one morning I guess I was just looking around more in our flat and I saw 6 in one corner. Shouldn't have looked around more. I vacuumed them all up, no worries.

Accents aren't too hard to understand so far. But there are tons of Mauris (I don't know how to spell it, but native new zealanders...everyone says to say it like moldys like moldy bread haha). And people speak Samoan a lot, so then I'm kinda lost, but Sis Iosua-Fiu is teaching me. By the time I come home, I'll speak Samoan!  Every once in a while I am completely lost, but I just nod and smile.

The ward is great! Super involved, really good ward mission leader.

I met Elder Renner. (who was waiting for his visa in Grandma Formica's ward).  He's in my zone, and he said that Gmas cooking is the best, and that he misses Hemet and the smell of citrus. He also said that that area is on fire. What? I haven't heard of anything. Man I was awful when I was at home. Oh hey, familia, look up the missionary next door--it's like a lesson/John Bytheway type thing by this lady--and listen to it and then set goals as a family of how to share the gospel, yeah? I can't remember if I already told you to do that, but if I did and you haven't, do it!

General Conference is broadcast the week after here, so I'll see it the next weekend. Same with the relief society I'll see it Saturday. Everything is a week later here. But I'm so excited! Like Rach said, watch it with a question in mind, and really prepare yourself to receive revelation--think and pray about it ahead of time.

There are these really loud, obnoxious birds here that seriously sound awful. I don't even know how to describe their sound, but you just want to shoot them.

So Halloween isn't a thing here. I knew Thanksgiving wasn't, obviously ha, but Halloween? I was hopeful. It's killing me. I'm starting it. Get a ward trunk or treat'll take WA by storm ha. Just wait, you'll hear about it I'm sure.

Oh, so I say I am from CA, and everyone asks, oh do you know this person?? Everyone thinks I should know everyone from CA.

So we haven't been able to go grocery shopping yet, but everything is ridiculously expensive here. Ridiculously. Dominos is cheap though--5$ pizza. Since we haven't been able to go grocery shopping, we have had so much pizza I'm never going to eat it again. Don't worry Mom, we get money tomorrow and we will get food soon.

Members don't really feed you here--2 recent converts who we are with a ton have fed us actually, but those are the only meals we've had. It's a little weird going from Ahwatukee, where you get fed like really well every single night, to fending for yourself, but it's not a problem, it's good!

Want to know something that'll break your heart? There are 5 people we are teaching who want to be baptized but they can't be because their parents won't allow them to be. Isn't that so sad??

There are so many things that are different that I just didn't think about. It's definitely an adjustment, I feel like teaching here is different too. I think people from different cultures think in different ways...I have to figure that out a little more. Ok, I don't actually know how to explain what I mean, so never mind.

I am just so grateful for the gospel. It's real. There is only one way to be completely happy, and that is by following Christ's example. Every single person needs to have faith in Jesus Christ, to repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost and then to keep going throughout this life-- throughout whatever trial is thrown our way. We each need this, because through Christ and His atonement is the only way we can be saved. Nothing is more important--not school, work, or anything else, because this is the reason we are here. To learn and grow from our trials and to become like Heavenly Father.

Scripture of the week 2 Nephi 31,  all of it. (but if you want a smaller one, verse 20-21).
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
 21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of theFather, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.
Ok, I'll get off my high horse and stop being all preachy, but I love this gospel. It brings me so much joy and comfort and purpose.

I miss and love you all! Hope you have a wonderful week!!!