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?!