Monday, January 19, 2015

Koi ora -- still not sure if I'm spelling that right.

Time has been flying! I feel like I just got here and I'm 1/3 of the way through. Ahh. 

Two fun facts, 1. Voting is compulsory in Australia. Crazy huh?!
2. It is illegal to wash your car with a hose...I may or may not have broken the law.

kangaroo-crossing-australiaSo we were just leaving our investigator's house, and their neighbors drive up and there's this massive dent in their car from hitting a kangaroo. They told us some crazy stories about hitting big reds, and I am slightly paranoid now. I've only seen the little gray kangas, but people hit them all the time. Coming out of Ellenbrook, there are always dead kangaroos on the side of the road.

I don't remember if I told you already, but a Samoan sister in our ward taught us how to pongi po po or coconut buns...and I don't like coconut, but I love these! There is another family in our ward who have a son who served around a lot of poly families, and so he loves coconut buns too...we tried to teach him how to make it after only having made it with her once, and it didn't turn out so well haha. They weren't awful, but experience definitely helps. We just need to connect the two of them so that she can teach him directly.   Recipe from internet - no guarantees

So we had a zone conference this week and got to watch Meet the Mormons! Maybe it's just because we haven't seen a movie in a while, but I loved it!! Go see it! Zone conference was the best. Elder Meurs of the 70 spoke to us, and we received some mean training on how to improve our teaching.

This is the last week of transfers. I can't believe how fast it went. I don't want to leave Ellenbrook at all! I've been here for a while though, so who knows what will happen...
We met this man who stopped coming to church when he was about 19 or 20, after he had his mission papers all set and everything, and we were talking to him about a lot of different things. He's been to America, and he loves root beer and he Baby Ruth candy bars and the Salt Lake Temple. He was complaining about American medical care though (his mom lives there) and he said that if Americans just had to pay taxes that we would be all set. We just kinda looked at each other and were like...umm, yup. Also he dated the wife of our elders quorum president.

Did I tell you about Harmony? We met her a couple weeks ago, and she is incredible. She recently decided to turn her life around, and has been praying for guidance. Then we came to her door! She has so much faith in Christ. When we taught her the Plan of Salvation she just knew it all already. Said it made sense and that it answered so many questions that she had. When we invited her to be baptized she started crying and said that she would love to. She was super pumped for a bit, and then her family got home from New Zealand, and they got super busy. They have to move in a couple weeks and they are trying to find a place for their whole family. So we are going to keep teaching her until she moves and then connect her with the missionaries there. She still is excited, but it really sad that her baptism will have to be pushed back. She feels like it is her purpose in life to find the truth and share it with her family. So she said that them moving in all together is perfect ha.

Life is good, we are working hard and having fun! I don't want transfers to come. I wish we had a couple more weeks at least. I love being a missionary! I love the gospel! It has brought so much joy into my life and I want to share it with everyone. It just makes so much sense. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us and that His goal for each of us is to return to live with Him and become like Him. Seems like a pretty tall order, but I know we can change and become better if we turn to our Saviour and ask for His help. I am gaining a much greater appreciation of the Atonement! It truly is the greatest gift!

I love all of yous! (I finally started saying yous every once in a while...I don't like that one, and I held out for so long, but oh well...what are you going to do). Hope you have a wonderful week!

Oate Alofa ia te Ou!

Sister Formica

When Sister Formica was in Arizona, she really connected with Carla, an investigator.  She loved her dearly and had a hard time leaving because she wanted to keep working with her.  The first email in my in-box this week was one line:  
I think she was happy about that.  Wendy from Arizona sent me some pictures and a summary of the baptism. We are so very happy for Carla!  :)   

Wendy and Carla

Carla and Sister Graham (Sis Formica's trainer)


Friday, January 9, 2015

Christmas and New years

This is Sister Formica's mom.  I just realized I hadn't posted anything to the blog since Dec 15.  We haven't received much via e-mail, but we did get to visit with her on Christmas Eve via Skype!  She looked happy, loves her companion, loves the members and her investigators, and shared a few stories with us.  I'll share my favorite.  To help her think of something to tell us, we asked her to share a small miracle or answer to prayer that she had experienced.  She said: 

"Well, it's a small one, but the other day we really wanted to share an object lesson about priorities with one of our investigators -- the one with the jar, rocks and sand -- if you fill up your day with all the extra things (the sand) then try to shove the essential things in (prayer, scriptures, FHE, church), it doesn't fit.  But if you put the rocks in first, then the sand fills in all the gaps and you can get it all in.  We'd been looking for rocks for a few days, but it's amazing -- there aren't any rocks.  Just a lot of sand.  So that mroning, we prayed that He would help us find some rocks that day.  As we were riding our bikes, we looked in the field next to us and there was one small rock right in the middle.  Then another field had another one.  Soon we had enough rocks to teach the lesson.  So we were so excited.  We rode over to her home, and she wasn't there. But her dad was.  He is a member, but hasn't come in a long time.  He let us share with him the lesson and we all felt the Spirit.  It was great.  

Then Rachel pops up from the couch and said:  "We wanted to do that lesson in England too.  But all we could find were rocks - there wasn't any sand!" 

Sister Formica and her companion are asked to sing a lot together.  They were in the MTC together, then went to Phoenix together, and are now companions, learning together.  Hopefully we'll get a longer letter this weekend that I can share with you all.  She did say something else that I loved.  She said, "I don't know why I was so nervous about coming on a mission.  I am so happy and it is really great!"  That's a good thing for a mom to hear.  
Sunset & speed limit sign = 50 mph

January 4 - short, sweet letter.  After remarking on a few funny things we sent her, she said: 

I have to run, sorry, we had to fill out a survey for a mission tour and it took forever. Everyone is waiting on me (nothing new there).
New years was good! Quick update on some people:

T moved back in with the member family and has expressed a desire to quit smoking and be baptized this year. Her boyfriend came to church this week! He said that he didn't enjoy it, but coming was still a huge step for him. They are taking small steps to get to where the Savior and Heavenly Father want them to be.

Sometimes I am just so full of gratitude for the opportunity I have to be on a mission. I love being here and working with these people to help them return to live with Heavenly Father. I know the person it is helping and strengthening the most however, is me. I love my Savior and am so grateful for His Atonement, and Heavenly Father's plan for us.

I LOVE YOU SOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!! Hope you have a wonderful week, and I am legit writing you a long letter this week.  Tell Adam and Mckay I said hi!