Friday, February 27, 2015

New Zealand Mussels

Man, I am the luckiest missionary ever.  I literally get the best emails from all of you and I am so grateful for you and your experiences and wisdom!

This week was good--really fast though.  This transfer sped by!
Golden Bay ... in 2006 Census it had a population of 1873.  

 Met these people who were typical Aussies--don't believe in God really, and haven't really thought about any of it and don't really want to, but we kept talking to them for a bit and learned that they just got back from the Philippines.  We talked about how humble they are and how they are so happy despite their poverty.  We shared that they are focused on what is truly important, and they are grateful to God for what He has given them, and that is what brings happiness.  They agreed, and they told us that their friend is coming from the Philippines to stay with them for a bit, and he is really religious.  We asked if we could come back when he was there to talk to him; they agreed and are going to let us know when he gets there.   
When they found out that we aren't allowed to go swimming, they said that we should just put on our swimsuits and go find people to teach in the water ha.  Seriously tempting...just kidding.  It was such a funny conversation, but they are awesome!  They gave us mini cans of Fanta for the road. 

Image result for new zealand mussels raw
I ate raw New Zealand mussels this week!  Or I guess I ate a raw New Zealand was awful.  You know how Sea World stinks like salt and fish and it's just bad?   It tasted like that.  Then they cooked them for us, and it was a lot better.  Still too fishy for me, but I could eat them. Sister Parks almost threw up the cooked one...their kids were all chanting "eat it, eat it!"  and they were just laughing at us. 

We went to this member's home and it is literally right on the water!  They have dolphins and kangaroos in their backyard--the kangas are on an island right by their house.  Mean hey?  And she is from Huntington Beach!  They lived in Long Beach for a while too!  Coolest house ever.  I am coming back and staying there...just a heads up. 

This is kinda a funky email, sorry!  But I love you all and I really just want to let you know how grateful I am for the gospel.  I know that it is true, and I really can't express how much I love it.  And how incredible the Atonement is.  The fact that we can be forgiven and become clean from our sins and our weaknesses can become strengths is so wonderful and brings so much joy!   

my computer is about to shut off, but have a great week! 

Sister Formica

Ps I just looked up and there's this quote on the library wall..."Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.  Inside a dog it's too dark to read." Dry haha.  Share that one with Adam for me.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Hope you all had the best week!!  We had such a good week! 

 Since mission conference we have really tried to talk to as many people as we can, and we feel like Heavenly Father is blessing us for our efforts in all aspects of the work.  He has guided us to more people who are prepared to hear the gospel, and helped us in being more confident as we teach as well.  This last week I have invited more people to be baptized than I have at any other point on my mission, (it's still not a ton, but it is an improvement),  and all of them have said yes if they find out that it is true they will be.  Now we just have to guide them carefully so that they can find out for themselves, and always follow up! 

We survived Friday the 13th--it was a bit rough ha, but what can you do?

 And the next day was VALENTINE'S DAY!!!  I love Valentine's Day.  Don't ask me why, it's just a happy day.  But anyways, we kind of did a similar thing to what we  did on Halloween with handing out the suckers as ghosts, but we made valentines for people!  We picked a few different scriptures about love and charity and wrote them on the inside of some paper hearts and then we delivered them to people we are teaching or people in the ward and gave them to people as we biked.  You can see the difference it makes in someone--you start talking to them and they can be really closed off or grumpy, but once you give them a valentine, often they open up and are much kinder and happy to talk to you.  One lady from England was nice but didn't want to talk at all, but once we gave it to her, she started telling us about how one of her really good friends was a member of the church and how much she admired her and her family.
We had an apt with one of our investigators this week.  When we went to teach her, her friend and her friend's son were staying with them, and were in a pretty bad situation.  We were able to teach them.  The mom soaked in everything we taught and agreed to come to church on Sunday. But then Saturday night, our investigator texted us telling us that her friend had left, but thanking us for trying to help them.  When we called her to ask about it, she was really upset, but we were able to share some scriptures with her, and sing a hymn and pray with her.  We invited her to come to church and asked her to read a chapter in the book of Mormon.  She was much calmer after we talked, and we arranged to help wake them up for church.  So many things went wrong that morning...It was a struggle, and we got there at 9:30, but she came with her 3 daughters.
She is much more open to us now.  Her and her children need the gospel so badly.  I know that our trials can humble us enough to seek Heavenly Father's will, and sometimes it is only when we feel that there is no other place to turn to that we turn to Him.  And He is always there with arms outstretched to embrace us and lift us up.

We went to pacific area presidency broadcast on Sunday and it was great!  I am excited to work in a more unified way with the ward council!  That's something I haven't really understood how to do, but I think that I am beginning to understand it better.

I am teaching Sister Parks sign language--she already knows a bit, but we are practicing signing to each other.  It's so much fun!  I forgot so much!  We were sitting across from each other in choir, and talking whenever people weren't looking, but we got caught ha.  Oops.

I can't believe it's February...time flies.  I love being a missionary!  The gospel is the best!  It brings so much joy and hope into people's lives.  I am grateful for Heavenly Father's love and for my Saviour!  I am so grateful for all of you!  We taught someone who is just starting uni and I realized that I do not miss school right now haha. 

Love you guys soo soo much!!! 
P.S. I know last week I said I had some funny stories, but I forgot bad ha.  They probably wouldn't have been that funny anyway haha.  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Happy Australia Day!

Talofa everyone!!

Happy Australia Day! Someone told us that it is also called Survival Day and Invasion Day...depending on who you are talking to ha. Apparently they have crazy fireworks in the city, but we couldn't see any, so we just sat on a hill and looked at the stars for a couple minutes.

So the news is that I am getting transferred to Golden Bay, which is down south, so it should be cooler. And I'm hoping I'm close to the ocean. If it's just called golden bay and it's not by a bay I'm not going to be happy ha. It's supposed to be a really great ward! President told me that they love missionaries. The crazy thing is that my companion is going to be Sister Parks from the MTC...our fourth roommate! What the...this makes 3 transfers in a row that I'll be companions with an MTC roommate.

Sister Vea was sick for about half of the week, but I had so much to do, and I felt stuck inside.

I am so sad to be leaving the people in Ellenbrook. People are just barely starting to get back from vacation ha. School starts next week. I am going to miss Sister Vea so much! I love working with her.

Sorry we don't have long to email again, we had interviews with President Lindsay this morning.

Oh guess what?! We came home one night and there was this huge scorpion in our flat!! I didn't get a good picture, but it was so creepy looking. I caught it and we were supposed to save it for one of the elders, but we forgot that it was in our car and it cooked...oops.

I'll try to put some pictures on dropbox, but if it doesn't work, here's one or two...the first one is our investigator Meemee! She is incredible--she has such a strong testimony and she's so smart!

hey we met this less active man from Italy--he is from the province of Catania I think, from a small town with a famous weird castle? Maybe it starts with an F...I forgot how he spelled it, sorry mom! But He was so funny, and I loved his accent. The weird thing though is that he said he would make soup with ants in it and we have to come try it!

This was definitely a learning week for me. I'm grateful for Heavenly Father;s patience in teaching us lessons. I am so grateful for Heavenly Father's plan for each of us. It's so real. And so comforting. We each have our own path to travel, but the same things bring us true happiness, and we are all on this earth just for a little time to learn. As Antonio, the italian man put it, life is just a school. I love the gospel, and I am so incredibly grateful for the Atonement.

Love you all!! Have a wonderful week!

Put a bug in your ear? Maybe not.

So Golden Bay lives up to it's name...I have now seen the ocean, but still haven't been close to it. Hopefully we will fix that today.
My companion, Sister Parks still laughs a lot, but it makes life fun! It's been a good week. She is incredibly kind and sweet--The most service oriented companions I've had. That sounds weird ha, but I didn't know how else to say that she is always serving me. It's hard to keep up with her service wise! I'm trying though. I'm trying to learn the area and get to know people, and it's a bit of an adjustment, but I already love it here! The people are wonderful! There are very few members in our area, but they aren't too far away--all in the elder's areas haha. There are 6 missionaries in our ward. The ward is huge! Our leaders are wonderful!

Sister Parks got a bug stuck in her ear the other night for like 10 minutes. After we got it out, I was telling her how Dad had a pincher bug crawl in his, and as soon as I start telling that story, I saw a pincher bug...and ever since then I swear they are everywhere in our apartment. I am so paranoid now. 

We taught a 10 year old boy and his grandma last night about the plan of salvation...he had so many questions about what happens after this life, and as we explained it to him, I thought to myself that I was grateful that it is so simple.  It struck me how logical and perfect Heavenly Father's plan is.  Our understanding of it is flawed and limited, but it all just makes so much sense.

Oh, guess what! I've been out for 6 months now. Is that insane or what?! It went so quickly. When I think back on the time though, so much has happened. I have grown to love so many people throughout the last 6 months, and I have learned so much. I am so grateful for my mission, and for the gospel.

I know this is short, sorry. I love you all and hope you have the best week!!! Talk to you soon :)

Sister Formica