Monday, March 30, 2015

Happy "Early" EASTER!!!

Ok so I have no time today, because...we had to clean forever to make our flat spotless for them to come and see it and take it from us, then the computers at the library decided to be dumb and not work for me soo I am just barely getting on and we have to go soon...sorry!  Not my fault today :)

Fun fact, here the game telephone is called Chinese whispers.

This week was one of those weeks where nothing seemed to go right, and everything fell through, and people weren't very happy.  We weren't able to teach many lessons or find more people to teach or any of that jazz, but it seems like an opposite week for almost everyone else.  Our mission has really been encouraging everyone to text or call the zone leaders with miracles, and they send them out to everyone else in the zone.  Well one day this week, there were a lot of miracles being reported, and it had been a particularly rough day for us, and it was a bit frustrating getting all of these texts from others (I know, I know, my focus was way off, and it is really exciting when others are having success.  And at the time I knew that, but wasn't feeling it.  Which was probably the problem ha).  But anyways, we had to stop ourselves and decide we were going to change the way we were thinking.  We decided that we were experiencing miracles of a different we sent in a miracle report that said...Ok I don't want to think of how to explain it, easier to look it up in the phone and just tell you...

"Once upon a time, two of the chosen daughters of God, Sister Formica and Sister Vaha'i reigned in the kingdom of Halls Head.  They travelled the land seeking to bring joy to their fellowmen.  In the course of their travels, they met many strange and wondrous people, none of whom were ready to accept their message.  However, wonder of wonders and miracle of miracles, the fair sisters felt their faith, patience and diligence growing as they continued on in their Father's work."  

Yup we're nerds haha.   But you had to send it in a creative way.  I know we still witnessed miracles, and just because we didn't have much success doesn't mean Heavenly Father isn't with us.  Often we have to endure and go through the trial of our faith before we receive the reward.  And President Uchtdorf (I think) said that growth oftens happens during the waiting...ok that was wrong, but it was some cool quote that I liked about waiting and growing.  But waiting doesn't mean passively sitting and doing nothing, but actively seeking and doing our best to find an answer.  So our miracles this week were mostly of the growing and testing sort this week :)  (I tried to find the quote she mentioned, but the site was down.  But I did find this 2 minute video:  "The Power of Hope"

I think I let my focus shift from what was really the most important, and fall to myself and what others are thinking.  I know I cannot worry about that or I will not be an effective missionary.  As we focus on Christ, and move towards Him, we are able to help others do so as well.

If anyone has any background or info on Luke the physician before he became an apostle, please send it my way.  I met the nicest lady in the library while my computer wasn't working.  She is really devout in her own faith, and is trying to find information about Luke.  I told her we would give her a call if we found anything, but I don't have much time to look...

Got an email from Andrew Jergensen that Johnny Jensen my fhe bro (Family Home Evening Brother) freshman year is his AP!  (Assistant to the Mission President -- translation, haha).

Do you know anyone in Canada?  (yes... it's a pretty huge country). This 17 or 18 year old girl in one of the wards down south is going over I think in June or around there for a month or two and she doesn't know anyone at all.  Her mom is a bit nervous and asked if I could try to find out a name or a number of anyone at all...I'll ask Sister Jardine, but if anyone knows anyone, it will bring this mom a lot of peace of mind ha. I'm not sure what part she is going to, I think all over, for the women's world cup?  (Ok, it's Edmonton, Canada according to Google).    

Went on exchanges to Bunbury this last week!  It was a lot of fun!  I love learning from other missionaries--everyone has such a unique way that they do things.

Another fun fact, even in Australia mozzies love me.  We were at a potluck dinner after a baptism this week--most beautiful baptism ever!  I'll have to tell you about it in a minute...and there were a billion mozzies everywhere!  And so now I am really itchy and my hand was all swollen the next day.  (I think mozzies are mosquitoes, and for anyone that doesn't know, Rebecca seems to be a mosquito and spider magnet -- I've never seen anyone get more bites in a shorter period of time than she does --probably because she's so sweet.)  

Jess, the lady who was baptized is amazing!  She was being taught by the elders, but she was researching the church for a year on her own before she came to church and met them.  She met a bunch of the women in our ward at a park exercising.  They invited her to join them, and she said no, but felt like she should go, and she found out they were lds, and they were all so nice and so happy that she was a bit suspicious and went online to find out what was wrong with the church. Looked up good and bad for a year and then she eventually came to church to find out for herself.  She bore her testimony and it was so powerful.  Her friends also bore theirs, and one of them was so funny, when she found out that Jess had come to church, she was like, "Oh which of the girls invited her?"  And none of them had haha.  It all worked out in the Lord's timing, but something I have learned is that there is so much power in a simple invitation.  Gives someone the opportunity at least.

Also, just a thought I had this morning, could you send me an otus set?  And I could give it to someone for a present and casually spread the word...

Next week I will tell you about my all time favourite couple ever!  I want to be the American version of them in the future.  They are power missionaries...she served at Temple Square and He served here in Perth, he was actually the AP for ages.  They are both so amazing.  They met this girl from Italy at the beach a couple weeks ago--she is here studying English, and they showed up with her at church yesterday and we are going over for a family home evening with all of them tonight.  And they have the cutest baby on the planet! 

So yeah Mom, if you could send me just a short list of Italian church words, that would be great :) Hopefully we can help her understand it.  Good thing the spirit is the universal language.  But it makes it a bit easier if they understand what you say. 

But much for my short email today ha.  I wrote that a lot faster than usual.   

I am so grateful to be here!  I know that no matter what our circumstances are, we can find joy as we focus on the Saviour.

Oh and HAPPY EASTER!!!  I'm excited!!  We have to wait another week for general conference  Oh well.
(The church has a General Conference twice a  year -- it's this Saturday and Sunday, April 4 & 5 at 9 am and 1 pm California time.  You can watch it on or Dish, Direct TV, and Cable usually.  Sounds like they get to see it the next week in Australia).  

Have a wonderful week!!  Love you all! 

Sister Formica

Monday, March 23, 2015

I reckon it's been a sweet as week

Sister Formica and her new companion!
Sorry about the subject line, I know I'm an egg...I was just trying to use some of the  vocab everyone here uses because I never do when I email ha.  One of my favorite words right now is "keen?"

(I wonder if she knows that "I'm an egg" is an Australian phrase as well?  I found pictures she downloaded to dropbox last week.  I'm grateful her new companion likes to take pictures!  Looks like we'll get more of them for a while.  Yay!)

Formicas attempt at a selfie for Dad's B-day
 Hahaha thanks for the pictures...guess I'm not the only one in our family who struggles with selfies.  I love our family, you guys are the best!

Anyways, Malolelei!  (Sister Vaha'i is trying to teach me Tongan!)  Hope you all had a great week.

It's been a really good week here!  I feel like I say that every time, but every week is a good week!  And even when hard things happened during the week, by Monday I've forgotten about them, or they don't seem as bad ha. 

I feel like I really learned a lot this week, or gained a better perspective.  I feel much more calm, and we are taking one step at a time.  I wanted everything to start happening at once, but I know that nothing works that way--in missionary work or in life.  I feel like Heavenly Father has helped us prioritize as we work with the ward council, we have been able to figure out which people we need to see first, and just  steadily work our way through.  I know diligence and patience are key, and I am working on developing greater diligence and patience this transfer.  And we may not be able to do everything, but we can do our best in serving our Heavenly Father.  

We won't have to move this transfer at least, because our lease isn't up yet, but Elder and Sister Sunderland, our housing coordinators said that if someone buys the place, we will move as soon as we find a place, so it's a possibility still.

Oh, one exciting thing this week, we came home one night and our door was wide open.  We totally thought we had shut and locked it, and Sister Vaha'i was totally freaked out. (Yup, I was completely calm ha). Oh, also that morning one of our neighbors said she saw a man kinda poking around being mysterious by our fence.  But we figured we would go ask our neighbors if they had seen anything, but no one was answering and it was really dark and weird.  But we were soo hungry so we decided just to go in and check the apartment.  No one was there and all our stuff was there, not that we have anything valuable anyway.  So we're good!  I just realized that that story does not sound intense at all...but it was in the moment haha.  

We also had specialized training this week.  Have you heard about the #BecauseHeLives initiative?  It's similar to the He is the Gift one that came out at Christmas time.  Apparently on April 5th, all of the advertisements on youtube will be from the church (in certain countries, not here).  But how cool is that?!  Look it up for me ok?  Ask the missionaries for the pass along cards that talk about it, and share it on fb and everything!  Keen?

Because He Lives -- Here's where you can see it March 28

We met the most sweet woman and her son this week!  She home schools him, and they went traveling all over, just finding beaches to park at for a while.  She has such strong faith in Christ.  When we started talking to her, she was like, "I love him!"  I love teaching people the gospel!  It brings so much joy and so much purpose into my life! 

I love you all!  You are the best examples to me!  Hope you have a great week!

Sister Formica

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I just can never think of subject lines

Talofa guys!!! 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!!!  I'll sing for you on Saturday!  Hope you have the best day ever and relax...oh wait, you don't know how to do that ha.  But have fun!

'Ofa teke ma'u ha 'aho fiefia he 'ahoni -- that's happy birthday in Tongan!

Also, can you send me the info I need to fill out the my family booklet?  My memory fails...sad I know.  Thanks!

So my new companion is Sister Vaha'i!  She is seriously the best!  She's 20, Tongan, lived in NZ, Tonga, Melbourne, Sydney, etc. but she's so funny, people will ask where she's from, and she will pick one place and just tell them that.  And it changes ha.  She is the sweetest and funniest and is so happy and wants to do what's right and work hard!  I have so much to learn from her. 

 So the Halls Head area is massive as.  And absolutely gorgeous!  We are surrounded by water all the time.  It's hard to stay focused on the road because everything around us is so pretty...but don't worry, of course I am a safe driver :)
Halls Head
So this week has been crazy...Wednesday was transfers, so everyone left except the people who were training new missionaries.  Sister Iosua-Fiu is training again, and so were the two sisters in Ellenbrook (sister Vea got transferred). So the 4 of us got to stay in Ellenbrook that night while we waited for our companions to get here!  It was sooo much fun!  Sister Iosua-Fiu and I went around and surprised a ton of people...everyone was so confused.  Talk about memory lane.  We went to an appt with Graham and saw the Pettigroves and the Grahams and Ah Hongs and some other families.  It was so good! 
Next morning we went and picked up our companions, stayed there for training for most of the day, and then drove home with Sister Iosua-Fiu and her trainee--we fit 8 missionaries and luggage for 3 new missionaries and the night bags for all of the trainers in 2 could only tell that there were people in the backseat of the other car because you could see a hand sticking out haha.

We just got a call this morning saying that the Halls Head flat is up for sale and they want to show it on Wednesday.  We have been cleaning it a ton, but Elders lived there for a couple of's going to take a lot more to make it show-able...

The furthest our area goes inland is this place called Pinjarra.  It's set up in a really weird way and really spread out, but we were out there late Saturday night trying to find this less active family, and we accidentally went to the wrong door.  We met this lady from Canada who I know Heavenly Father led us to.  She has gone through some incredibly hard things in the last couple of years, and has such strong faith in Christ.  We talked to her for a while, but she said she was doing alright with the church she was at.  We could tell she was really stressed out though, and we asked if there was anything we could do for her, and she said that she actually could use some help around the house.  It makes me so happy grateful when people allow us to help them :)

 I feel a bit inadequate and a bit overwhelmed figuring things out in a new area, but all throughout church yesterday, our studies, and 12 weeks, Heavenly Father has pretty much just told me not to worry, but just to be patient, diligent and do all that I know how to do, and He will guide us.  I know that is true. 

I want to do so many things at once, but we cannot accomplish anything by frantically rushing around trying to do everything.  We are effective when we diligently seek the spirit to help us prioritize.  Heavenly Father knows what we need to do, when we need to do it.  So  we will continue to work and seek His guidance.  I want  to work smarter AND harder this week ha :)

I love Sister Vaha'i, I love this ward, and I love my Heavenly Father and Saviour.  The Saviour is the ultimate source of happiness, and we can tap into that happiness by living the gospel.  We are going to bring that joy to as many people as we can this week! 

I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!!  Talk to you later :)
Sister Formica

Monday, March 9, 2015

Transfers!! 9 March 2015

Kia ora!

It's been a busy week filled with lots of singing.
(yes, font is bigger.... I appreciate bigger fonts more than I used to!)

We had stake conference this weekend, and it was in Bunbury!!  We got to travel down there Sunday morning.  It's absolutely gorgeous!  All of the missionaries in our district sang in the choir, so we had to sit on the stage, and even though it was really good, I started to fall asleep at the end for a tiny bit...but in my defence I was sick this week and was really tired.  Oops...
It was a really good meeting though.  Loved it! 
Zone Conference :)
We had a picnic lunch at one of our member's mother's home down in Bunbury with 4 ladies from our ward.  It was so much fun! 

I can't remember if I told you, but Sister Parks and I also had to sing at zone much singing.  I actually lost my voice in the middle of the week ha.

Oh so I am getting Hall's Head. It is absolutely a beautiful area!  Love it!  Apparently it's the flat with the best view in the mission!  It's the same ward, we are just switching areas with the elders.  Also I'm training.  So that'll be fun.  Bit nervous, but I know it will be a great learning experience for me, and hopefully I don't mess the new sister up too much haha. 

quit smoking program with 6 people
(Sister Formica often jots down lines and plans to fill them in later... my best guess is she forgot this one.  We'll pray the six people have all the strength they need to quit smoking.  Not easily done, but much easier with the help of the Lord and good friends!)

 We had an experience that strengthened my testimony of prayer and my faith that Heavenly Father will guide us to those who are ready for the gospel.  While studying Preach My Gospel, I was reading in the finding section under "Go about doing good".  I was thinking that we always offer service, but no one ever accepts, and I really wanted to find someone to teach through service.  I prayed that morning for an opportunity to do so, and later that afternoon, we were biking to visit a family, and we saw a man doing yard work.  We went over and asked if he needed help, and he said he would really appreciate it.  We didn't right then because we were in skirts, but we were able to teach him and his friend about the plan of salvation.  We met with him two days later and taught him the restoration.  He has such strong faith in Christ and is so prepared to hear the gospel!  He has actually read the Book of Mormon all the way through, but had no one to discuss it with, so it didn't really go anywhere.  He is really interested in what we believe, and keen to read the Book of Mormon again and discuss what he is reading!
Lucky elders who get to teach him.  He is so smart, it's a lot of fun to teach him.  He asks a lot of questions that really make me think and we have to go find answers and bring them back.

We had a wonderful lesson with this less active family last night.  We read "The Family: a Proclamtion to the World" with them and they were asking a bunch of questions about it, and their grandma actually came out and talked to us and shared that she is a member.  She usually is standoffish, but she said that she is because she feels unworthy.  I am so grateful for the Atonement that allows us to change and to become free from feelings of guilt and unworthiness.  I know we are all children of God and He wants us all to find joy and not to be burdened down by our mistakes.  How much He must love each of us blows me away.  They are going to have to work really hard to overcome their trials, but I can just see them in the temple and I am so excited for them. 
Image result for perth temple
Perth Australia temple
I have to run, but I love you all!  You are the best and I am so grateful for you!  Better email next week, lots of info about halls head and my new companion!

Pictures!! 2 March 2015

Holy smokes it's MARCH!!!  I know I say this like every week, but I have never felt time go faster in my whole 20 years on this earth.

Since yesterday was a holiday (I never remember when labor day is until it comes ha) pday is today!  Obviously.

This week....hmm...
We had district inventory at our last district meeting...opened it up to say things we liked and things we can improve on.  I realized that it is the best asking others what they think you can work's not one of my greatest strengths ha.  But when things are suggested with love, you can take that suggestion and
use it to change and become better.  It doesn't mean you are a failure or you aren't good enough, or that the people suggesting it don't like you (they might not, but oh well).  But receiving advice from others can always benefit you, doesn't matter how it's given--if you have a spirit of humility and truly are seeking to become a better companion, person, teacher, anything.  It was actually a lot of fun!  There's a moment when you just sit there uncomfortably waiting for someone to say something, but as soon as they start talking it's fine.  Then the next morning, our ward mission leader had a companionship study session with all 6 of was a strange idea but good as well haha.

Clinton is getting baptized on April 18th!!  (I think I've told you about Clinton before...if not let me know ha).  He has such a strong desire to change.  I am so excited for him :) His mom and his daughter both are not really active, but his mom is coming back to church and brings him with her. 
So on Tuesday we were talking with one of our investigators--who actually ended up saying they didn't have time or a desire to learn more right now--but as we were walking away, there were a couple people outside at the house across the street.  We walked past them, but felt like we should go back and talk to them.  When we did, a couple people booked it inside, but a few stayed outside to talk to us.  As we are talking to this man and little boy, a woman leans out the window and asks if we are the Mormons...we told her we were, and she explained that her kids are Mormon because of their dad, but she has a different religion.  She told us we probably should go away, but then whispered that we should come back tomorrow at 2...that another lady wasn't happy that we were there. 

When we went back the next day, the other lady was still home actually...she talked to us for a while.  She is fine with us sharing messages, but just not trying to hound her or baptize her.  She has gone through some really hard things lately, and really needs comfort and really needs the gospel.  And we met the kids who actually go to a different ward with their dad. They are so cute and so friendly!  Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways to prepare people for the gospel. 

We had new beginnings too!  It was cute--they do it a little differently here, I don't know how to explain it though.

We got a new phone this week!  Still a brick, but it's new! 

Quite Windy in Golden Bay. 

I almost crashed my bike this week!  It was late and super windy and it was just a weird night...we were on our way home and we wanted to get inside as soon as possible, and so I'm biking quickly, and I looked behind me to check for Sister Parks, and she was super far I slammed on my brakes and I slid off my seat and almost fell over my bike.  A picture of grace right?  Anyways, fast forward to the next morning and I have a couple really legit bruises on my legs.  Battle scars. 

Ok I put a bunch of pictures on dropbox...
Sister Formica catching a wave ... 

My brown shoes are falling apart.  But they are by far my favourite, and since the rip is along the side you can't see it that well, so I still wear them :)

I love this gospel!  I love being a missionary, and I love you all!!!  You are my favourite people ever.  Have a wonderful week!  Be safe, be smart, and have fun!