Thursday, April 30, 2015

Half-way!!! What the ....

Man oh man this has been a good week!  Can anyone believe that it has almost been 9 months?!  I can't, I swear I just got here...

About Flat Adam--I got him this week and sent the pictures we took.  Do you want me to send him back immediately or should I keep him a bit longer?  One of our members did Flat Stanley with her daughter and took a bunch of pictures, so I am sending those as well, since I didn't get to take a bunch of exciting pictures with Flat Adam.  Sorry Bud!  Her pics are better. 
(Adam's class made flat "selves" and sent them as far away as possible, asked their recipients to take pictures and send both the pictures and the Flat Adam's back.  Adam felt extra lucky to have a sister in Australia!)

(And here are her friend's Flat Stanley pictures)

We had a family home evening yesterday where everyone brought food and games and we had a lesson. We had 3 investigators come and a less active woman and her sons and another less active man with his two kids and several member families. The members were so welcoming and great with everyone who came. It was really a successful night!  I got smashed at soccer by all these little African kids...

This last week we taught a lady named Sharon and her eight year old son about the Plan of Salvation. It was soo cool! She has a lot of knowledge and naturally knows a lot of things that are true. When we shared the Plan with her, she was excited because it's what she already believed.  She is so keen to learn more, and we are so excited to share it with her, because she loves it!  I know Heavenly Father has prepared her for this time.

 We also met and taught a man named William who has had a really rough life and doesn't seem to have a lot of hope. But when we had a lesson with him, we had two members with us, and one of them had a really strong impression at the end that if he accepts and acts on the messages we share with him, he will find true happiness. She shared it with him, and it was really powerful. We are going to have the Elders teach him, but at least he is getting taught!

Saturday morning we woke up to go to Dawn services for ANZAC (Australian New Zealand Armed) and Sister Vaha'i said she wouldn't bike there.  It wasn't too far from where we live, so we set off walking through the streets at 5:45, thinking we would get there soon...It was a lot further than we thought, and we missed most of it.  But the part we caught was really cool.  Everyone was so respectful and quiet.  I sent a bunch of pictures from the memorial.  It starts in the water, representing the soldiers coming from the boat to the land, then up over the hill, and then it gets smaller and smaller as they were killed on the other side of the hill (look up the ANZAC story, I don't have time to share more, sorry!) ANZAC story   On our way there, we were walking through the streets and no one was around, it was such a weird feeling.  Sister Vaha'i said she felt like we were in the walking dead...I basically half-ran/dragged her the rest of the way there ha. 

Uploaded a bunch of pictures, but no time to explain them.  Sorry!  Next week :)

This is definitely where I need to be right now!  The gospel is just the best!  I learn so much each and every day.  Have fun, be safe! 

I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!  Have a great week!!!

Sister Formica

Monday, April 20, 2015


Malo e lelei everyone! 

I couldn't think of a subject line, so I was just typed the letters in the top line of the keyboard and was going to say it was something in Aboriginal or Maori or whatever, but I couldn't think of anything.

Ok mom, answers to your questions first...everyone else can skip down to where the numbers end if you don't want to read about my shoes or healthy food and whatnot, sorry I was feeling a bit lazy with writing emails. 

1. No I haven't yet bought new shoes.  Funny story, I always forget about the hole, and wear them anyway, and one of my favourite sisters in the ward saw my shoes and asked what size I wore because she was going to buy me new shoes.  Don't worry, I told her I have some, these are just my favourite ha.  Yeah but I am pretty sure Rachel had to walk a lot more than we do.  We have a car or bike and don't walk all that often, so I should be right. 
2. No we're good, thanks though!
3. We have enough money to get fruits and veggies, no worries. We have started having meals with members more and more and this week we have like 4 dinner appointments, which is the most I've really had in any area here.  We just bought a bunch of fruits and vegetables this morning, so we are totally fine.  My companion is addicted to meat though.  Like seriously addicted.  She craves it all the time.  We were talking about the Word of Wisdom in Sunday School, and everyone who knows her kept looking at her when we talked about the eating meat sparingly part haha. 
4. Umm not so much with the exercise, but she is pretty patient with me most of the time.  We just started going outside--there's this grassy area where you can see the beach, and I'll run the stairs while she sits or does some other stuff. 
5. I have no clue.  I'll ask what they do if you don't vote.  I really don't see them enforcing it ha.  And a law without a punishment is really like no law at all...I don't know if that made sense, but oh well. 
(Most of my questions were implied ... #2 had to do with a gift of having food delivered.  #5 was asking about the mandatory voting requirement in Australia -- someone asked me what happens if you don't vote.  So I asked her).  

Ok here's the rest:

Hope you all had a fantastic week!

This last week was good but a little rough.  I was feeling like it was a bit hard to feel the spirit or struggling with listening to the spirit to know what to teach or say.  I felt overwhelmed and stressed, but from Sunday on I have been feeling a lot better and happier and waay less stressed. 
Sister Vaha'i and I have come up with specific things we are going to implement this week to help us.  I am so excited for this week!
 Sister Vaha'i is very strong.  Her testimony is definitely a strength to me.  I love her!  We are staying in Halls Head for another transfer...surprise!  I love this ward and am so excited to stay here :)
Oh guess what?!  So we have the coolest member in our ward, and this last week after we talked to him and his family, he asked his friend if she would like to meet with us!  When he called and told us about it he was so excited!  He wants us to go to her home first by ourselves, and said after that if she is comfortable with it we can have the lessons in their home. And then this morning when we were shopping, our checkout lady knew all about missionaries because she knew this same member and his dad! 
On our slow day ( I explained that last time, right? ... Nope...) when the whole mission was walking or busing or biking, we met this man named Chris who we helped to get his yard ready to rent out to people.  We were biking by, stopped to talk to him, and a couple minutes later we were mowing a lawn and trimming the trees with him haha.  We were able to talk a bit, and he is amazing!  He recently began to change his life--gave up gambling and drinking and all sorts of stuff and started going to a church 3 weeks ago.  We invited him to church with us, but he wasn't sure if he could come.  We're seeing him and his family this week though, I'll keep you updated!

Funny stories...I know there were a bunch, we laughed a lot this week...I just didn't write them down. Sorry!  I already told you that peppers area called capsicum right? (I don't remember that ...) Yeah sorry...l'll write things down this week. 

I love the gospel!!  I am so grateful for this opportunity to share it with everyone!  Hope you all have an amazing week.  Love you!

Sister Formica

Monday, April 13, 2015

Best. Week. Ever.

This was just the best week ever, and the weekend was even more amazing!  We had general conference and zone conference and I feel so excited for this coming week!  At zone conference President invited us to participate in a mission wide fast on Sunday to increase our faith and diligence to find those that are ready to hear the gospel.  We did it, even though at first I was a bit heartbroken to have to make everyone crepes and not be able to eat any myself.  But I am so glad that we did.  The brunch was so much fun!  We made crepes, other members brought food, and everyone sat outside at tables and visited in between sessions.  Sister Fell, the young women's president, brought her crepe maker and made crepes with us the whole time.  We have such an incredible ward! 
Conference was so so uplifting.  We had two investigators come on Sunday and they really listened intently for almost all of it--towards the end of the second session, one of them dozed off haha, but I almost did too).
I loved Elder Eyring's talk about fasting.  Ok I loved all of them.  We printed off bingo and gave it to the kids and told them if they got it to come and we would give them a chocie (Ok so people abbreviate chocolate, but I have no clue how to spell it haha.  It just looks strange. choc-ie? choc-y). None of the kids brought it to us, but all the elders did haha. 

A picture of Kite-Boarding, not from Sis Formica (from Google).  
After conference, we decided to continue our fast for a bit, and went to do our personal and companion study, but it was such a beautiful day that we went outside and sat on the bench across from our flat to do it.  While we were studying, this lady was windsurfing (ok it wasn't actually windsurfing, it was the one where you have a kite and a board...I don't really know how to explain it, but it looks really fun and I really want to try it when I get home!
She finished and was walking up the path to us, so we started talking to her.  She is the most lovely lady--she's from Germany and has been here for 5 years.  We started talking, and she lives in the unit next to ours.  Her ex partner used to visit with missionaries, and also she was the one who came to view our apartment last week to see if she wanted to buy it.  Crazy huh?  She invited us to come eat dinner with her, said just to give her half an hour to shower and change. She is crazy cool!  She used to work in a kitchen and had these stuffed potatoes that she made too many of, so we helped her with that.  We sat on her balcony and had dinner and were able to teach her a little bit.  She made us a smoothie and is going to make bread for our next lesson.  She so reminds me of Ashlyn! 

You know how we cleaned our car in the rain?  Well it was vacuumed and spotless and everything for zone conference, but in between Tuesday and Friday it became messy again :(

I have to run, but I've decided the library is the best place to find people to teach.  Maybe we should just come camp out here ha.  Anyways, I love you all!  Have a great week!!

Sister Formica

Thursday, April 9, 2015

8 months down ... "This was a Wonderful Week!"

This was a wonderful week!  I love being a missionary.  And I love reading all of your emails giving spoilers for general conference ha...just kidding.  But we don't get to watch it until a week later.  I'm SO excited it's ridiculous!  They broadcast it at the chapel (They do that at home too, right?)  But no one ever goes...guess it's the same in the states haha.  We are trying to organize a brunch in between sessions on Sunday so that more people will come to the chapel and it'll be more fun and welcoming for anyone we can get to come! 
Here's a pic from the temple before Sister Formica left,
Courtesy of Jeff Van Jindelt - great photographer and friend!
Thought I'd share it, since there are no new pictures.
This week:

my companion learned how to ride a bike
It started to get cold!!  Thank goodness...I'm done with summers for a little while ha. 
Easter was amazing!
We pulled an April Fool's joke on our vehicle coordinator, Elder Sunderland. 
It was super small, but he thought it was so funny afterwards, which made it really funny. We had to text in how many ks we used, and when our next tune-up appt was.  We had an apt scheduled, but it was a week later than it was supposed to be (oops), and we told him that we had gone over our ks by a ton.  He called us laughing to tell us that he was muttering under his breath and getting frustrated with us until he got our april fools text. 
We just did little things to each other all day--I found out that Sister Vaha'i is super gullible and had a lot of fun with that ha. 

It's been a really fun morning!  It was rainy and gray today, but we washed our car in the rain (it was so bad that it had to be done, and it wasn't raining hard enough to get the dirt off...) sounds really dumb, but it was necessary.  And we had to take our car in for a check-up or tune-up or whatever you call it, so we walked to the library after that and here we are!

And then the library was crazy busy since it had been closed for the last couple of days...but while we were waiting for computers to be free, we met this guy from Zimbabwe who just moved over here and is looking for work.  He just moved here by himself and is having a really hard time.  When I finally got on a computer, we watched the Because He Lives video together and then introduced him to the elders who were here emailing--he's in their area :( --and they are going over sometime this week!   John said that even though he didn't get to do what he needed to (it was too busy), he believes he came to the library for a reason, it was divine intervention.  I know that is true, and if we are paying attention, Heavenly Father will guide us to those who are seeking for the truth and for comfort.  Corisa sent me a quote today that I LOVE:

"Be where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be there, and be prepared." Sister Clark.
If we do that, Heavenly Father will work through us to answer the prayers of others and bless all of His children, and it gives you the best feeling!  You are all the best examples to me of being ready and willing to serve those around you. 

I am the biggest fan of open communication.  It solves soo many problems that aren't really problems but get blown out of proportion because of miscommunication.  One night this week, things were just a wee bit tense between Sister Vaha'i and I--and I had no clue why.  I LOVE when you have a companion who will talk with you, because we were able to figure out what the problem was and how we could fix it, and get on the same page....I am working on being more kind and loving with my requests like, "can you look this up? or text this person?"  I'll ask without really thinking about it, which I decided I get from Dad ha.  But it was bothering her, and it never would have occurred to me that that would bug someone.  It's not something that I think anyone is really comfortable with (Communicating, I assume), it's something I've had to learn to do, and am still learning to do, but it really strengthens all relationships. 

Easter Monday isn't a public holiday over there is it?  Sad, but I can't remember. 

This is such a random email, but that's all folks.  Hope you have a great week!  I was reading something this morning by President Hinckley, I can't remember exactly how it went, but it was along the lines of, "be happy,  (something probably really insightful), it will all work out."  Good advice. 

We had family home evening last night with a less active member who had just learned on Sunday that Gordon B Hinckley passed away haha.  Oh, that sounded disrespectful, but it was really funny! 

Ok, computers gonna shut off.  Love you all!!!  Have a great week!

Sister Formica