Monday, June 22, 2015

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Love you Dad :) Best dad in the world, hands down!!  Thank you for all you do!

Sad news, this is President and Sister Lindsay's last week!!  I am going to miss them so much.  President Fife gets here on the 1st.  It's going to be such a strange adjustment.

Our zone gets to go to the temple on Wednesday!!  Afterwards we have a meeting with President and Sister Lindsay.  It's going to be so good but also sad.  I couldn't have imagined how much I would grow to love and respect them over the last 10 months. 

This week was good!  We went on exchanges, and I was in a tripanionship again with Sister Vea and another Sister who is one of my favorite missionaries and is going home soon.  Man I learned so much about organization from her...I am really excited to continue to apply what I learned throughout my mission.  I have really been working on overcoming that's a long process.  Pray for me ha.

It is freezing!!  I am so cold all the time...I think Sister De Vera is wearing off on me.  

We had a little adventure at family home make a long story short, this less active woman we are working with blew up at some of the ysa and started yelling at them like crazy then stormed out...we have talked to her since but haven't seen her.  We think she is struggling with some things mentally and she isn't really open for help right now.  

We met a less active man named Douglas at a bus stop whose mum and brother are in Ellenbrook ward.  I'd met him once there, and recognized him at the bus stop.  He came to church this Sunday! :) 

We had a lesson with this woman who is from Kongo (is that how you spell it?) and doesn't really speak English, but her 11 year old son speaks perfect English.  He translated for us the whole time and thanked us for coming to share this stuff with them because he learned a lot about good and bad. etc. and he was so keen to learn more.  His mum is less excited and really busy, so it'll be hard to see her a lot, but I am so excited to work with them.  He is such a smart kid and was asking when we could come back.  

No more adventures in the great and spacious building, but I'll try to figure out what building it is, because there are lots of people the missionaries used to teach who live there.

I have to run, but hope you all have a great week!!  LOVE YOU! 

Sister Formica

Mormon Message for the week: See Heavenly Father through a Father's Eyes:  

Long e-mail about nothing

Ok I sat down to write this email, and my mind literally went blank.  I can't remember what happened this week ha. 

Oh, so we went to contact a referral we had received, and we accidentally went to this building, we still aren't sure exactly what it is, a government home or half-way house or what, but while there, we met a man who was very mysterious.  We started talking to him, he sounded like he was having a really hard time, but he brushed aside whatever we said about the gospel and Saviour and our offers to help.  Then he said that he knows the church's number and has the address of the church, but when we asked if he was a member, he said not to ask that question and he wouldn't talk to us.  It was so strange.  And that experience was before we even got into the building...

I can't really describe the feeling in there, but the spirit was not there.  It was heartbreaking to see these people who have no hope or are just desperate and don't know why they are here on earth or how to be happy.  I don't think we are actually allowed to go there, and the person we wanted to visit wasn't even home, so we decided to just try to contact this man by phone again.

When we were trying to get out, we got totally lost.  We kept going to different levels and stairways and couldn't find the way outside.  We eventually found a map, then got lost again, then found another map, and then a person who guided us outside.  It made me think about life.  In life, if you don't know where you are headed, you feel lost, or direction-less.  It doesn't really seem to  matter where you go or what you do.  The gospel provides us with the knowledge of why we are here on earth--to have joy, and to prepare to meet God.  Our end goal is to return to live with Him, with our families.  We need to know more than just where you want to go though, we need to know how to get there.
 We knew we wanted to get outside, but we didn't know how.  It wasn't until we found a map of the place, that we were able to plan how to get outside.  The gospel of Jesus Christ, or His doctrine (faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end) is the way we can return to Heavenly Father's presence.  Well actually, Jesus Christ's Atonement is what makes it possible, but the gospel is what He asks us to do to access His Atonement to become clean from sin and to become more like Him.  We do not earn eternal life through our actions, but we learn how to become more like Him, and then, even after all we can do, we will fall short and it is only through His grace and mercy that we can be saved.  
I am really focusing on studying the Saviour and His life right now.  I am constantly in awe of Him and what He has done for me. There is so much to learn about! I so easily fall into a routine and just go through life, day to day, taking for granted that Jesus Christ actually suffered for my sins, died for me, and was resurrected so that I can live again and return to my Heavenly Father. My mind doesn't even comprehend how incredible that is, and how completely and utterly selfless He is.  But when I think about it, I want to do whatever He asks.  

Wow major sidetrack haha. Sorry guys.

  Even after we found the map, we got lost again, and wandered until we found another map, so we always have to keep checking our progress and what steps we need to take next, and we cannot do it on our own.  I'm just gonna end the analogy there, hopefully I explained it so that it makes sense, but if not, oops.

Umm...other things this week...we started teaching this man Matt this week.  He is actually related to members in another ward, and he knows a little bit about the church.  He has such strong faith in Christ, and is really keen to continue learning.  He asked if he could bring his friend the next time!  He is really involved in his church right now, and is a bit hesitant to actually come to church, but we are going to be bold and loving and help him recognize that he will find the truth as he acts in faith and comes to church as well as reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know the truth.  We can't sit and ask Heavenly Father to let us know what is right, we have to study it out and do our part.  

We had a relief society activity this weekend about family history, and several women shared stories from their ancestors (or their own stories) so we learned a lot about the founding of Perth city.  Dad, you would have loved it.  Afterwards they gave us all of the leftover food--and there was a ton.  They really make sure the missionaries are fed here ha.

It was a great week, even though I can't remember too much else that happened that is interesting enough to share.  We had a couple blonde moments, and my life is full of disorganized moments, which explains why I don't actually write the funny moments down.  
Oh, I remembered one Sister De Vera and I were on our way to a meeting at the ward mission leader's house, but we had to get gas first (remember how last week I told you our flash car tells you how many ks you can go until you have to get gas?  It is a liar.  Because it said we had plenty left to get there and back, and then it changed and said "Fill tank" or something like that and the car started lurching a little bit.)  We found a gas station after a little while, and then when we got there we couldn't figure out where the lever to open the gas cap was.  We looked in the manual and all over the front of the car, etc. and we couldn't find it.  Before this I had said a prayer that we would find a gas station, figure out how to put gas in the car and make it to the meeting safely.  Well we finally decided to go talk to the man at the register (he had been staring at us trying to figure out what we were doing the whole time) so we went in and asked him--he wasn't sure, but said he would try to come help us.  As we were turning to go out the door, in walks a guy with a Melville Holden shirt on--he works at the very place our car is from.  We told him the problem, and he went outside and explained that we just have to push on the gas cap when the car is unlocked and it pops open.  Shame ha.  (But side note, I had actually tried to push on it, but the car was possibly locked or I didn't push hard enough).  But we were laughing at the way Heavenly Father answered our prayer.  

I love you all and hope you have a great week!  

Sister Formica
Mormon Message for the week:  The Refiner's Fire Link

Saturday, June 13, 2015

New area, new people, new everything!!!

Here are two pictures sent by Rebecca's friend from Halls Head.  :)  Thank you Angie!!!   

Ok, so Melville...

It is beautiful!  Not quite the same as Halls Head, but still beautiful in a different way.  You  know how someone told me that Melville is a ghetto place? Well our area is actually pretty flash. The homes are gorgeous and big, just like our area.
We have been lost a lot in this past week.  We have a mapbook, but there are a couple pages missing...important pages for us.  It's been fun though, We've just been enjoying ourselves and adventuring all over Melville/possibly some other areas when we get lost.  (Is adventuring a word? It sounds a bit funky now). 
The ward is great!  The complete opposite of Mandurah though.  It's more elderly and Aussie where Mandurah has a lot of young Kiwi families.  It was a bit weird for me at church on Sunday because it was soo quiet and much smaller.  Everyone is soo kind.  And we live right next to a chapel, so a lot of people know the church and know the missionaries here.  Unfortunately, the chapel we live by, (literally we are separated by our back fence) is not in use, or they are just using it for genealogy work and storage.  So we have to drive into the city to go to church. I don't know what it is, but people seem to be more open to us here.  Knock on wood ha.
Oh and our car is flash too.  It's the nicest, newest missionary car.  And there aren't kangaroos to hit ha.  Sister De Vera has been here for 6 months and she's never seen a kangaroo! But yeah, back to the car, we couldn't figure out the dumb odometer, but it turns out it tells you how many ks until you run out of gas!  Maybe that's not that special, but I thought it was really cool but at the same time a bit frustrating because we have to write down the daily and monthly ks each night and it tells you that instead of how like a trip B function where you can keep track of the monthly ks. I know, no one cares haha.  Just sharing one of the struggles of missionary work.  Just kidding 
We've met some characters since we've been here.  One lady we met has had some major hardships in her life--she's lost a lot of family and had some other struggles.  She lives on her own and she is almost fully blind.  She got in a car accident years ago and she lost any memory from 5 years of her life before the car accident.  During those 5 years apparently she was baptized, but she doesn't remember it. When she met the missionaries again though, she told them all about Joseph Smith and surprised them and herself haha.  She is the sweetest woman ever--she is very independent and has such strong faith in Christ.  
Picture of a Huntsman spider - not hers.
She has a huntsman in her kitchen (the really big hairy spiders), but she only kills the poisonous ones, so she named it Boris and is keeping it as a pet. She also has a talking watch and clock and the coolest magnifying glasses/things that are attached to a visor that help her see a bit more. She forced me to wear one of her jackets because it was cold and I didn't have one. I kept saying I was fine, and we were leaving, and she said, "young lady, don't you move." And went and got a jacket and put it on me haha. It is incredible to see what she has gone through and then to see her independent attitude, strength and generosity. I have no room to complain about anything, ever.
We also met the sweetest woman who also has major health issues, but is so giving and kind.  We went to visit her this morning to pick up something for another member, and when we left, she loaded us down with all of these frozen meals and foods that she can't eat. As we were leaving, we started talking to her neighbor who we had met on the way in.  He is going through a really rough time, and we ended up giving a lot of the food to him, and as we were leaving, he told us that he had been praying for food.  Heavenly Father answers prayers through other people, and when He works through us, we are so blessedto be a part of it.  We really can never sacrifice enough to thank Him--He always blesses us more even as we do give something up.  So really we don't really sacrifice, we just have opportunities to serve and get more blessings. 
I have to go--this has been a funky pday, but it's been great!  Sorry if this email doesn't  make much sense...but basically I am doing really well! I love this area and the people and Sister De Vera.  I'll have more info for ya'll next week.  Love ya!  Have a great week!  
Oh, quick answers to your questions:  President and Sister Lindsay go home this month 
We are much closer to Perth, the elders actually cover most of the city though.  Yeah mum can you find out where Uncle Steve's friend is?  Because if he lives around the city, if he isn't actually in our area, this is probably the closest I'll get to him. 
Sister Formica

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Goodbye Halls Head, Hello Melville!

Warning: I don't know if this email makes a ton of sense.  We have so much to do I feel like my head is going to be done in, but I know somehow it'll get done and if it doesn't I'll survive ha.

It's been a crazy but great week!

Yesterday was Western Australia day!!  No one really knew what the holiday was for though, and nothing really happened for it. We had planned to do a district finding activity at the foreshore, but we had been doing so many other things that we really weren't well prepared, and we hadn't planned too much what we were going to do there.  We were trying to decide if we should just cancel it and do it another day when we were more prepared.  Sister Vaha'i and I were a bit stressed out (ok, so maybe it was just me ha), but the two of us were trying to figure out what to do during lunch.  We sang "Did You Think to Pray?" One line in particular really hit me that "Prayer will change the night to day."  After we sang, we did pray and told Heavenly Father the situation and asked Him for guidance.  We felt like it would all be ok, and that we should go and hand out Plan of Salvation pamphlets at the foreshore.  We also had candy for Western Australia Day for the kids.  It was so great!  We met the elders and split up to cover the foreshore.  There were so many families there and we were able to talk to so many people and plant a lot of seeds.  I love talking to people--you feel so much happier when you are talking to people--even when they don't want to talk to you and ignore you, it feels good when you are trying.  

We also felt like we should invite our neighbour to come with us to the foreshore.  (The one from Germany who feeds us and is so kind but when we set up a teaching appt she said she didn't want to learn anymore).  We explained what we were going to do and asked if she would like to join us.  She said no, but changed her mind and came and met us there.  We were able to teach her a bit about the plan of Salvation as well.  We gave her the pamphlet (which we had given her earlier in the transfer and she hadn't read) and we went to talk to other people while she sat on the bench and read through it all.  It really touched her and she was so open to learning.  It was so incredible!  I know Heavenly Father guided us, and He works through such small means.  He knows when the time is right for people, when their hearts are soft and opened, and He prepares them. 

One of the less active girls we are working with had a bit of a bumpy weekend.  Her family had been over and it had been a little while since we had seen her.  She told us that she had stopped praying because it hurt less to block it all out.  Her partner took her kids are ran away, and she is missing them so badly.  She doesn't want to take them to court, because she doesn't want to do that to her kids.  She came back to church because she knew that God would be the one who could help her.  We bore testimony that Christ knows how she feels and that if she continues holding on and drawing closer to Him, He will be able to lift and carry her through this time.  She knows it's true, and she knows what the spirit is telling her, she just didn't want to listen because she was angry because it was taking too long. 

This week I learned not to rush around, but be calm and diligent and understand that I can't do everything all at once.  The lesson that numbers do not count was totally reinforced to me this week.  All I can do and all I need to do is diligently seek to do what the Saviour would do every single day.  I got caught up wanting to rush around and see everyone, but Heavenly Father and my companion gently reminded me what is truly important and what my job is.

Kadidjiny Park - looks really fun!  

I am getting transferred to Melville with Sister DeVera from the Philippines. I was hoping it's a biking area, but I don't think it is...oh well. Someday I'll get there. (And probably wish I had a car ha). We are getting doubled into an elder's area favourite...

I absolutely love this area and all of the people I have met here.  I am so grateful to have been able to serve in Halls Head!  I am nervous but excited to go to Melville.  (I'm just not excited to move into an elder's flat again haha just kidding).  (The first day is usually spent scrubbing the flat down when sisters move into places that were previously lived in by Elders... ).   

Sister Vaha'i is nervous--it's so cute.  I remember exactly how I felt when Sister Iosua-Fiu left ha.  I know that she will do a great job :) She is an amazing missionary with such a strong desire to serve and do what's right. 

I hate packing with all of my heart.  But the hardest part is leaving those you are working with.  I want to continue to see their progress, but I know it'll be ok.  There are other things I need to do and many lessons for me to learn elsewhere.

We are going to go play squash for a tiny bit before I pack and whatnot!  Gotta go!  Love you all!  Have a great week!

Sister Formica