Sunday, August 23, 2015

Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!

Hey guys!  Hope you all had a wonderful week and starting school wasn't too miserable (Adam)...

The subject line was Sister De Vera's catchphrase this whole week haha.

This week was both a wonderful week and a wonderfully trying week ha.  You know those times when you feel like you are being stretched so much but Heavenly Father sends tender mercies your way so much more often than you probably notice?  It was one of those.  But all good :) 

Just a fun fact, it was national marriage day on Tuesday or Wednesday.

This is mom.  Just realized Sister Formica downloaded pictures on Dropbox last week!  I downloaded them to the pictures page.  Seeing her makes me happy!  Here are a few:  

Looks like a fun story should go with this one ... 
This week:

we did service for our buddy Tina and got bags of cakes (cupcakes/muffins and some banana bread and delicious things...and guess what?  They are all gluten free).  Not that it makes a difference for us, but they taste sooo good.

We are still really trying to find people to teach.  We pretty much had to drop everyone we were working with.

We met another woman this week who used to meet with the missionaries somewhere else years ago.  She is a super young single mum with 3 ADORABLE kids.  She was really sweet and when we pulled out a pamphlet about the plan of salvation to give to her, she said it was the one the sisters had given her, but she lost it when she moved.  Heavenly Father always knows where we are.  We are super excited to work with her.

We got to try Burmese food!  Nono cowsway.  I know there is no way that's how it is spelled, but that is how it sounds haha.  Coconut milk chicken or something like that.  Looked it up -- "Ohn-No Khao Sw√®" literally means "Coconut Milk Noodles".  Here's a recipe blog that talks about it if you're curious.  
It is really good!  Kinda like Hawaiian Haystacks (If I am thinking of the right name) but with noodles instead of rice. But you put lots of the same stuff on top, and on their table was a big lazy susan, but for some reason I was thinking it was called a dolly...and I didn't realize it wasn't until later on.  They now all think that it's called a dolly in America ha.  

We went to go see a less active lady and her daughter one morning, but her partner had left and locked the door, and she didn't have a key.  So she's stuck inside and we are stuck outside.  We ended up getting on the mailbox, sitting on the top of her fence, jumping down ( between the wall and the closeline into the flower bed, and then from there to their lawn.  Not so easy in a skirt.  Good thing we are skilled.  

We had interviews with President this week--he wants to have interviews with all the missionaries every transfer...busy busy.  He is literally the best.  I have so much love and respect for him--every time he talks to me  I feel so encouraged and so motivated to do and be better!  

We were giving our neighbor a chapel tour and taking her to do family history on Saturday morning, but when we looked in the baptismal font, it was a we got there early and cleaned the baptismal font...the vacuum at the chapel is so cool!!  It straps onto your back like the machines the Ghost busters use!  I definitely had to take a picture and sing the song while I was cleaning.  "Who you gonna call?!"  No snakes or anything poisonous, just tons of spiders and the exoskeleton of a lizard.  

We also had stake conference this weekend.  It was the BEST.  President Pemberton, our stake president is one of the most loving and humble men I have ever met, and he is sooo funny!  It was all focused on keeping the sabbath day holy.  One speaker said that when the church was struggling in earlier years, the Lord told President Kimball to re-emphasize tithing.  Same thing happened with a re-emphasis on the Book of Mormon, and now the Sabbath Day.  This is what is going to give us the strength to face the craziness of the world today and defend and live our standards. 

The Sabbath day kind of gives us a day like a day on a mission, where you are entirely dedicated to the Lord and His service. Other days we have other commitments like work and school, etc. but on Sunday, if we choose to do so, we can set ourselves apart from the things of the world.  I know tons of people who have served missions and loved the luxury of not worrying about anything else, and we can have that every week on the Sabbath!!  I just realized that right now, and I am super excited about it haha.  There was a hymn we sang in Stake Conference about the Sabbath Day, and it said it is a time we can rest from every care...that is such a great gift Heavenly Father has given us.  

The church is true, Jesus Christ is our Saviour and it is only by staying close to Him and following Him as best we can that we receive immeasurable peace and joy in this life, and can return to our Heavenly Father after this life. 

Anyways, I better go, but I love you all!! Hope you have an amazing week!!!

Sister Formica

Sunday, August 16, 2015

There is sunshine in my soul today!!

Hey guys!

It's a good thing that the sunshine is in my soul, because it's not outside...Sorry, that was really cheesy haha.  It's been raining for agessss.  I don't know how Rach survived in London.  It is a bit warmer, but it rains off and on all day and night and has been for the last week or two.  I don't know how I'm ever going to survive a winter in Provo again.

Anyways, highlights from this week: Dwayne got baptized!!!!  He said that he felt really relaxed and peaceful.  I am so happy for him!!  I'll send a picture next week ha.  It was a bit crazy because our chapel has an outdoor courtyard type thing and the classes are in a square around it, and the baptismal font is in the nursery, so everyone had to go outside to get to the nursery and it's cold and windy and raining--good thing the elders remembered to turn the hot water on when filling up the font...this time haha.  But it was really good.  He just takes everything in and just wants to do what is right.

Other than that, I don't remember a ton of what happened this week.  It was a good week, I felt happy at the end of each day, but the days all kind of rolled together in my mind.
Oh wait, we had a service project (It's always when I write that I don't remember what happened this week that a memory comes to my mind, so I'll write that planning on ending the email, and then it goes on for another 2 or 3 paragraphs haha). 

We had an investigator who is a bit older and very stubborn about allowing people to help her.  When we went by this week, she said that she really didn't want to change and she was fine where she was at.  But she needed help with this huge orange/lemon tree that she has in her garden.  She wanted it trimmed but didn't want us to help her for free.  We finally convinced her to let us help, and she only agreed to let us help if we had the elders come (which annoyed me a tiny bit because I am too prideful and thought we didn't actually need their help to do it, because we are capable, but it's all good haha).  We went over with the elders and trimmed this tree and a couple others, and it turns out it's a really dumb tree.  Sister De Vera had an allergic reaction to it, and it has thorns that are ridiculously long.  

On Sunday after church we met a Chinese lady who was weeding.  We stopped to help her and quickly learned that she literally didn't understand a word of English.  Not "name" or "help" or anything.  And I learned why I got called to Australia...I cannot communicate when there's a language barrier. At all.   When we were trying to teach the Italian woman back in Mandurah, the Semus would always tease me because I just am awful at communicating with people who speak other languages.  They said I might need to change my career plans haha.  Anyways, her daughter who has been in WA for 20 years eventually came out and helped us communicate with this woman.  Then when we spoke to the daughter we found out that she used to meet with elders 20 years ago and they taught her about Jesus Christ and the Bible and all of that stuff that she had never heard of before!  Unfortunately they are in the Elder's area, so they will be going back there.  But it's amazing how Heavenly Father knows where we all are and doesn't lose track of anyone haha.  I don't understand how he does it, but I am grateful. 

One thing that I was thinking about the last couple of days is agency.  We met a man who thinks that God makes every decision for us and we don't have the freedom to make our own choices.  I know that this is not true, but that Heavenly Father loves us enough not to force us to choose the right.  He gives us the ability to make our own choices so that we learn.  We need this experience.  Otherwise we would not be able to reach our potential.  And life would be pretty miserable if we couldn't make our own choices.  I don't know if that makes any sense.  But I do know that we each have a purpose to be here on earth.  That when we keep God's commandments, we are blessed incredibly, and that is the only way to have lasting happiness.    

I have to go, but I hope you all have a wonderful week! Good luck to everyone who's starting school!!!  Enjoy it :)  

I am sooo blessed to have such amazing family members and friends.  Thanks for your examples and support!  Love you all!!!  I know I always say that, but I mean it!

Sister Formica

Happy August!

Kia ora!  I can't believe it's august already!!  Crazy...

We had a wonderful week!  Sister De Vera was feeling a lot better, thanks for all your prayers!  Even though she is not good at taking antibiotics and I told her that is not going to help, it's going to make it worse ha.

So we accidentally proselyted at a's at the top of a hill, and we drove down the hill, but saw a man washing his car and we stopped and went to ask if he needed any help.  We didn't realize how far up the hill we had walked, and it was just a bunch of houses and buildings, and we start talking to this man and realize he is the pastor, who was not very happy to talk to us.  But his son was really kind and explained to us where we were and we had a great conversation with him and actually gave him a Book of Mormon to read!  He also gave us a tour of the grounds and everything.  There is a men's shed there, they are all over Australia I guess, and they are available for men to go if they are having a hard time finding work, or if they are lonely and need company or just need to build something.  It's really cool how it's set up.  Anyways, we were leaving and walked past the sheds, and they are building beautiful things, so we told them so.  Next minute they gave us a tour of the sheds and what they are building and gave us their last slice of cake

This week we found out that it is a really small world...
Met a man on the street who gave up drugs and alcohol addictions for his kids, and his brother is a member in mandurah!

And we met another lady who was just out pruning her trees who was best friends with the daughters of this lady in our ward who is turning 100 on Saturday!  She is soo sweet and really interested in family history and needs a lot of help in her garden :) Two of my favourite things!

Also it turns out this couple in our ward's daughter lives down in Dawesville and Sister Vaha'i and I used to visit them all the time.

We had exchanges on Tuesday and I learned so much from Sister Falter and from the Spirit.  We really focused on listening to the promptings of the spirit and keeping our hearts open to conviction.  Being ready and eager to act when the Spirit prompts us.  I thought I was trying to listen to the spirit before, but when I was really really focusing on it at all times, it was different, and we saw a lot of miracles!

Exchanging back Wednesday night was crazy because we were at our ward mission leader's house for a meeting and he lives about 30 minutes away and we were booking it back to exchange back with the sisters, and we got back just to realize sister falter had the elders' keys and they were stuck at our ward mission leaders house.  The other sisters took the keys to them on their way home, but they were stuck there for a while.

Learning to recognize promptings is a process...and a long one for me.  There were times where we weren't sure so we just did whatever it was anyway, and we would end up parking the car and going to talk to these people and they would walk up to the bus stop and get on right before we get there.  We did that on the way to church, and had to book it back to the car to get to church. But even when nothing happens, you still feel happy and fulfilled because you are trying to do whatever Heavenly Father wants you to.  (When you are driving and feel like you should talk to someone, finding parking is the hardest part...)

Our experiences this week really have strengthened my testimony that the Lord puts people in our paths that He is preparing and has prepared.  The more I strive to listen to the spirit and act, especially when I am unsure if it's a prompting or just my  thoughts, the happier I feel, and the more fulfilment I find each day.  And I have less worries and stress.  Because I can just trust in the Saviour.

I am trying to understand and be on board with Heavenly Father's timing for people.  My timing and desires for them are not so inspired, so I need to seek to recognize what He wants for them at that time and what HE would have us share with them.  I know it's a simple concept, but so often, I let me desires (which aren't bad--usually I want them to progress faster or come to church or do something like that), but He is working with them oh so patiently and I need to learn the same thing. 

Dwayne is doing really well!  He is getting baptized this Saturday!!!!  He's getting to know even more members of the ward and he really takes in everything we share with him.  He has taken in a lot of information pretty quickly, and he is willing.  That's the main thing, he is very humble and willing to keep the commandments.

I love you all!  Hope you have a great week!!  Thanks for your support and emails and prayers!!