Friday, November 27, 2015


Memories are so funny...I was sitting there thinking what the heck, I don't remember that at all! And then it just came back to me!  LOVED your email!!  We are going to the temple today and the computers at the library were all booked, so we had to dash to the chapel to email super duper quick.  I am happy, healthy and working a lot.  Even though we had such a short time to email, I still read your email instead of printing it and sending one.  It's because I am selfish and I love to hear how you guys are doing and your thoughts/just everything.  I'm working on being more selfless haha so maybe next week I won't read my emails and I'll send you a super good one.  Good thing it's only 4 days till next Monday :) 

It's been a great week!  We had the branch activity, and all of our returning members came and our neighbor Jenny!  And she knew this couple in our branch, so that was fun.  Oscar (the 5 year old) took more pictures, so I'll send them next week.  

(Here are a few from last week.... I assume from Oscar)

Glad you got the letters!  Turns out I left the most recent one out :/ Oh well ha.  What's Rachel's address?  And Aunt Kathy's? And Grandma and Grandpa Chipman and Grandma Formica?  I probably should know it ha.  Oops.  How is Uncle Steve doing??


Hot, hot, and hotter :) November 16

This week was really good!  Really hot but really good! 

It felt like it was long, probably because we had to drive to Perth so often.  We had exchanges this week, so I was with Sister Jardine for like half of the week.  It was so much fun!!!  We drove back Tuesday afternoon/evening after getting crazy lost in their area.  So then we have a bunch of people to see, lotsa good productive missionary fun.  

We also got some bush medicine from one of our investigators.  She and her husband gather certain plants and make medicine out of it.  She gave us a bottle and it smells pretty weird, but I put some on one of my knees and it was feeling better than the other one.

THEN we get home.  It's super late, we're pretty tired, and as we pull into our spot, I realized that we left the only set of keys with Sister Ahlstrom an hour and a half away in Perth.  All of our windows are bolted shut, except we had just learned last week that the kitchen window actually opened.  (There was like a tarantula in between the screen and the glass.  So we definitely didn't open it.  But we learned that we can ha.)  But I had thought that it was pretty sketchy that our window was so easy to open, so I put a bar in it. Literally like 3 days before this happened.  But that's really our only shot, so we went around the back, examined the window for spiders, and proceeded to work our magic (push the window in as much as we could and have Sister Jardine stick her hand in and flick the bar out.  We felt so accomplished when we got in haha.  


Anyways, we packed up the next day because we are supposed to drive back to perth to exchange back.  So we put the bar in the window, locked all the doors, and then went out for the day.  Turns out we had so many appointments and things that exchanging back did not happen that night.  It was late before we were even able to leave for Perth, so we got permission to stay one more night and leave early in the morning.  We had our dinner at 8 and we went to a Chinese place, the only restaurant in Northam.  It was so much fun!  And delicious.  So after dinner we are soo full, so tired and we get home and realize what we've done.  Luckily we are so skilled at breaking in, we didn't have to sleep outside.  I promise it was funnier than I made it sound.  And also it probably didn't deserve a whole paragraph haha. Oh well.

We had such a good week work wise, we are constantly meeting new people who really really need the gospel.  Sister Jardine put her finger on why Northam is so special.  You really feel like you are needed here.  Sister Penstone said that people come to Northam to be humbled.  There are a lot of people who have been through a lot--because of their choices, the choices of others, etc.  There is a lot of darkness, and so the contrast with the spirit and the light of the gospel is so huge.  It definitely comes with it's struggles, people have so much to overcome, but if they choose to, they can do it.  And when they overcome so much, they become that much stronger.  Sometimes I wish we could skip the middle part, and just learn our lessons immediately, etc.  But I know that's not how it works.  And that would be pretty boring if we really could learn that way.

Oh Sister Jardine and I had an Other Side of Heaven moment with this lady.  Remember when the guys surround them at night to beat the elders up?  Well we didn't have that, don't worry Mum.)  But then the huge guy--I don't remember his name--comes and takes them home?  And he's a member?  Well we went to say hi to this man and woman at the park while we were waiting for someone.  When we got closer, I recognized the man, he is an older man who wanders town everyday drinking.  Half the time he's our best friend and the other half, he hates us.  Today was a hate day, but I figured Sister Jardine needed the Northam experience.  So as we walk up, he starts yelling at us "We don't talk to Christians".  It was so funny!  The woman who was with him starts yelling at him to respect us.  She was all, "They're good people.  They're Mormons.  They're God's people.  Show some respect!"  As we talked to her, she told us that she was baptized like 15 years ago with her sons in Adelaide!  She is so funny.  She pinky swore not to drink on the day of our appt, we wrote it down for her and when we went by, she hadn't!  She's really sweet and remembers bits and pieces.  She's the third less active member we just ran into!

On Friday we taught the word of wisdom to this 22 year old guy who got out of the army a bit ago.  We've taught him a couple times, and he wants to be baptized, but he hasn't been able to come to church at all yet.  His work schedule just got shifted to night shift, and it makes it difficult for him, but he's going to try to make it next week.  At 22 when you aren't a missionary, you should have plenty of energy right? Just kidding.  This guy is really cool.  I think I told you about him, but he just wants to do what's right and be the best he can be.  So to help him as he's giving up drinking, We committed each of us to give up something with him.  Brother Watts was with us, and he committed to go for a walk every morning.  We gave up candy (but we didn't really think it through and I think we are going to have to make it sugar--it's just easier than deciding what is and isn't candy).  We weren't planning on doing that, and Brother Watts has been giving us a hard time since then haha.

Yesterday it was our investigator, Ross' birthday!  We made muffins and cake for everyone that night, and I decided I am not a huge fan of baking.  I love box mixes. They are the best!  Shout out to Sister Johansen for the muffin mixes, because those saved the day.  Thank you!!

Last thing to a very long and not too interesting email:  This morning we woke up and went out of town like 15 minutes and had our studies outside and then went on a hike! It was so beautiful and really nice because everytime we drive past these hills, I wonder what's on the other side.  After hiking up one and seeing it and also seeing that it's all the same, I am satisfied.  I love Australia! And I love being a missionary!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!!!


Sister Formica

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 60 (I just made that up, it's probably way off)

Howdy ya'll!!

This week has been soo good!  I think my body is beginning to fall apart knees feel really old and sore from biking and everything.  Is that supposed to happen when you're 21?  Haha, but everything else is great.

We met two incredible girls this week, Makisha and Alice.  They are staying with their grandma for a while, and they have both been through a lot in their lives.  They both have such great faith in Jesus Christ, and really want to follow Him.  They came to church on Sunday with their little cousin and they want to just keep learning and be baptized!!  They are so sweet and we are praying that their example will soften their grandpa's heart and the hearts of the rest of their family.

Luckily on Sunday we had young men and young women from other wards visiting, so they didn't have to come into the adults lesson.  We went with them, and it feels like it has been ages since I've been in young womens.  It was heaps of fun :) 

We did a bit of service this week--helped Schaefen plant his vegetable patch, tear out a brick wall, and more fun stuff.  We went to help this less active clean her house, and the she lives on a crescent street with a park in the middle, so there are a lot of kids hanging out around there.  We biked up and these little boys challenged us to a race.  We made a deal with them that if we won they had to listen to a lesson, and if they won we would give them a candy (lots of Halloween candy).  Well I've found someone more competitive than I am...Sister Ahlstrom demolished these lke 8-9 year olds haha.  Like we were biking, and you know how you stay close to them to make them feel good?  Apparently that is not the Swedish way haha.  It was so funny.  

But I love the kids in this town.  They are pretty friendly and they all know us.  The hard part is remembering names.

I am learning more and more how much power the scriptures have.  They are AMAZING.  And understanding more and more how much I need Christ's atonement. And how much we all need it.  How loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are that they provided a way for us to be forgiven, cleansed from our mistakes, comforted and strengthened in everything we go through, if we but turn to and follow Christ.

Last week we met this man at a potential's house who really didn't seem keen at all.  But we left our phone number with him and told him to call us if he wanted to learn or if he needed any help.  This week we ran into him on the street, and had a really good conversation.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he might call us next week (still not super open).  We prayed for him to have the courage to call us, and two days later he texted and called asking if we could meet with him!  He read over 17 chapters before he called us.  When we came to his house, he'd been drinking a little bit--not much, but still.  (I think his body is pretty used to it though) But he could tell that everything we were saying was true.  The spirit was there and he couldn't deny it.  He wouldn't come to church or agree to be baptized, but he didn't say no to being baptized.  He is such a cool guy, and he's been through so much as well.  I always say that, but everyone has.  Everyday I recognize more and more just how blessed I have been by the gospel and my family choosing to follow it.  We'll keep meeting with him. and he'll get there :) 

I think that I have had more opportunities to actually teach here in Northam than most of my mission combined ha.  It is the best!  And the spirit tells you when someone knows that it is true, but they aren't always willing to act on it.  People have a lot of trouble with commitment here, and that is not the best.  It breaks your heart when you love them so much and want it so badly for them and they just turn away.  But I know that I might not always be there, but the Saviour is.  And He is always leading, and encouraging us.  

The church is true.  There's not a doubt in my mind of that.  The gospel blesses our families in so many ways it is indescribable. And that's just here on earth.  Through the restored gospel, we can be with our families for eternity.  The happiness it brings is something everyone would want if they understood it.  And You can see the difference, and anyone who has any questions about it, find the missionaries.  Or email me :)

I love you all!!  Have an amazing week!!

Sister Formica

Monday, November 2, 2015

Busy Busy Busy :)

Hola!  I know it hasn't been too long, but I don't really remember what has happened.

This morning as a zone we went on a hike, and it was BEAUTIFUL!  I love Australia! 

Also I got my package, THANK YOU!!!  So much candy

My birthday was awesome!  Sister Ahlstrom gave me a backrub and breakfast, and the carnival was a lot of fun!  Oh and the night before we carved mini pumpkins. Party! I'll send pictures next week! 

We had 4 kids come to church on Sunday--their grandpa dropped them off and picked them up. Hopefully he'll come next week.  They were so good. The oldest is 11 and the youngest is 5.  We are seeing them and their dad tonight :)

Yesterday we saw a young couple that we had met when we first got to Northam.  They had friends coing over, but we got to sit down with them for a couple minutes and they had so many questions and really were shocked at how we live.  But they said that they needed to start going to church!  Then their friends cae and were a bit crazy, but we'll see them this week.

Meaghan is doing really well too (that's the other less active woman that we met).  She has come to church every week and was at the carnival on Saturday :)

Last month, Sister Tukuafu and I met this lady in town who told us halfway through the conversation that she was a member of the church.  She said she wasn't interested in it at all, but accepted our number and said she'd call us if she ever needed help.  She called last week and we went by and just helped her around the house.  She joined the church years and years ago and fell away because she married someone who wasn't a member.  I don't know what or when it happened, but her attitude changed completely and she came to church this Sunday and bore her testimony even.  She dug up a newspaper article on the church that was really old and really cool and brought it to share with everyone. 
Her hand is hurt, but when it's better, maybe we'll have someone to play the hymns!

I don't remember if I told you this last week, but the Penstones are moving up waaay far away (distance wise as far as Melbourne, but just up North to the middle of who knows where).  I'm super excited for them, but sad for us.  Luckily they leave in January, so they'll be here pretty much the whole time I will be.  So 3 months...good thing Heavenly Father is able to do His own work! 

Anyways, I have to run, but you all are the best!!!  Have a great week.  I love you!!

Sister Formica 

Here's a link to one of our favorite family songs from Sandra Boynton's Philadelphia Chickens album:  titled, Busy, Busy, Busy.  

Hej everyone!

And no Hej isn't a typo, it's hello in Swedish!
Sorry about last week, it was a bit hectic, but we have more time today :) 

Yes that's a fly on my face--you shoo twenty away and stop to take the picture, and they come back in seconds.  There are soooo many, especially out where we were.  Not quite as bad as the pictures I saw before my mission, but it's not summer yet...Sister Ahlstrom and I are just going to get fly nets or else we won't survive ha.  

Last week was a bit weird, but ended really well.  Friday there was a funeral in town for an aboriginal father and son. They had so many family members come into town for it.  We were able to help out afterwards with food and cleaning up.  While we were there, a man came up to us and asked if there was a chapel in Northam.  Turns out he and his wife are looking for a church, and they attend church off and on in Como and I'd met him there once before!  Small world. They go back and forth between Perth and Baker's Hill, about 15 minutes out of Northam.  He was telling us that he has a large print version of the Book of Mormon that he is reading through :) We gave him and his wife the address and time, and we will see them the next time they come back from Perth!

Saturday we helped a less active man, Brother Thomas move into his new house.  He moved out about 30 minutes further into the bush.  There's nothing really out there, just fields and some trees, and it is gorgeous!  I love Australia!  We rocked up and he had two other friends there helping, one of whom we had contacted the week before who was very kind but not interested.  We talked as we moved and they both are always helping people out and trying to do good deeds, and they really liked that we try to do the same thing.  When we finished moving, we asked if they wanted to know what else we do as missionaries, and we shared a message with them and gave them each a Book of Mormon and they committed to read it and pray about it.  It's so cool to see a little bit of Heavenly Father's work in preparing his children and softening their hearts bit by bit. We aren't teaching him yet, but we are bound to run into him here in Northam. I love small towns. 

One of the miracles from last week was that we were trying to contact a referral and instead we found a less active member who moved here about a year ago and didn't know that there was a church in Northam. She's been the last two weeks with her 3 kids, who are already friends with the Penstones and their group of friends!  I think I might have already told you guys that, but there it is again :) Oh well.  And her daughter is 7 years old, and LOVES church.  She loves learning and praying and she wanted her own scriptures.  She wants to be a teacher, and she is going to be the best missionary :) When we got there, first thing she asked was if she could say the prayer.  And then she said the most beautiful, sincere prayer.  And she told us that she and Connor Penstone prayed at school together.  So sweet hey?

Last night, Sister Penstone came with us to see a woman we just started teaching, but she wasn't home.  We went to see another investigator, Keith, and it was perfect.  He doesn't believe God is there, because in the past he had prayed desperately and asked for help, and he didn't feel like he got an answer.  He's been really hesitant about praying, because he doesn't feel sincere, and he doesn't want to do something just because someone else is doing it.  Last night though, he really felt the spirit and understood what he needs to do to find out if God is there.  He agreed to experiment and pray and read the scriptures, etc.  Those are my favourite moments, when someone feels the spirit, and is humble and willing to do whatever it takes to find Him. I really can't describe it, but hopefully you know what I mean. 

The Penstones are having a Halloween carnival with the members and other friends of theirs.  We are helping them out with different things, and it'll be a lot of fun!  Better than a trunk or treat, so I'm satisfied haha.

We have the BEST members.  Brother Watts drove half an hour on Monday to come to a lesson with us, and he is the man.  He knows everything I swear. And has such a strong testimony, it was such a good lesson, and the man we were teaching very clearly understood God's plan, and said it explained so many experiences he's had in his life.  He's got a lot of things working against him, but if he turns to Heavenly Father, he'll have all the strength he needs to make changes in his life.

Last news, I got TWO flat tires last week.  The first time I ran over a little metal cigarette thing and it went straight through my tire.  President Penstone has a bunch of old bike parts, so he gave me a tube and tire and put a different brake cable on for my back brakes because the one I had was ruined.  We fixed the tire the next morning, and rode on it that day, and then by the next morning, my tire was flat again.  My bike is basically falling apart, it's all good ha.  We didn't have time to buy another tube and fix it, so we decided that Heavenly Father was saying take a little break from the bikes haha.  But we dropped it off at a bike place and they fixed it while we were on the go.  I need to buy replacement tubes to have so we can just fix it quickly, because I don't think that this is the end of the punctures.  Northam is dangerous for tires.

Well, that was pretty much our week.  Only other thing is that I am learning I am a Child of God in Swedish.  I love missionary work, and I wouldn't choose to be anywhere else or doing anything else right now.  Even swimming ha.  I am grateful for truth and standards in a world that is changing all the time.  Truth never changes. I am grateful for the scriptures and prophets who teach us truth that allows us to be safe physically and spiritually.  

I hope you all have an incredible week!

Hejdo!  (Goodbye in Swedish)

Sister Formica

P.S. The pictures are from Meckering--where Brother Thomas moved to.  There's an earthquake site out there, where they preserved the ruins of a house and we took a couple pictures when we drove by.  I'm not sure why they preserved it, but the sign says that the baby's cot was right there and that it was a miracle that the wall fell outward instead of onto the cot.