Monday, January 18, 2016

Ice water on my head

We assume this is her zone.  :)  
Hello hello!!

We've had a blessed week--there were ups and downs all week, we were feeling quite discouraged on Saturday night and then on Sunday Heavenly Father just started pouring out blessings.  

Schaefen came to church on Sunday and is much more open and also able to learn more about the gospel!

Church was incredible!!  And Sister Ahlstrom and I sang a musical item after Sunday school, President Massen had everyone come back together and he explained a bit about what was happening and the decision process and how the church is organized for Ross and Schaefen.  He then called our new branch presidency and set them apart.  It was beautiful and the spirit was so strong.  Really confirmed my testimony of the restoration.  I'm sure you've heard about it, but we go for an hour and a half now--short sacrament meeting with 1 speaker, just focus on the sacrament.  And then one big gospel principles class. The focus of the branch is missionary work--building up the Kingdom.  Different, but it will be really good!!

Ross really enjoyed church and he got a lot out of it.  He said it was because he prepared himself Saturday night like we asked him to!  He is doing soo well and his faith and determination are growing every time we see him.

Shogan came to sacrament meeting because he is starting night shift.  He is still moving along, he had so many ups and downs last week it was like the silver bullet roller coaster at 6 flags.  

We drove 4 1/2 hours (there and back) to Merredin on Friday to contact a referral who is searching for the purpose of his life.  When we got to the address there, it turned out to be a motel with 12 rooms.  The reception was closed and we knocked on every single door, but not a single person was there.  Not even like we are home but not answering but like a ghost town.  All the little tiny towns out there are so strange, you just feel surreal going there.  But we met the coolest less active sister there. Been 28 years since she went to church, she was heavily involved before, her husband was branch president and she went out with the missionaries heaps, they just moved to the middle of no where and fell away.  Because she is so far away it will be hard to see her often, but she could so easily come back.  There are some families out there (and a few potentials) and we are thinking if they will all come back we can arrange a car pool ha.  

Sooo many tender mercies this week, especially Sunday.  The Lord's hand is so apparent in this work.  I wish that I had taken my setting apart more literally and really understood the power in it earlier.  It gives you more courage.  We had an investigator telling us that when we are there there is such a special feeling when we come, that it hangs in the air and is just beautiful and that people feel it even if they don't want to listen, and that years down the road they will remember it and grab onto it.  She is so receptive to the spirit and willing to follow Heavenly Father's will.  

This couple came and got on the computer beside me and started whispering to each other about us really loudly.  It was pretty funny, so then they said something about sisters out loud so I looked at them and asked how they were doing and when they were surprised I was like, "Oh sorry, I thought you said my name."  She was so hostile and they started speaking in nunga really fast to each other.  So I'll just keep humming How Firm a Foundation loudly. 

And there is a flavour of blueberry ice cream at the chapel that is to die for.  I'll take a picture of it so someone can check for me and see if we have it in America.  That way I have a few weeks to prepare myself if not. 

We've been able to go help out at the Penstones a bit, they leave Friday!  So more painting this week :)

I LOVE being a missionary.  I love Sister Ahlstrom so much.  She is so strong and funny and this time here in Northam has been incredible.  And I love you all!

Actually I hate her because she just poured ice water on my head...Have a wonderful week!

Sister Formica

Can't be bothered thinking of something...

Good morning America!  Oh wait, it was Wake up San Francisco wasn't it?  Oops...

We had a pretty emotional and crazy week.  But it was incredible.  Lots of miracles and lots of growth.

We've done the quit smoking program a couple times this week!  I had to wait until my last transfer to do it, but we get to do it plenty here, so I was excited about that.  And now we are allowed to eat candy, but we are drinking grapefruit juice after every meal haha.

And we have been told 10000000000x to drink more water from every single person we know.  So don't worry, we are being taken care of very well.

This week was pretty much just the norm. missionary stuff. mingled with Sister Ahlstrom not feeling well, but she is getting better slowly.  

We got out to Toodyay and saw the cutest couple who are investigating the church, also met a man who's teenage kids are struggling with some things that he wants us to meet, so we are going back next weekend to meet them.  They have a couple ponies that are so cute!

Also there were crazy storms this week and tons of people lost power for a bit.  It was such a fun storm, tons of thunder and lightening, and some of the roads got flooded.

So yesterday we were teaching a man who knows what he needs to do and wants to, but has to make some pretty heavy sacrifices to join the church.  
In teaching him, I am learning that sacrifice is giving up something (and it may be something good) for something better.  Sacrifice helps you learn so many things.  I have learned, (and will probably have to relearn many time) that opportunity is a synonym for sacrifice for the Lord.  Opportunities for growth and learning, joy in His service, strengthened and new relationships formed, and the development of attributes of charity, patience, etc. Plus even greater rewards to come.  Putting our trust in the Lord is the only intelligent thing to do.

You don't always know what someone is feeling or dealing with, and in a blessing, we were told that we needed to learn to correctly interpret what people say and do and don't say and don't do as a cry for help...and then more.  

I feel like I have gone through the full range of emotions this week (that's how you know it was a good week haha just kidding).  

I learned a lot about the Saviour's Atonement this week.  It has so many aspects and it covers EVERYTHING.  And I mean EVERYTHING.  He not only can cleanse us from sin but He can strengthen and enable us and heal us from painful and sorrowful experiences when we have no clue what to do or how.

Oh also the Sister who paid her tithing last week came with us to visit another member who is working on quitting smoking.  I was amazed by her actions and attitude.  She is so unassuming and in her quiet and simple way she just came in and began serving her and helping her with her kids, etc.  And throughout the lesson she just gave so much encouragement  The gospel is true.  It helps us get rid of the little traits and things we pick up in this life that refines us into who we truly are and who Heavenly Father wants us to become.

And the commandments literally are our safeguard or safety net to living happy, satisfying lives. And give us the abilities to have deep and meaningful relationships.  

Have a wonderful week everyone!!  I am grateful for and love you all!  

Sister Formica

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2016 WHAT?!

Gott nytt ar!!!!!  Happy New Year in Swedish, but pretend the last o has the two dots over it.  I don't have time to get the swedish keyboard up and I don't know any other way to do it haha.
Busy week (my favourite kind). We've been doing a lot of service helping the Penstones paint bits and pieces of their house as they get it ready to rent out. 
The Penstones are leaving within 2 weeks!  And 3 other people who have been here for a couple months are going back home and going traveling so we are losing a chunk of those who have been active for a long time.  This is going to be a crazy transition.  We aren't sure what's going to happen yet, but I'll keep you updated.  Fun stuff!  Good thing Heavenly Father is in control. 
Sister Ahlstrom is feeling a bit sick again.  The heat really gets to her.  It got up to 45 one day and we were biking everywhere and then it got up to 47 or maybe a bit more (luckily it was pday and we didn't bike around).  So we've been driving and trying to help her manage the heat.  She's really strong (and stubborn haha) and keeps working no matter what.  Don't worry, I asked her permission to tell you that she is stubborn, so she's very humble as well ha :)
Shogan is getting baptized soon!!  Just after the Penstones leave.  He's doing really well and has had some really awesome experiences and insights!  It's been really fun seeing him begin to understand the gospel more, especially our potential and our need for a Saviour. 
One thing that really touched me this week was witnessing a sister in our branch who is really struggling financially (so badly that she often does not have food) paid tithing for the first time this Sunday.  She asked us to go with her to give the envelope to President because she was a bit nervous.  She has been away from church for years and started to come back almost 2 months ago.  She is the only fully aboriginal member that I have ever met.  She has such strong but quiet faith.  I was really grateful for the trust she had in Heavenly Father and the example she was and continues to be for me.
I am grateful for the testimonies and faith of those around me and back home, it really strengthens my testimony of the Saviour, especially to see the service that so many people give out of love for their brothers and sisters and out of love for Him.  THank you all for your examples and love!  Have an amazing week and continue to look for opportunities to serve others and share the gospel!!  Love ya!
Sister Formica

Here's a picture of Sister Formica with their house key!!!  From our computer screen on Christmas eve as we were skyping with her.  They can't get it copied in Northam - too old of a key.  I guess that's why they get locked out so much.  

New Years - Look Not Behind thee:  3 minute video.  Hopeful!