Thursday, February 11, 2016

She's home!

After 20 hours of flight, 6 hours of layovers, and 3 hours of driving, she made it home.  Here are a few pictures from the airport.  We left home 4:10 am, thinking that would be plenty of time to get there by 6:30 AM.  Her flight arrived at 6:00 AM instead of 6:30 AM, we got stuck behind two accidents, and didn't get to the airport until 7:00 AM.  We looked around for her to see if we had missed her, but didn't see her anywhere.  So we went to the place where we would see her first when she came up this ramp from customs.  We heard a few people with Aussie accents, so figured we were in time, then we saw the pilots and flight attendants coming up and Ed wondered if we missed her.  So he decided to do a quick loop around to make sure we didn't miss her.  Quite a sacrifice because he didn't want to miss her, but it sounded wise.  So he quickly left.  We were so focused on the people coming up, we didn't hear the stealth missionary behind us until she grabbed me and yelled "Boo!"  (She must have learned a few tricks from the Aboriginals about tracking) I have to admit, I screamed (squealed) quite loudly.  At least it was loud enough for Ed to hear across the room.  So hugs all around, but no video of her coming up the ramp.  Funny girl.  I guess when she didn't see us there to meet her (yep, anticlimactic) she went to the restroom.  That's where she was when we came in the door.   


In the second picture, she's laughing hard because right as the guy was taking the picture, I told her , "Oh.  I broke your phone."  What?  As you can see, she looks happy and well.  No Aussie accent.  I guess it's rare for Americans to pick up the Aussie accent; much easier to pick up the Pomp accent (Pomp is English accent - haha), something about the way they hold their mouths?  But she has some cute Australian phrases, hey?  It's so good to have her home.  Rachel and Devon come home tonight, so it's going to be a happy reunion!  First time all together since April 2013.  Her homecoming is next Sunday at 11 AM at the Park Hill Chapel in Hemet.  Find Park Street and drive around it (it's kind of a circle) until you see the big A frame.  We'd love to have you join us.  Thanks for all of your love and prayers on her behalf.
Love you all! 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Signing off!

Hey everyone!!!  Sorry I've been MIA the last 2 weeks, so much to do, so little time.  And I figured the longer I wait to write, the more interesting it will be :)
First things first, Mckay I PROMISE I remembered your birthday the whole week except Monday haha.  I wrote it in my planner and everything...oops sorry.  But HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!  I can't believe you are 18.  What the?  We'll have to celebrate soon.
It has been such a wonderful week.  We got to start off by watching a worldwide missionary broadcast, which was incredible, instructive and inspiring.  So we went forth to apply what we learned and rely more fully on the spirit.  We had a small cottage evening Thursday night, Bel and Nik invited Ross, us and Sister Hale over for dinner and a lesson.  Everyone is pumped for family history now, Sister Watts, our family history consultant is going to have a lot to help with.
I can't remember if I told you this story or not since it's been 2 weeks since I mailed, but it was our investigators' birthday, so we planned on making him brownies for the lesson.  That night we went to make them and realized we left our only pan with a member.  We went through the kitchen looking for options, and found our slow cooker. Feeling adventurous we made the brownies and cooked them in there, or tried to haha.  It was rock hard on the outside and sooo soft on the inside.  It looked hideous haha but luckily it still tasted good (the part you could eat).  We just put it on a plate as a lump and brought spoons.  They just laughed when they saw it. 
We have been so spoiled this last week.  President Goodlet (He hates being called President.  He always tells us, "call me Neil."  but I call him el presidente instead) has spent heaps of time coming to lessons with us.  He is such a good man!  And it has helped so much.  He's very down to earth and casual but has a strong testimony.  And it helped one of my favourite couples to come to church!  Which by the way was incredible.  The spirit was really strong.
Oh hey, one miracle is that we are teaching this lady who is very in tune with the spirit and knows what we are sharing is true, but is in a very difficult situation and would have to make very major life changes.  She'll get there because she loves Heavenly Father so much, but she is not ready yet.  But anyways, here's the miracle part: we haven't taught her about the word of wisdom yet, but she told us recently taht a few weeks ago Heavenly Father told her she needs to stop drinking coffee.  It's been really clear to see the little steps he uses to prepare her to fully accept the gospel.
One last experience, Saturday our investigators Adam and Isabella took us out to lunch after our lesson.  They told us about a friend of theirs who had led a horrific life--she is the most lovely woman who has been through literally the worst of things.  Then later that day another person told us about this same lady and also where she lives.  We didn't have much time, but figured we probably needed to see her.  So we went there and turns out it was an answer to her prayers.  From listening to her, I learned so much about the Saviour's love and the healing He can give to us.  It comes from trusting in Him.  This woman, after all she has been through gives service continually, loves the Saviour and is one of the kindest and most compassionate people I know. Stumbling blocks plus the Saviour truly equal stepping stones.  It is impossible to reach our potential and learn and develop the attributes of our Saviour without going through trials. 
I love missionary work in small towns, because people talk about you.  We had a man pull over the other day and ask if we were the ones who knew his mate because he told him about talking to us.
I've been trying to remember to keep Christ's name on my lips always--to always testify of Him, because He is the center of the message we share.  It is Him who we represent and Him who is the way by which we can return to our Heavenly Father.  I know that.  I know that this is His church; that it was restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith and that Heavenly Father's authority was restored to Joseph Smith and is held by worthy men today.  I am sooo grateful for that knowledge and so grateful for the better understanding of my Saviour and my Heavenly Father that I have received on my mission.  And how it has helped me trust in them more fully and recognized how He communicates with me through the spirit more.  I know Heavenly Father wants to guide each of us back to Him and He will if we will but listen.  Heavenly Father is truly Aware of all of His children.

I'm really going to miss biking these hills in the rain one day and 40 degree heat the next. 
And having lessons at Bernard Park in the middle of town. I love being a missionary and will miss it and Northam soo much.  I have truly made a family here.  But I guess I am putting my trust in Heavenly Father to the test. I know He has much more for me and each of us to do. 
This is the last of these oh so exciting emails haha. 
I am just a bit (HA) nervous to come home but also very excited. Bitter sweet feelings.  But after that plane ride, I'm going to be knocked out, so I'll see ya'll when I wake up!!  Have a good 2 days!  Love you all!!
Sister Formica

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

No email today, short one last week.

Well, Sister Formica must be busy seeing everyone and everything she wants to see before leaving Australia.  No email today, but she did send the sentence below last week, so we know she was alive.  :) 

No time to write, computers shut down earlier.  Sorry I love you!

For anyone interested, her homecoming talk will be February 21 and 11 am.  Here is the address:  1151 Park Ave, San Jacinto, CA.  I've heard the GPS sends you to some residence, so here are directions:  

Heading East on Ramona Expressway, turn right on Hemet St.  Right on Charlton, Left on Park Ave.  Church is about a mile down on the right.  It's a big A-frame right after a ball field.  

She leaves Australia at 10:30 pm their time (6:30 AM our time on Tuesday) and arrives at 6:30 AM our time Wednesday.  After 24 hours, I'm sure she'll be tired of travelling.  

Her phone broke while she was gone (I dropped it...) so we'll get her set up as soon as she gets home. Thanks for loving and supporting her these past 18 months (and more).  

If she writes next week, I'll post it.  

Chris (Sister Formica's mom)