Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Monday, October 16, 2017

17 October 2017 Letter


I am still in Tuggeranong, but Sister Monilla left me:( We are the best of friends now, so I knew it was too good to be true to keep her for another transfer. Good thing that Heavenly Father has even better plans for me than I have for myself though, so I am always good with whatever transfers bring. I was a little apprehensive finding out who my new companion was because President is doing this new thing where he doesn't tell us until they basically get here. After spending most of yesterday in Belconnen (my mission birthplace!) with Sister Yuen, while we both awaited new companions, I found out that I am with Sister Haretuku!!! We were in Canberra Zone together last time too. Between the two of us, we have covered every ward/branch in Canberra (3 each!). Anyway, she is the coolest and most fun person, so I am so relieved and excited I get to work with her!

It's been a great week with many miracles!

One cool experience was going to Nimmitabel, about a half hour out of Cooma. We followed up on a potential investigator named Jessica. She miraculously let us in to share. She told us about her struggles with her two sons who have ADHD and are very full-on, how she struggles to have patience sometimes. We were able to help her understand how the gospel will benefit her in her situation right now. She has been turned off to religion in the past when it has been forced upon her, but she likes how our church encourages us to ask questions and find out the truth for ourselves. She is coming to Cooma Sacrament meeting this weekend! That was a big miracle. She is really sweet, hopefully we will continue teaching her and her little family this Friday.

That is just one of the many great things that happened and I am excited for another week of miracles with Sister Haretuku! I was sad to hear Sister Monilla was leaving me because we get along so well, but I was so happy to hear that I will be with Sister Haretuku because I have served around her before, and I know how great she is. It is going to be a good transfer, I can feel it!

We were not able to see Evone and Kwadjo this week, but hopefully  tonight!
Also, Simone's progress has been slow lately, so keep her in your prayers.

Have a miraculous week everyone!
Love you!
Sister Pace

Bye, Sister Monilla :(

Sister Burgess and I have decorated our daily planners with the same picture :)

Got to see the Whaites, a family I love in Belconnen, when we were waiting for our new companions!

Last DTM with the Relief Society District :(

I unexpectedly got to see my trainer this week!! She is visiting Australia from Tonga for about a month so Sister Loney took her to come see me; so cool!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

9 October 2017 Letter

Hello familia and friends! Hope everyone had a great week! It was a wonderful one for us.

We got to visit an investigator, Evone, whom I hadn't met until this week because she wasn't responding to our calls/texts. We decided to drop in and had a wonderful visit where we talked about her desire for baptism and how ready she feels she is. She does have the desire and believes the Book of Mormon is true, which is awesome. We visited her again this week with the plan to set a baptismal date she can work towards. Our lesson didn't go to plan because her partner Kwadjo came in and asked if he could join. He has known a lot of Mormons over the years and wanted to know what makes us different from any other religion. So we taught about the restoration of the gospel and the Book of Mormon. Kwadjo was blown away be everything we were telling him because he is very knowledgeable about the Bible and historical events. He says that he completely believes that there needed to be a total restoration of the true gospel and that it makes sense that the BOM is to prepare us in these last days for the second coming of the Messiah! It was so cool to teach someone what it seems like they have been waiting to hear for a long time! After the lesson, Sister Monilla says: "Jo will be baptised!" and I agree.

That was the big miracle this week, besides conference which was, as always, a greatly needed feast of personal revelation. I can’t wait to go back and study the talks because I felt like I couldn't take it all in fast enough!

Simone is still facing random different trails and sicknesses that are making life difficult for her, but she is doing well and will get there soon.

One last funny thing that happened this week: On Wednesday, I did a trade-off with Sister Yuen, one of the Sister Training Leaders here. Sister Monilla and I had planned to sing at a nursing home that day. We decided that I would go with Sister Yuen. She plays the piano really well, which is great, but it meant that I would be singing by myself, which is fine because I was only expecting maybe 10 people in a small room. When we get there, they led us into a big room with 25 to 30 residents seated in rows, waiting for our performance. Then they hand me a microphone, so everyone can hear me. I was thinking, "I hope they aren't expecting me to be pro!" Despite my shakiness and our lack of preparation, it went pretty well just singing primary songs and hymns, the residents seemed to enjoy it anyway, haha. The whole thing was just so funny. Especially when they started requesting Irish folk songs at the end for us to prepare for next time. That should be interesting, haha.

Hope everyone has a great week! Love you all so much!

Sister Pace

 Trade-off with Sister Yuen from Hong Kong!  She is the best!

After General Conference with Elizabeth Litchwark and Ilene Bradford:

Us on the Ferris Wheel:

Last p-day we went to Floriade, a flower festival in Canberra! Not as good as the tulip gardens in Holland, but still beautiful! We rode on the Ferris Wheel and slid down a big slide in our skirts. So fun!

Monday, October 2, 2017

3 October 2017 Letter

Well, today is my sister Jessica's birthday if you didn't know, so go wish her a happy birthday!

I am so sad to hear about the shooting, but so relieved to hear that my family was not involved.  I was a little nervous when one of our investigators, cutting our hair this morning, told us how bad it was.  That is shocking, especially about the boy in the stake. I feel like I might recognize him, but I can't put a face to the name right now. His family and everyone is in my prayers.

I hope everyone enjoyed conference! The General Women's Session was great, so I'm so excited for the rest next weekend. I went to the women's session with the question of "how can  I keep my testimony strong and immovable when it is being attacked every day by people around me who seem well educated or well meaning?" I wasn't getting an answer until the very end of President Uchtdorf's talk where he talked about hanging on to the iron rod (the Book of Mormon) even when you have already partaken of the love of God, but the voices from the great and spacious building begin to sway you. It was the answer I already knew, but hearing it come from a prophet of God strengthened my testimony that these men really are called of God and that God knows me and has answers specifically for me. So cool! GO watch his talk if you haven't!

This week we have been visiting our investigator Simone every day to share lessons with her or just read the BOM with her while she is working to quit smoking. Unfortunately, she keeps facing different trials and sicknesses that are making her progression slow, probably because Satan doesn't want to her to make this wonderful step in her life of being baptized . She is progressing though, she has gotten down to one smoke a day, and I think she will be able to quit completely in no time! We are just going to keep loving her and praying for her.

We were a little sad to see that none of our investigators made it to church on Sunday, but there were still miracles because a couple in our ward, who is semi-active, but never comes to anything besides sacrament meeting, came to gospel doctrine class after we had a lesson with them this week and invited them to! That was a tender mercy.

Besides that, we are going to work harder to find new investigators this week, because we have not had many lately.

Sister Monilla feels back to normal this week which is also a huge blessing.  Thanks for your prayers! She says she loves you guys!

Well, I'm out of time, but I'm glad everyone is safe and hope everyone is well!  I am always praying for you guys!

Sister Pace

The bird pics are from Sister Frost's house. She is the stake relief society president and has cool pets.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

25 September 2017 Letter

Hello all! Just going to attach my letter to President Bingham because it sums up our week:

Dear President,

This week has been a difficult one for Sister Monilla. She has been in pain most of the week from hemorrhoids. We had to stay in on Tuesday, which ended up being a blessing in disguise because we were able to organize how we would present the 15 step stop smoking program to Simone, which is a really long lesson to study. Especially if you want to present it confidently to them, to help them be excited about it. Sister Monilla has been in pain all week and is pretty fed up with it now so we will be visiting a doctor, hopefully tomorrow, and see what we can do.

We made a few trips up to Cooma this week. Our part member families there were not able to come to the Cooma Sacrament meeting unfortunately because one was sick and one was out of town. But on one of our trips down there, we set a baptismal date for Desi, our 10 year old investigator, for November 5th! Her dad, Andrew, who is also investigating is not so sure yet, but both Sister Monillla and I feel that he knows it's true, but he doesn't want to do anything about it because he is saying he wants to just focus on Desi right now. Hopefully Desi can gain a testimony of the B.O.M. as she begins reading it. I am a little concerned that she doesn't have a solid gospel example in her life, as her mom Symone comes from a family that has been less active for basically her whole life. Symone has lots of faith though, so hopefully we can help her live the gospel more as we teach the lessons.

Our investigator, Simone, whom we started the 15 step stop smoking program with, has been going through a challenging time with her husband not letting her see her kids. She has been dealing with a lot of stress so we will hopefully help her handle this then, tackle the stop smoking. She is still on date and wants to be baptized, but we will push back her date.

Not being able to do everything we wanted to do with the work this week has really made me re-appreciate the days when we are able to work just fine, with no pain. I am grateful to still be healthy, and hopefully I can help Sister Monilla recover and lift her spirits. She is so awesome and just wants to work:(

We love you President, have a great week!

SO basically we did a lot of driving to and from Cooma this week. It is an 100 K trip which takes about an hour. One time driving up, I counted how many dead kangaroos, wombats, and other wildlife we saw on the side of the road because there are HEAPS. I counted 75, and those are just the ones I noticed... Kangaroos apparently aren't the smartest and will just jump in front of your car or onto it which kills them and seriously damages the car. I was so scared driving back at night, but Heavenly Father definitely answered our prayers and kept us safe.

I hope everyone has a happy week! Hopefully we will be able to get more done this week.


Sister Pace

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Hello loved ones!

So many things have happened this week. On Thursday night, Sister Monilla and I were driving home and saw a bunch of ambulances surrounding a car that had just wrapped itself around a tree. Sister Monilla said a prayer right after we passed the accident. The next morning, we saw that Brother Sambono, a member in our ward texted us at 3am informing us that his son, Saul, had been in a bad car accident and if we could find some Elders to give him a priesthood blessing, and come to the hospital to support Saul's wife, Victoria. We went to the hospital and after verifying that it was the same crash, we helped them locate where the accident happened and found his phone on the ground. I'm glad that we were able to be of some help, but I wish we could have done more for them. We are going to keep visiting them throughout the week for comfort and support. It was an eye opening experience for me. They don't know how the accident happened because Saul is still unconscious, but it made me realize how fragile life is and we can't take our loved ones for granted.

The work has been good this week. We are trying to find new investigators as we help our current ones to progress.

We are starting the 15 step stop smoking program with our investigator, Simone on Wednesday. She has already gone down from 15 cigarettes a day to 2, so that is a huge improvement, but she is struggling to let it go completely. We think the program will be what she needs to quit completely. She is on date for baptism on the 30th of September. We are going to move it back to the 7th of October, so she has time to get it out of her system completely, but we feel that she can for sure be ready by then.

We were not able to visit Cooma (our far area) this week to visit our part member families we are working with, but we are excited to go twice this week and help our investigators to progress!

We had zone conference on Thursday where the Book of Mormon, and teaching from it was stressed a lot. I got called upon to share an experience of an investigator gaining a testimony of the BOM. So I shared about Patrice and how as she consistently read it, her testimony came so strongly.

I am realizing how little time I have left to serve with all my heart might, mind, and strength and I feel anxious to try new finding ways and really fulfil what we have been called to this area to fulfil. So, we are going to brainstorm different ways and hopefully find some solid new investigators.

Love you all!

Sister Pace

Photos #1-4:  War Memorial in Canberra (for the 2nd time).  If you zoom, you will see that we found a Pace that I am probably not related to.

 #5:  Zone Conference with Sister Zobell from my last zone, and my cute companion, Sister Monilla:)
#6: At the Stake Music Fireside with Grace, and Paita from Ginninderra Ward (my first area)!          

Sunday, September 10, 2017

11 September 2017 Letter

Hello all!

It's been a good, but tiring week in Tuggeranong! I think just because I'm getting used to a new area and slightly different schedule. It has been great though! There are so many promising things happening in Tuggeranong Ward.
One of my favorite parts of the week was going to Cooma, Berridale, and Nimmitabel, our farthest areas that are separate from everything and about an hour and a half away. We drove down with Sister Tan, the most dedicated ward missionary in the world, on Thursday. There are a couple part member families in Berridale. Simone and Andrew, then Richard and Lynda. Simone and Lynda are both members and their husbands are investigating. Simone and Andrew have two kids. One is Desi, a 10 year old, whom we are also teaching. Andrew seems like a really humble, good guy. He needs some more time, but he is willing to read from the BOM and find out if it's true:) Richard and Lynda each have 6 kids from different marriages, so 12 altogether. I think only Lynda's kids live with them. They are both still going through the divorce process with their ex-spouses, but when they are able to get married, Richard wants to be baptized! Our Bishop, Bishop Stuart, is working with them to make that happen. They are a super cool couple who have been through a lot, but want to make things right now:)

There is a puny chapel in Cooma where Sacrament is held once every month. Bishop wants to grow the membership out there so we can have meetings there more frequently, and he says that these two families will be the key to that, so I am excited to keep working with them!

I also loved getting to meet our investigator, Simone, this week who is on date for baptism. She is so cool, open, and honest with us. She is struggling to quit smoking, but we are going to try this 15 step program thing with her. I have never tried it with anyone, but I have hear good things, so pray for the best! She knows the church is true though, so hopefully we can help her get over a couple barriers quickly so she can be baptized:)

I already love the people we get to work with here, they are so awesome! I also love getting to learn to work with a new companion, Sister Monilla, and see the different door approaches and teaching technics she uses. One of my favorites is asking the person who answers if you can ask them one question (like "on a scale of 1-10, how happy are you today?" or "What does your family mean to you?"), then going off their answer by introducing the BOM, which will make their day a 15 out of 10, or the concept of families being together forever through the gospel. With one woman, this worked really well. She was completely not interested when she saw our badges and was about to shut the door, then I asked if I could just ask her one question, the happiness scale one. She said she was about a 3. When we told her about the BOM, her attitude completely changed and she accepted it and said we can come back. It was a miracle because she was almost laughing at us at first. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father knows each of His children and prompts us of what to say to them through the Holy Ghost. It's so cool!

Thanks for reading this really long email. Have a great week everyone and pray for the spirit to guide you in missionary opportunities every day! He knows what He's doing!

Sister Pace

1 (above):  missionary cars lined up for emails at the national library, haha
2- when the peep hole is watching you, even when no one is on the other side.

3-At transfers last week with Sisters Ockey and Sumaribos, who are now companions:)

4 - the full rainbow outside our flat (we are on the 4th floor, last door!)  [Just like the October 2016 General Conference talk by Pres. Deiter F. Uchdorf:  "Fourth Floor, Last Door"! . . . ]

5- Sister Burgess and Sister Tu'akalou (re-enacting the rainbow) our flat mates! They are both from NZ and are crack-ups!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Back in Canberra! 5 September 2017 Letter

Hello all!

What a crazy week it has been! Especially because I got transferred BACK TO CANBERRA! I was completely expecting to get transferred, but Canberra is the last place  I expected to go. I am so so excited though! I am in Tuggeranong Ward this time (South side) with Sister Monilla (pronounced Monilia), who is from the Philippines and Saudi Arabia! She was sister Ockey's trainee, so this is her 3rd transfer in the mission. And Sister Ockey is now in Sydney with Sister Sumaribos, which is funny because we basically just switched Filipinas! Sister Monilla is SO COOL. She is really fun, sweet, sassy, and already a natural at finding and teaching, even just after 2 transfers. A lot of exciting things are happening here in Tuggereanong Ward and I am so excited for everything! I will attach what I wrote to President because it shows how I feel about everything:

"Dear President and Sister Bingham,
It seems like the past week has flown by, as most weeks do, but especially because of the end of the transfer. I am so so grateful I had the great privilege of serving in the Mittagong Branch. What a blessing it has been to my life from the area, the companions I had, the loving branch members, and the incredible people I was able to work with and teach. My testimony has been strengthened immensely there and I am so grateful for that.

I was very surprised to hear that I would be returning to Canberra, South side this time! I am so excited for another opportunity to be here though! It's as if I get a re-try because the first time I was here, I was just figuring out how to be a missionary. I am excited to apply the many things I have learned in the past 6 months to the work in Tuggeranong Ward.

Also, Sister Monilla is the best! I'm so lucky I get to work with all the Filipinas! She is such a natural at missionary work after only 2 transfers! I know there is a lot I will be able to learn from her. She is doing great leading out the area. Thank you for the opportunity to serve in this area. I am excited to see what Heavenly Father has in store for it! Love you both, have a great week!"

I was super sad to leave Sister Parungo. She has been the best and has grown so much in the past transfer. She has a great new comp though and they will do great things in Mittagong.

Last week in Mittagong, we got bikes, which was fun, but we made the mistake of biking 15 K's from the bus station in one suburb, to another suburb called Buxton, which is in the real "bush" , to try to save K's on our car. Just so everyone knows, 15 K's takes roughly 2-3 hours on bike with windy, steep hills. I couldn't help but just laugh the whole time at our getting ourselves into that situation. we all have our blonde moments and this was a huge one for me. It was cool to see though, that I was able to stay positive throughout the whole ride, even when  I felt a little discouraged. At the beginning of my mission, I probably would not have been able to be as positive and patient in that situation.

That was the only rough day of the week. I was so sad to say good bye to Mittagong Branch, especially Patrice and Sister Snell, I will really miss them. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I had to serve there for 6 months.

Love you all, have a great week. And happy Father's Day again to my awesome Dad, because Sunday was Father's Day in Australia!


Sister Pace

video: when we found a pony on our long pilgrimage biking to Buxton lol. (didn't come through)
pic: pretty sure I would be a horrible baseball player based on this pic.​
Finally got a pic in front of the Bowral sign:

Sister Monilla and I in my new flat!  We also have flat-mates, which I am super excited about!  It has been too long:

Lots or beautiful blossoms are in bloom because it's Spring! I love it, except for the fact that it means summer is coming...:

We got bikes last week and had fun with them! I finally felt like a "real missionary", haha. The simple joys: