Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Sunday, March 25, 2018

26 March 2018


As usual  I have no time, but President Leota asked all the leavers to send him spiritual experiences and changing experiences from our missions so here it is:

Dear President Leota,

Thank you so much for your advice and counsel in our closing interview. I really feel, now, that I will still have a purpose when  I return home, and that the best is yet to come when I keep setting and working towards worthy goals. This week has been great and I really enjoyed learning from Sister Simon and Sister Mata'u on trade-offs. Getting to serve with amazing people and become their friend has been one of my favorite parts of my missionary experience.

Reflecting back on my mission, I feel so grateful for the changes in myself I have seen. I am a much more confident person now, because  I understand that to have hope and confidence, my faith should not be in myself , but in my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. They are the ones that have blessed me with success and joy throughout my mission. They are the ones who will continue to bless me with these things the rest of my life when I continue to lose my life for His sake and His gospel. Then I will continue finding myself.

I am eternally grateful for the difficult experiences I have had on my mission:

When some of my beloved companions and I have had to work hard to be unified with one another because it did not just come naturally form the get-go.  These experiences have taught me how to be more humble and patient.

When I have had to overcome pride and awkwardness and just open my mouth to invite someone to hear my message, even when I don't think they will be willing to accept or even be kind to me.

When I have had to exert all my energy to pray WITH FAITH for someone who is struggling on their journey.

One of these experiences stands out, when an investigator was struggling a lot in the week before her baptism to have the faith to follow through with her commitment. Sister Haretuku and I prayed with more energy and faith than we ever had before that she would be able to overcome the discouragement she felt and be able to receive the great blessing of baptism. Heavenly Father then used us and others as instruments in His hands to bring about a miracle. I now know that Heavenly Father really does answer our righteous prayers because our desires will not be anything against His will.

Other experiences that stand out are the times when I have witnessed the suffering of some of my brothers and sisters. From an unexpected accident, an unfair situation, an on-going sickness, or a plethora of other trials. Being able to put myself in their place the best I could and testify to them that Jesus Christ lives and He has already paid the price, has deepened my understanding of His Atonement and incomprehensible love for each of us. I have witnessed these trails either harden people, or humble them to more fully rely on His grace. I now know that our trials are always opportunities for us to grow closer to Him so He can help us become better than we were before.

All these experiences and many more, have helped me personally to get to know Him better. I am so grateful for that. I now have a stronger testimony that He is there and that the fullness of His gospel has been restored to Earth again today so that we can all enjoy and benefit from the goodness that it brings to everyday life and to our families.

Thank you for serving with me and leading me and the mission to bring about a marvelous work! I know it is true! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

-Sister Pace

pics:
1- (above)  finally remembered to take a picture with one of our investigators. This is Tara! She is 17 and Persian. She is so cool.

2-last p-day. Board games with the district. My district is so competitive!
 3- Sister Simon (Melbourne, Australia)  made me breakfast on trade-offs!


 4- trade-off with Sister Mata'u (Samoa) <3


Sunday, March 18, 2018

19 March 2018 Letter



Well, this week has been another busy one with a combined mission conference with the Sydney North and South Missions with President and Sister Clayton (President of the quorum of the seventy) and Elder and Sister Ardern (of the Pacific Area Presidency). They announced that as the two missions become one on July 1st, there will be a new mission president called.  I think the name is Runio? I also learned of a lot of things I need to work on, which is great. The main thing I liked is that we are always associated with Jesus Christ because He is the other biggest name on my badge, so I always need to be acting in a way that He would be pleased, and always striving to emulate Him. I started reading the book of Mark this past week, and  I am paying extra attention to what Jesus did so  I can keep learning of Him and emulating Him.

I also had a good trade-off with Sister Matagasau, from Fiji, just like Sister Namalo. She is Sister Ockey's companion and this is only her second transfer. She is so cute. Should have taken a picture.

Besides that, Matthew received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday, so hopefully will be attending the temple in the next couple weeks.

Pamella is doing well. One of our fellowshippers, Sister Wood, got her more excited and determined to read the Book of Mormon this past week in our lesson with them, which is good because she was mostly still just sticking to the Bible and she really needs to receive a testimony of the Book of Mormon too.

Everyone else is progressing slowly but surely. We found out that a former investigator, Jayden still lives here, after we thought he had moved to Sydney. He is still really keen! The only reason we found out is because we were randomly following up with old potential investigator sheets. That was a miracle!

Just trying to do everything I possibly can with the little time I have left. Love you all and you are constantly in my prayers!

Love,
Sister Pace

Sunday, March 11, 2018

12 March 2018 Letter



Well, no time, but it was a hectic week with two trade-offs and a zone conference. All were great. I am sending pictures and a picture is worth 1000 words right? Pamella is now on date for baptism for April 14th, a little later that we were expecting, but still exciting! It will probably change a little so her son can baptize her and he is not available on that day. We will see. She is progressing great though!

A miracle this week is our investigator Micheal came to church yesterday even though he was really apprehensive about it. I think he had a good experience:)

We have a few new investigators so we will let you know how they go.

Have a great week everyone!

Love,
Sister Pace

Photos:
1 (above)-I am now in the same zone with Sisters Howard and Ockey from my MTC district. Sister Ockey and I get to be companions again in a way because we are STL companions:)

2-the drive to zone conference in Ulladulla

3- the night before zone conference at the Wollongong sister's flat.

4 & 5-The sisters at zone conference:) that is the back of President Leota in the back.
6- Trade-offs with Sister Hampton in Ulladulla, the most beautiful area! She is from Utah and  I ran 2 and a half miles while she ran 4. She is the best:)

Sunday, March 4, 2018

5 March 2018 Letter



It has been a great week! Long but great!

Some of the highlights include:


Missionary Leadership Correlation Meeting on Tuesday.  I got to meet President Leota for the first time. He is our temporary mission president until we receive a new one in July. He and Sister Leota are amazing and have so much faith! He set some high goals for our mission to achieve by July (in the next two and a half transfers), but he has complete faith that we can achieve them and now so do we! I am excited for Zone conference this week so that the rest of the missionaries in our zone can get on board. At MLC we received a training mostly about how working with less active and part member families, as well as new members, will help us reach this goal. It was pretty inspiring and Sister Namalo and  I have already seen miracles as we have applied what he said! At MLC they made me give a “dying testimony”

I am not sure if I have mentioned Steven before, but he is a 40 year old man with a burly beard that we met on park and embark day a couple weeks ago. When we first talked to him, he was sitting on his porch, drinking a beer, while waving goodbye to his young daughter who was going back to her mother for the week. We weren’t sure if he was drunk or not, but decided to talk to him anyway. Turns out he, in just the past couple years, has turned his life around and is searching for truth. He had been reading the Koran and looking into different religions. He was interested in hearing what we have to say and apologized, saying he knows it looks like he drinks all the time, but it’s really only a once a month thing. We have taught him twice since then, once with one of our members, Brother Quinton. Steven has so many questions and they are all really good ones. His question yesterday, while teaching the Plan of Salvation, was did Jesus Christ have a body like Heavenly Father when He created the Earth before He was born. They are just questions that a lot of people don’t even think of but they are great! He really feels that the things we are teaching him are possible and that they could be his answer. He has been reading and praying and hopefully will come to church soon.

Pamella, came to church again yesterday, her 3rd week in a row! She even asked one of the members for a lift home so she could attend the second two hour again, because her son had to leave early to go to work. She is building good relationships with ward members and we found out that her granddaughter is being baptized on the 30 of March. She has been thinking about doing it with her, and we hope she decides to! There is no set date for her yet, but hopefully this week

Those are just some of the miracles this week. Love you all and you are always in my prayers! Have a miraculous week!

Love,
Sister Pace


A Rainy P-Day at the Lake:



Reuniting with loved ones at Mission Leader Conference:












Wednesday, February 28, 2018

26 February 2018 Letter

Hello family and friends!

It has been a great week as usual here in Dapto. My new companion is Sister Namalo from Fiji! She has been out 6 months and is the coolest person! She is so easy going and is a wonderful teacher. I am already learning heaps from her so I am excited for the rest of the transfer!

This week we have a couple new investigators we are excited about: Tara and Colin.
Tara is 17 and has heaps of LDS friends, including her boyfriend and a couple of the YSA in Dapto ward, which is great! We met her a few weeks ago when her neighbor told us to visit her because she thought her family was Filipino and sister Monilla is Filipino. She is definitely not Fili, but Persian, so it is a miracle we even met her, and we have been teaching her weekly ever since! She has always wanted to know more about the church and has said that if she comes to find that it is true she will be baptized. She is so wise for her age and very spiritual. She is so great!
Colin is the neighbor of one of our members, Nana Tyson. On Tuesday, he miraculously accepted an invitation to come to an FHE at her home, and it went really well! He is confused by all the different religions in the world and wants to know how he can know what is true. It was cool to share the Book of Mormon with him, and promise that through searching, pondering and praying to know, he can know the truth not only of the Book of Mormon, but of all things.

Another investigator, Pamella (emphasis on Ella), is progressing. She is the mother of a less active member, but has seen great things come into his life from it, and wants to be baptized herself. She has been to sacrament the past two weeks and stayed for all 3 hours yesterday. She enjoyed it and had so much to say in the classes. She always does, lol, it is difficult to even take control of our lessons with her. She is so passionate and wonderful though.

It has been raining nonstop for the past couple days, but we were able to attend a recent convert fireside in Sydney last night and have safe travels even in thick fog on the way home, which was a miracle. Matthew spoke and had a good experience, so it was awesome. He is doing so good. Now, that he is baptized he really understands the significance of the covenant he has made and really wants to be obedient to God's commandments. We asked how he felt after receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. He said that he feels good and that every time he feels tempted to drink coffee of tea, he feels like someone is telling him, you shouldn't be doing that. It is cool he is recognizing the spirit's guidance already!

Well, love you all, let me know if there are any prayers any of you may need. Have a happy week filled with gratitude!

Love,
Sister Pace

pics:
1) Above, new companion, Sister Namalo from Fiji!
2) my new district consisting of Dapto ward, Wollongong Ward, and Nowra Branch



3) Sister Sianava:)

4) The sisters in our district 

5)Sister Stetson, who used to serve in Dapto came back to visit and visited one of our investigators, Rebecca, with us!

6) Sister Namalo remembered that I hit my 16 month mark today and I didn't even know lol. She is the cutest!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

19 February 2018 Letter



Well, what a week it has been. A lot of people have heard the shocking news about President Bingham's bike accident. The last I hear, he is in intensive care somewhere else in Australia and he is paralyzed from the neck down. This was all so random and shocking to hear. I am not sure what Heavenly Father's plan is, all I know is that He has one, and it is better than the plans we all had for our ourselves, even from President and his family. But keep him in your prayers please! Hoping for a miracle.

 I am happy that I at least got to see him the night before it happened as all the sisters in our mission who could got permission to go to a sisters devotional in Prairiewood (Sydney), where we got to hear Sharon Eubank, 1st counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency speak. All of us sister missionaries had the privilege of shaking her hand before the devotional. I was so happy to see so many of my best friends and fellow sisters there, that I have missed. Sister Eubank is awesome and the spirit was felt bountifully:)

The highlight of our week, however, was getting to witness the baptism of Matthew Lloyd. It was a good program with a good turn out from the ward. Matthew was really nervous before the baptism but he said all the butterflies went away when was baptized. He seemed so light and happy after! He was the last to leave the chapel before bishop locked the doors because he was talking to everyone. It is cool to see that he has a huge ward family now, when he doesn't really have any family close by, as his parents have passed away, and his sister lives in Queensland, and He doesn't have one of his own. Sister Monilla and I sang a rendition of Nearer My God to Thee at the baptism. We both are really proud of him making the commitment and feel that he will be a strong, active member, and will be greatly blessed for it throughout the rest of his life and eternity. It was funny to see that Dapto Ward started choir practices for Easter Yesterday and Matthew joined in, he is just part of the family now! We had no idea he sings.

Unfortunately, Sister Monilla is once again being taken away from me too soon. She is probably my best friend and we intend to live with each other again one day:) She has done a lot of good work in Dapto ward and I feel privileged I get to continue it on and continue to see the fruits of our labor for my last transfer. I cannot believe I am in the last 6 weeks of my mission. It feels bitter-sweet. I am excited to do all that I can to accomplish what the Lord has sent me here to do in this last transfer with my new companion!

Love,
Sister Pace

Pictures:  Matthew's Baptism and Confirmation (and Sister Monilla's last Sunday in Dapto):
       Killilea State Park on Zone P-Day:

Sister Meyer from MTC District:

Sister Monilla is my Valentine:
 Zone Conference:

Saturday, February 17, 2018

12 February 2018 Letter

 
Don't have much time but just wanted to share a quick experience.

This week has had lots of miracles. Throughout the week, I was feeling like I didn't know how to explain the gospel to people in a way that would help them understand that it is applicable to them and something that will really help them! Sister Monilla reminded me that I am saying the right things, but everybody has their agency, and sometimes people don't use it the best way they can. But we had a cool experience on Saturday during park and embark. We had 4 people ask us the same question: why do bad things happen to innocent people? The first two times ,we explained it but the people would not accept our answer. At the end of the night, however, we met an atheist who asked the same question. We explained, after refining and simplifying our explanation throughout the day, that if God intervened in every bad, or unfair thing that happened, not only would he be denying people of their ability to choose, but he would be denying everyone of the opportunity of growth that could come from that difficult trial in their life. We also explained that the purpose of our lives is to have joy, and that the extent of pain and sorrow we experience in life, we are then able to experience that much joy because of it. It was cool because it was like Heavenly Father had been preparing us to meet that man (Dave) all day by helping us think about that question. Dave's heart was softened and we were able to share most of the restoration with him. By the end, he miraculously accepted a Book of Mormon!
I just really loved that tender mercy Heavenly Father gave to us after a day when not so many people were prepared to receive us.

pics: 1- a couple pdays ago














2- Faite and Moala, two beautiful but naughty little girls in the ward:)




































3- When Sister Monilla made me cut her bangs (commonly called fringe here)

4- when we witnessed the saving of an echidna from under a school fence.
5- Jessica a less active YSA came to stake conference on Sunday. Miracles do happen!
















6- My fun tan lines







7 -pray for my sunburt neck. It is a result of talking to a guy for almost an hour under what felt like being an ant under magnifying glass.


 8-9:  Companions and Friends: