Called to Serve

Called to Serve

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:

Sunday, August 27, 2017

 Dear family and friends,

We had such a great week with zone conference and trade-off's with the Wollongong sisters!

I got to do a trade-off with sister Pa'asi from Queensland, but originally Tonga. She came out the same time as Sister Parungo and is doing so well for only being here for 5 weeks! She is already such a natural at teaching and opening her mouth. We had a goal that day to follow the promptings of the Holy ghost 100% and not even let one pass us by. It was so cool to do. There were a few times when I had the thought, but we were already a little ways down the street before I decided that we needed to go back and talk to them. On one of these occasions, we met a really cool woman named Simone who seems prepared to receive the gospel and said the sisters can go back to teach her family! Sometimes it's exhausting, but I know now that as we follow EVERY prompting, Heavenly Father trusts us enough to put His elect in our path.

I also learned what I think Heavenly Father wanted me to learn from Zone Conference about humility, seeking a reward not here, but in Heaven, and about the Word of Wisdom and how I should nurture my body better. President and Sister Bingham are so inspired to know what Heavenly Father wants  me to know to help me become more successful.

It was a cool experience to hear Patrice speak at a recent convert fireside yesterday. It was actually a miracle because she has never spoken in church before, so  I was so impressed that she had the courage to speak in front of so many more than she is used to at our tiny Mittagong Branch. She said that she was feeling super nervous up until the time that she stood up to speak, but then "something else kicked in" She recognizes that it was the spirit so I think it was a testimony building experience for her:) I also got to see Sister Sumaribos there, which was a surprise for her. It was so fun!

We have a new investigator this week named Jessica! sometimes when planning for her, I will refer to her as Jethica or Jessenia, some of the nick names I have for my sister:) She seems solid. She has a young family of a husband and two little girls. They are really good people and you can tell that she really wants to know the truth, so we are excited  to see how she goes with the Book of Mormon.

Overall, it was a great week and the time is flying. I am excited to spend the entire week in our area with Sister Parungo this week. Especially if it is my last one here in Mittagong:( It will be interesting to see what transfers bring. Pray for president to continue to be inspired!

Have a great week! Love you all!

Sister Pace

Pictures above:  Kangaroos! / and Most of the Sisters in my zone at zone conference!

Trade-offs in Wollongong with Sister Pa'asi!

We met up with the other sisters for dinner after our trade-off, and a high school marching band started playing some jams behind us, which was cool.  I felt like I was back at Foothill again!

Kasama (companion) and I:

Tree climbin'

Recent Convert Fireside in Villawood!

Zone Conference with Sisters Parungo, Bingham, Yuson, and Pa'asi.  We had it next to a really pretty river in Nowra.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

21 August 2017 Letter

Happy Anniversary mom and dad! 34 Years, you guys are my heroes! 

And happy actual wedding day for Charis and Jared! The pictures looked so nice, and Charis looked like a Disney Princess! Congrats! 

 We have had an awesome week with Patrice, a recent convert doing temple baptisms for the first time! One of the people she was baptized for was her great grandmother, and another member was baptized for one of her grandfathers,which was super cool for her to experience! She loved it and is excited to go again. Also,  I don't know if  I mentioned, but both Sister Snell and Patrice got their Patriarchal blessings last Sunday, which is super cool! They are both doing so well.

The weeks seem to fly by and sometimes it feels like there is not enough time to accomplish everything we would like to. We have decided to drop some of our investigators this upcoming week if we still can't set appointments with them to help them progress. It is time for a fresh start and to pick up some new investigators who will be ready to progress right now. We are continually striving to do all we can to follow the spirit and help our area reach the potential Heavenly Father has planned for it.

We also did trade-offs with the Dapto sisters this week, this time with Sister Chan form Malaysia. She is so fun! We came out together and have been serving in the same zone for 4 transfers now, so we had a lot of fun together. 

Yesterday, in sacrament meeting, us four missionaries sang the musical number. We sang "I am a child of God" and did the last verse in Samoan, with the help of Sister Parungo and Elder Slade, who both speak Samoan. A lot of members in the branch yesterday were commenting on how natural  I look and seem in the branch now. I take this as evidence that  I will definitely be transferred soon because  I am too comfortable here. Which is sad because I love this branch and area so so much! We still have two weeks left in the transfer so I want to do everything  I can to leave the area better than I found it.

We were finally able to have a lesson with our investigator,  Ingrid yesterday, and it went well, so hopefully we can help her to start progressing and keeping commitments.

Sister Pace

Photos #1-#3:  At the Sydney Australia Temple with companion, Sister Parungo; Patrice, a recent convert; and Sister Snell

#4-#6:  On exchanges with Sister Chan, from Dapto; and trading back companions at the Famous Robertson Pie Shop.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Hello family and friends!

I hope everyone has had a happy week. This week flew by for Sis Parungo and I.

This week we had several service opportunities for members. We did painting, decorating, speech lessons for Brother Jackson who had a stroke. As a result, we also received a few referrals! One of them is a family. The mom in Maori and the dad is Samoan. Sister Mackey wants us to visit them because they speak Samoan and so does my soa (companion), so hopefully they can bond. We hope for the best with these people. It is good that they will have an instant fellowship.

This week I also had the privileged of doing a trade-off with Sister La'akulu from Tonga. She is so wonderful and loving to all! I always learn a lot on trade-offs both from the sister I am working with, and re appreciating some of the strengths of my companion as well. Sister Parungo is still adjusting well, which is good to see.

This week, we might have to drop some of our investigators who are not progressing. Sister Parungo also had an inspired idea that we should try picking up some former investigators, so we are excited to try that this week. We are working hard to bring The Lord's miracles into our area.

Elder Kenworthy went home this week, which was sad, but we got a great new elder, Elder Slade, from Samoa.
Not too much more to report this week. Have another good week everyone!

Sister Pace

1.  We met some cool people on the street yesterday riding their horses down the main road.  They stopped to let us pet them.
2.  Lunch after trade-offs with the Dapto Sisters. L-R:  Sisters Chan,k Parungo, Pace, and La'akulu.

3.  Oh, and then there's this picture, haha--Elder Kenworthy's dying picture.

4.  Heaps Close.

5.  I made Elder Kenworthy ice cream cookie sandwiches for his birthday on Tuesday.  Lots of B-days!

6-8.  Our Branch had a Winter Ball.  We helped out by doing activities with the kids.  There ended up only being one kid to entertain, Steffi.  We made sure she had fun though.  

9.  We helped out by doing activities with the kids, but we got to participate in the photo booth. :)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

7 August 2017 Letter

Hi President and Sister Bingham!

This week has been a miraculous one yet again with finding new investigators. I pray that we can be adequate teachers and inviters of the spirit for those that we have had the blessing of finding. We have had trouble lately with helping our investigators to really keep commitments we extend to them. This morning, I was reading about how Aaron taught Lamoni's father and Lamoni's father, in prayer, asks God to make himself manifest to him, then he will give up everything to know Him. I realized that many of our investigators probably are not actually sure that there is a God, therefore they don't have much motivation to do the things that He has asked us to do. I think we need to focus on going back to the basics and helping them understand that there IS a loving Heavenly Father for all of us. Hopefully, as we strive to be more consecrated and humble and diligent this week like you both have said, we can figure out how to help these individuals.

I am impressed by how well Sister Parungo picks up on all the different aspects of missionary work. She is doing great and makes life so fun for me!

I also had the chance to go on a trade-off with Sister ZoBell this week and I was really impressed by the progress she has made in just one transfer of being out. She is so diligent and positive. She is a blessing to our zone! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to work with such wonderful people, especially here in the Mittagong Branch. I love you both, have a great week!

Sister Pace

Well  I have no time, but I will send a lot of pictures from yesterday. I got so spoiled for my bday. I got two cakes(one from the Elders one from Sister Mckeown), A decorated car from the youth in the branch, flowers from Sister Sullivan, a spaghetti dinner from Sister Parungo, my birthday got announced in sacrament meeting and mentioned several times in testimony meeting #onlyinabranch, a package of clothes from Lyndsi, another gift and balloons from the elders, and so much more love. My heart is overflowing with love and gratitude. I love the Mittagong Branch! Besides that, we had a good Missionary Leadership Council this week and trade-offs with the Ulladulla sisters(They live on the beach, so that was a beautiful drive). We have a couple new investigators this week, so hopefully we can help them progress and keep commitments. Thank you all for the prayers and happy birthday wishes! I have THE BEST family and friends! Have a great week everyone!

Sister Pace

The Elders banged on our door right at 6:30 a.m. yesterday with this ice-cream cake and poster!:
Some of the Murrin kids who helped destroy our car.  I love them!:

Part of our beautiful 2 hour drive to Ulladulla for trade-offs.  Our South Coast Zone is so huge.  Sometimes I feel like I have been called to the Australia Sydney South driving mission.  The good news is:  Sister Parungo got driving certified this week so we can trade-off now!  WooHOoo!:
DTM throwing up our Dapttagong signs:
Fitzroy Falls: