Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Sunday, December 10, 2017

12 December 2017 Letter

Well Christmas is coming very quickly, its already the 12th!

This week has had some disappointments, but of course many miracles as well, enough to overcompensate for the disappointments.

The main disappointment was that the mother of our 18 year old investigator, Jake, came home from jail and told us that he is not interested and that he had just been too kind to say no. We know that that is not the case, but that he also does not want to disappoint his mom now that he has her home again. We are not sure where to go from here, but his fellowshipper, Aki, who is a returned missionary went around to his place to see how he is and invite him to church. He said that the mother was kind enough to him but that they were just busy this week. I am thankful that he is still in contact with Aki and hopefully he can help him to have the courage to keep learning and progressing towards baptism should he want to.

A miracle this week was our 11 year old investigator, Piripi, came to church on his own this week for the first time, even though his mum, who is a less active member was not well enough to go! He came with bishop's wife and two kids. Bishop gave him permission to go to young men's because he turns 12 soon and there are more friends his age there. He is so good!

The Halak family from Iraq was not able to come to church yesterday, but hopefully we will be seeing them soon.

Another miracle was that we both felt that we needed to try a former investigator, we only dropped last transfer named Quoc. We both felt that we hadn't given him enough effort before dropping him because the difficulty was simply meeting up. We stopped by on Saturday and miraculously he was home and brought some chairs outside for us all to sit on. We ended up sharing a lot about the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was talking about how people are more blessed when they are not compelled to believe. Both Sis. H and I thought of Alma 32 that we had studied together just the night before about more blessed are those who are humble without being compelled to be by their circumstance and Sis H related it to baptism. After sharing that, he said that we convinced him, that he knows he needs to be baptized even though he already has been in a different church, and that this is the right step for him on his journey of faith. He is amazing! I don't even know how it happened because it was basically as though he talked himself into it without us realizing. Unfortunately he is going out of town until January, but we are excited to help him to be baptized soon!

We also had unexpected interviews with President and Sister Bingham this week, which was greatly needed to be uplifted and strengthened by them. I am grateful for this area and the wonderful things happening in it ! I am especially grateful for Sister Haretuku who really makes up for where I lack. I am so grateful that we are put into companionships!

Hope you all have a great week! Light the world wherever you are this week!

Sister Pace

Beautiful sunsets outside our flat window happen so often, but they my camera usually can't do them justice:/

We discovered Christmas St at the right time!  Christmas card coming soon!

Sister Haretuku hit her 1 year mark on Friday:)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

4 December Letter, 28 November Letter

4 December Letter:

Hello and happy December! I love this month, especially when  I get to share about Jesus Christ, and really focus the season on Him.

This week had so many miracles once again!

The highlights were setting a baptismal date for our investigator, Evone for January 6th! Unfortunately she still did not come to church on Sunday, though she said she would be there, so hopefully we can help her understand the necessity to keep commitments so that she will really be prepared for that date.
Another huge miracle was running into a family that I met at the bus station at the end of October. I had forgotten that I had their number, and I didn’t recognize their name that I had written in my planner then, so during weekly planning, we decided that they were one of the potentials that we wanted to follow up on this week to see if they were still interested.
On Friday, after we were following up on different potentials in Calwell that the previous sisters had found, we were headed back to the car. Then we saw the father, Qusay, and two little children, Ragheed and Roz, of this family I had met in October walking back from school. We said hello and they remembered us and he invited us to his home down the street where his wife was waiting as well. They are from Iraq and speak Arabic and not much English yet, but they are learning. The wife, Wasan, communicated to us that she is Catholic but has been looking for a church to attend since they arrived in Australia in October. They had their name and number written on a card and I realized that it was the very family that we had intended to call that week! It was like Heavenly Father really needed us to come in contact with them last week and he knew it would be much easier to communicate with them face to face in their home!
We arranged a ride to church for them and they came on Sunday! They came with the Best Family, who miraculously speak a little Arabic because they lived in Saudi Arabia for a few years. Sister Best was able to translate a little while we taught the Restoration to them during the second hour, with the help of the Arabic pamphlets we found in our cupboard. We are excited to bring them Arabic and English Books of Mormon tonight! I just pray that we can overcome the language barrier until their English improves. This experience just confirmed to me that God’s hand is in all the little details of our lives, and He is at the head of the work of salvation.
Besides those miracles, we had a great ward Christmas party where lots of non-members and members alike attended. There are lots of exciting things happening and I am grateful to get to be a part of it here in Tuggeranong ward.

Have a Merry Christmas season and if you are not already doing the light the world 25 days of service challenge, go check it out on Sister Haretuku and I are going to do it so we can try to become a little more Christlike this Christmas.

Sister Pace

Titan and Edlin, Belinda's kids who are two of my favorite little ones in Tuggeranong Ward :) 

28 November Letter:

I can't believe how fast time flies, it is already the end of November! Btw I think I missed a few birthdays: Happy Birthday Joanna and Tanner! And happy actual day of birth for my new baby niece Nora!!! The pictures I saw are already so cute, which is impressive for a new born. Congrats Ammie and Tanner!
It has been a really productive week. We were able to have several first lessons with potential investigators. A lot of them seem pretty interested and will hopefully become new investigators this week! Sister Haretuku and I were able to set goals for the coming transfer that we truly believe we can reach but will also really stretch us. We have already seen miracles in doing all we can to reach them and praying for the Lord's help in making them happen. We are really excited for a great transfer and to be together again!
Well, I'm out of time I spent too long obsessing over Baby Nora. Have a great week everyone!

pics: We set up a sparse Christmas tree in our living room that we still need ornaments for. Christmas is here!!!!! 

(Emmalynn just got this in the mail, but hasn't opened it yet.  Shhh. . . . .)

 It has been raining so much the past week and I love it! It feels more like Christmas time than when it is deathly hot. 

 (Letter we just got in the mail from Emmalynn, along with her endorsement on the back of her tax refund check which, ironically, has already been back and forth to Australia TWICE!)

 Last district meeting pictures

Sunday, November 19, 2017

20 November 2017 Letter

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 I am so grateful for the ability and opportunity to serve my Saviour and Redeemer in Canberra, Australia, bringing precious souls to the knowledge of Him.
This week, we have been trying to evaluate how much time we should be spending in our farther areas like Cooma, and the impact it is having on Tuggeranong, our main area. It was the talk of discussion a little bit in Ward council yesterday and it was determined that in the past months of doing the branch meetings down there, we have seen progression mostly in just one part member family. Of course it is worth helping the one but hopefully we can figure out how to keep strengthening Tuggeranong ward the most, pulling back a little in the farther areas, while still helping this family and a few others draw closer to Christ.

We have been talking to President Bingham about it a lot too. We always appreciate his input.
This week was a good one with miracles big and small everyday, We did not reach the goals we set, even though I felt like we were doing as much as we could to meet them, but I am learning to trust in The Lord's timing for those we are working with and not my own. I know that they will either come around eventually or we will move on to others who are prepared at this time.

Jake is still doing good and we have been able to see our investigator, Evone more frequently this week, which was good.

This week, in my scripture study of Helaman 12 in the Book of Mormon, I realized that God is able to do anything and everything. He can cause any miracle to happen, so it is really just about aligning our wills with His through prayer to really see His hand in our lives.

I'm out of time! Have a great week and a happy Thanksgiving!

Sister Pace

Pictures :  Last P-day at the Parliament Building in Canberra.

With Sister Burgess.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

13 November 2017 Letter

This week seems to have disappeared, it was so packed and went by so fast! I really enjoyed Canberra Zone Conference and I learned a lot that I am working on applying. Especially not using conditional words like "I guess" and "if", and really working towards our weekly goals each day and our transfer goals each week. Doing that has really payed off!

Near the end of the week, we realized that we had a weekly goal to have 3 new investigators, and that we didn't have any yet. We prioritized following up on solid potential investigators with the little time we had the rest of the week. Yesterday, we had a true miracle! One of our potential investigators, Jake, whom we had texted a few days before, apologized for not responding because he didn't have credit on his phone, and he asked what time we wanted to meet up! We were so happy!

That evening, we had an awesome second lesson with him, teaching The Plan of Salvation, and he even accepted a baptismal date for December 9th!! He is only 18 but he is so solid. He and his little brother live on their own right now, and it seems like he has had some hard times lately, so he is really giving the gospel a chance and keeping commitments! He is so cool!

That was the biggest miracle of the week that helped me realize that Heavenly Father is going to help us reach our goals (or help us get closer than we would on our own anyway) when we are working smart and doing all we can to meet them. He always pulls through with the miracles. Besides that, we also were able to do some finding in Jindabyne for the first time this week. It is almost 2 hours away and Sister Tan took us. It was really good! We got quite a few potential investigators, the people there are really open to learning, which is great!

Well, out of time, but hope everyone has a great week this week! You can make it a great one by reading the Book of Mormon every day. That is a promise! (even if it's just for 5 minutes)

Love you all!
Sister Pace

1) Canberra Zone sisters at zone conference

2) Beautiful sights on the ride to Jindabyne!  Such a beautiful road trip!

3) Us and Sister Tan

Sunday, November 5, 2017

6 November 2017 Letter

Hello all, Happy November!

It feels weird that I have been in Australia about a year now and came to Canberra last November, and am here again! Time flies pretty fast here.

This week had lots of miracles as usual. Sister Haretuku, and I, and the elders decided that Tuggeranong needs a little more love to unify them more. We decided to text all the members an uplifting text every day (us and the elders take turns). We got good feedback at church so we think it is doing some good.

Sister Haretuku and I also decided to start something we like to call Cookies and Compliments. Where we are going to try to go around to all the members in the next couple weeks and bring them some homemade cookies and a card with a few compliments for them or the family.

Yesterday, at church, there was almost double the amount we have been getting in the last few months! It was amazing and felt so much happier. Not saying it was because of us at all, but I feel like our show of love helped bring that about in a small way. We have also received a couple referrals from members this week that we are excited to follow up on, and our ward mission leader is really on board now, and coming up with good ideas to help the work and the ward to progress. It has truly been a great week:)

Also, on Friday and Saturday, we went to Cooma and Nimmitabel. We stayed at Sister Sledge's house, an older woman in our ward who lives in Nimmitabel, on Friday night. On Friday, we spent most of the day following up with heaps of former investigators in Cooma. Then, on Saturday, we did some service for a potential investigator in Nimmitabel and more finding.

We were a little disappointed when Desi (our 10 year old investigator on date) and her parents cancelled on us twice, when we were supposed to see them 2 times while there, to help them progress. She is not on date anymore because they are just having trouble committing right now, but want to fully commit in the new year. Hopefully they just need a little time.

It was still a productive trip though, because we found several potential investigators that we will be following up with next Saturday.

No new investigators this week, but we had a few great first lessons with two 18 year olds actually, one named Bevan, one is Jess. They are friends so maybe we will teach them together in the future. They both had great questions though like: "If God is really there, why does he let bad things happen to us and make things so hard?"  Bevan asked that right off the bat, and we had a really good discussion about the plan of salvation/happiness. I will let you know how it goes! Have a great week everyone!

Sister Pace

Photo above: Keeping track of what scriptures we share with the members.
Next 3 photos:  Random pictures from Sister Haretuku's camera:

We rescued a lost dog on Friday.  His name was Red :)  :

Sister Sledge's front room where we stayed. She basically lives on a farm and it was so cold. Personal study was a struggle. It kind of felt like camping though, which I liked :)

A beautiful sunset outside our window on Halloween night. President told us to be inside by 7, even though barely anyone here celebrates Halloween. So we made nachos for dinner as a flat and then did flat role plays because we are that consecrated lol.

 A beautiful lake we passed when our ward mission leader, Brother Arnold, took us to a place called Crackinback (that is really what it's called) in our ward about 2 hours away. Apparently a family with some members lives there. That is how huge our area is and why it would be great to open up a branch in Cooma again, so they would only have to drive one hour to church instead of two.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Happy Halloween everybody!

Not many here like celebrating Halloween because they consider it a pagan holiday, haha. I've learned to just not bring it up with people. It is starting to become a thing here though. We had a Joint ward Trunk of Treat at the church with the Woden ward, which was really fun! Felt like I was in America again! There was a potential investigator saved in our phone who we texted about it (because we texted everyone about it) and she said she wanted to go. We had a hard time finding a ride for her though because so many from our ward were not going. Very different from back home!

Another funny story from us texting everyone in our contacts was last weekend when the sisters in Belconnen ward had a baptism. Sister Haretuku sent out a mass text saying "Hey, would you like to come to a baptism today?". It was so funny because so many people thought that we were asking if they wanted to be baptized that day! The funniest response was a potential Paul, who asked "Can I get my two babies done?". We died laughing in personal study when we read that! But hey, it made me realize that a lot of people do have that desire, they just don't understand the commitment that baptism is and they amazing promised blessing that come as we keep that commitment.

But anyway, this week we were not able to meet with all the investigators we wanted to, but I still have hope for them, even if they don't have much for themselves right now. Simone came to our joint ward Halloween activity which was a miracle, and she brought her kids, and a friend who is struggling, and her daughter as well. She is already a great missionary and she's not a member yet! Unfortunately, she is having some doubts and uncertainty, especially because her husband doesn't like us doing the lessons and doesn't want her kids involved at all. She knows it is all true though, so she will get there.

We have also been realizing that there is a lot of strengthening we need to do for the Tuggeranong Ward too right now, as it seems like many are struggling spiritually. We have a few ideas for that, so we will let you know how it goes.

We have a new investigator named Christian, an Italian guy with a young family, who seems pretty serious about the lessons as well so fingers crossed! I really want to focus on finding new investigators this week too who are really prepared for the gospel at this time.

Have a wonderful week everyone one, and a happy Halloween!

Sister Pace

Above:  We are so used to seeing the signs that say "DO NOT KNOCK" on doors, so when we saw a broken doorbell with a "please knock" sign over it, I said "don't mind if I do!"

2- My new flat mate from Samoa, Sister Tupuola!

3 & 4 - Pics with the beautiful sky in Cooma this week (with companion, Sis. Haretuku):

Sunday, October 22, 2017

23 October 2017 Letter


This week has, once again, held so many miracles!

We have been able to meet with Simone and Melody, investigators who have been having difficult times, but are still striving to learn the gospel because they know it is what will help them most in life. We had church in Cooma on Sunday and investigators, Richard and Jim came, which was really exciting to see! We think that Richard will benefit more from the elders so they will be teaching him from now on. It is good that we have elders because I think we will be able to accomplish more of what Heavenly Father has planned for our area.

We had a miracle last night, when we taught an investigator, Evone, and her partner Kwadjo (Jo), who is now a new investigator too! Neither of them had a chance to read from the Book of Mormon over the past week, so we read with them, starting at the title page and introduction. Like our first visit with Jo, he was blown away at everything we read, especially the part in the introduction where Joseph Smith says it is the most correct of any book on Earth. Jo said that it was a huge statement but that it makes him want to know if it's true. He said he feels like this could be the answer he has been looking for to help him and his kids, like this is the missing puzzle piece! It was amazing because that is exactly what I have always hoped that investigators would realize more quickly about the Book of Mormon. We testified and promised that it really is what he has been searching for and the thing that will help him and his family the most in life. It was so cool! Evone was really involved too and wanted to know where the book tells about our day. We directed her to 2 Nephi 27 I think, so they are both excited to read. At the end we asked Jo if he would be baptized if he came to find it was true. He responded "well I wouldn't have a choice if I knew it was true". I thought that was awesome because he really understands and wants to follow Jesus Christ.

Sister Haretuku is from Whangarei, New Zealand, and is the 3rd of 7 kids in her family.  She's 21 and been out just one transfer less than me.   I love teaching with Sister Haretuku because I feel like we are really able to invite the spirit together to have meaningful lessons, and she is good at asking inspired questions. She is also so fun and we laugh a lot. Things are good! I hope life is for you all as well!  Read from the Book of Mormon every day this week to bring God's guidance and help and light into your life!

Love you all!
Sister Pace

Photo above:  The East family (one of my favorite families in the ward) fed us kangaroo burgers last night! They were interesting, but not bad!

Photo below:  Headed to Cooma with Sister Tan, our favorite and only ward missionary:)

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!