Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Missionary work brings happiness!

This week was really good. This coming week is the last week of my second transfer, which blows my mind! Thursday I hit my three month mark. Time is flying and it really makes me want to appreciate each moment! Thursday was also Australia Day. It was fun getting to say "Happy Australia Day!" to everyone met, especially the ones who rejected us at the door. Yesterday, I was thinking about my plane ride here, and how it took me 15 hours to work up the nerve to talk to the man across the aisle from me (granted, he was sleeping pretty much the whole time). But now, that wouldn't be nearly as hard for me. It's amazing what wonders the Lord can work in us when we let Him by stepping out of our comfort zones and into our growth zones. I still get a little nervous introducing my religion to random people, but it is so much easier now.
We had to do a lot of re-evaluating this week, of which of our investigators are actually on the path towards progressing, and which ones we need to drop. It was good because we are focusing our time where it will be most beneficial.
Steven is still reading and praying, but he said he is not in a rush to get baptized into another church. We invited him to pray about baptism specifically, and if he should. We really need him to get the desire for himself. If you want to include him in your prayers, that would be good.
We were able to have another lesson with Chloe (12) and Leland (10) the other day finally. We taught them the restoration of the gospel by putting together a puzzle of a picture of Jesus Christ, with each point being a different piece. I love the faith that kids have. We have seen that a lot. Many adults are just so hardened because of the trails of life, but kids are so trusting and full of faith. At the end of the lesson, I was inviting them to baptism by saying, "if, when you pray about these things, you find out that it's true..." then Leland stops me and says "it IS true!" It surprised me. I love that!
This Wednesday, we have a multi-zone conference where they will teach us more about the new schedule for missionaries and different key indicators. Usually, for key indicators, we count all of our lessons. Now it is more just counting the major things like baptisms, new investigators, and investigators who attend church. I think I will like this because I am always stressing about getting a lesson in with people even when it feels forced or unnatural, just so that there are numbers to prove our efforts for the day. Now I think it will be easier for me to focus on building a good relationship with people before we dive into teaching, which I think will benefit all of our missionary work. There are so many good changes happening in missionary work and I love it!
A few other cool things happened. One night, we were knocking doors in a complex of flats. After talking to one lady for a while, we contemplated going back to the flat to do half an hour of our first 12 weeks training study, but we decided to knock one more door. A man named Adam answered. We got into as long conversation (mostly him talking) about how there is no evidence of God in history or science and how religion is just a way to make the powerful more successful and put the poor in greater poverty. It was hard for us to get a few words in even though we felt like we had the answers to every question he had! When we got little chances to speak we mostly just testified. I really felt Gods' love for this man, and knew how much He wants him to come back to Him. Eventually, it all came down to the Book of Mormon because that is our "proof" of our faith. He ended up being really nice and got us water because he felt bad for making us stand there in the sweaty stair well for so long. He's just really passionate about what he believes. He said we could come drop off a Book of Mormon the next day because we didn't have one. We may never know what came of that night, but we hope that He reads it and feels the spirit testifying that it is true.
We also had a cool old guy answer his door one day and immediately invite us into his back yard to teach him about our message. he said he had heard it before but had recently had a stroke and forgotten lots of things. Then his neighbor came over. Turns out he is a catholic priest and she comes over often to get counsel from him. We had a good conversation with both of them. We purposely left the BOM on his table when we left. when we were putting our next destination into our GPS, he came out to our car and tried to give it back. We assured him that we wanted him to have it. He looked happy to keep it after that. We are excited to follow up with him!
Besides that, I am happy and having a great time! It is so so hot here. President is allowing us to have a zone water fight at the lake later today because today is especially hot. I'm so excited!
Sister Pace

1-We see incredible sunsets so often!
2- CHezzels and ginger beer from one of our favorite members, Joy.
3- when we were stranded outside the chapel, eating dinner.

Also, if the videos come through, one is of our FHE with the Amosa family last week, the other is my first time experiencing vegemite because Sister Ireland made me. I was avoiding it, but I think I like it!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Two Emails: This Week and Last

Monday, January 16, 2017:
This week has been pretty good. Sister Nilsson and I are still trying to figure out what works and what doesn't in planning and working with people. I think we are getting a little better every day though. I am trying to work harder to make good relationships with ward members and investigators, instead of just jumping straight into the lesson. Sister Nilsson and I have a great relationship and we are trying to help each other understand what we need to work on, as we are both new. Overall, things are going good! We are trying to get our investigators progressing, so that is one of our goals this week. We also have some potentials that seem really golden that we are excited about! I am still trying to figure out how I can really lose myself in the work and be as happy and positive as I can be, but I am praying for those blessings right now and things are already improving.
That is what I sent to my mission president this week, to give a brief overview of how it went. But to add a few more details:
-On Monday night, after p-day, both our appointments fell through which we were sad about but it was ok because we got to meet Mohsen and Jason! Two different occasions, but we gave each a Book of Mormon. I invited Jason to be baptized if he ever found out for himself that the Book of Mormon was true, He said " sure I'd be baptized again!" haha, apparently he has already been baptized twice in to two different churches. He's a character, but he's so nice. Mohsen was really cool. He said that every Christian religion claims to have the truth and the only way to salvation. It was really cool to be able to testify that the Book of Mormon is proof of the true restored gospel of Jesus Christ!
-On Wednesday, we visited the Vuki family, because sister Vuki just got out of the hospital. Sister Vuki is Samoan and Brother Vuki is Tongan. They have 8 kids all 13 years old and younger, 1 boy and 7 girls! We went to see if she needed help with anything. Turns out her kids are all well trained in their specific roles and jobs so they ended up serving us. They gave each of us a huge bowl of watermelon and we had a good chat and spiritual thought. We got to talking about missions, all the girls were saying what year they will serve their missions in. It was cool to see that they were all planning on going and already being missionaries to their friends. It made me re-appreciate how cool it is that I get to be serving my mission RIGHT NOW! Every minute of my mission is precious and I need to be using all of it as productively as I can in doing the work of salvation.
-Thursday  President and Sister Back came down to Canberra for interviews. It was so good to get to talk to them, know them better, and talk about how we are feeling. It was so good to get motivation from them, to recenter on my purpose as a missionary and the joyful part of the work. They are so encouraging and kind to us! I will be sad to see them go back home to Sandy, Utah in July.
-Friday we had trade offs with the Sister Training Leaders. Sister Whaanga (pronounced Fanga) came to my area. She is from Auckland, New Zealand  and she's really cool. All the islanders eat a lot and not a lot of healthy foods. Sister Whaanga kept asking me "do you ever eat?" or "are you on a diet or something?" haha I always thought I ate a lot but I guess not. It was cool to learn from her. She is really natural with people and she always knows what to say. We had an interesting experience following up with a potential, Stuart. His roommate Jeremy was there and he immediately started telling us about all of his "spiritual experiences" a.k.a. his exorcism practices and how his friend is a shape shifter... It was hard to get a word in, but eventually he was just talking at Sister Whaanga while  I gave Stuart the briefest overview ever of about the Plan of Salvation. I'm not sure how successful it was because it must have been really hard to feel the spirit. Hopefully Jeremy will be sober next time.
-Sunday we got to teach young women's in the Ginninderra ward! It was really fun, we taught about setting meaningful goals that our Heavenly Father wants us to set. I think I'd like to be a young women's teacher someday.

I don't know if  I mentioned, but Sister Nilsson, my companion is from Raymond, Alberta, Canada. We work well together and I love her! She is super sassy and we have a lot of fun.

We weren't able to have lessons with our investigators Steven or Elwyn the past week, but this week we will and we are excited about them!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Remember to put the Lord first, then everything else will fall into place.

Sister Pace
1&2- The district Ginninderra and Belconnen wards. Sister Nilsson and I are in both and the Elders are split between the two. Front Row: Elders Ross (Washington), Whitlock (Utah), Miller (Utah), and Smith (Utah)
Back Row: Me, Sister Nilsson (Canada), Elders Lee (New Zealand), Dereag (Utah), Flandro (Philadelphia), and Farreira (Brazil)
3-Our sweet ride
4-me, trying to take more pictures
5-Sister Nilsson is the cutest
5 Attachments

Monday, January 23, 2017: 
This week was super good and super-fast. It’s amazing how fast time flies when you are trying to work as hard as you can. I'm sorry the email last week didn't send through, I have no idea why but I sent it again so hopefully you will be getting double this week.
We got to have another lesson with our new investigator, Elwyn, finally! His girlfriend Bindy was there but we still sat on his back porch steps because he just moved into his house and doesn't have any furniture yet. He has a lot of super deep questions and sometimes we don't know what he's talking about but we do our best to answer  by the spirit and he's always satisfied with what we give him. We wanted to teach the plan of salvation, but ended up only talking about the atonement. We talked about how Christ has experienced every trial and feeling, so he can help and comfort us in every situation. It was really good. Bindy participated too. We are hoping we can keep teaching her as well. He always jokes with us and sends us really sketchy and confusing text messages, but he just reassured us that he just likes to tease like an older brother. In his prayers, he refers to us as "my sisters here".
We also had a good lesson with our investigator, Steven, this week and his mom, Elizabeth, who is already a member. She is from Papua New Guinea(if that is how you spell it?) We started teaching him the first couple commandments and he received them well. We tried to emphasize keeping the Sabbath day holy and helping him see why coming to church is important, as that is the only commitment he is having trouble doing. He still didn't come on Sunday. We think he has some sort of social anxiety. But Brett, our ward mission leader said that he is going to try inviting him to his house and hopefully their friendship will help Steven feel more comfortable coming to church. I think the lessons are good for Elizabeth too, as she is a convert of 4 or so years and struggles to understand the Book of Mormon, which we read and discuss a lot.
As for our "investigator" Jason, I was flicking through the ward list after we had a really good first lesson with him on Tuesday, and right there on the Belconnen ward list, I see his name! We were flabbergasted. After talking to Brett about it later, we found out that he was baptized into our church 15 years ago but had disappeared soon after. He has a few mental problems and it might involve his memory. We are sad that we don't have such a solid investigator anymore, but we're happy that we found him and will hopefully be able to reactivate him. He was at church on Sunday:)
Another Miracle was, our long-term investigator Bree came to church on Sunday! We have family home evening with her and her partner's family, the Amosa's, a Samoan family in our ward, every Monday night. Her partner is not very supportive though and we think that is what really holds her back. We had a really good FHE last week where we talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and encouraged them all to find something they could try repenting of. Usually, no matter how hard we try, she never comes to church, so that was a miracle. We have another good lesson planned for FHE tonight so hopefully we can keep making progress with her.
I am really trying to be more bold and loving with those we teach. Sometimes the things missionaries invite people to do can be hard for them, but I still need to invite them to make commitments with the Lord, because that is what will bring them closer to Him, and bring them greater happiness and peace than they have yet experienced. I am usually way too apologetic in my invitations but I shouldn't be because it really is simply what the Saviour would invite them to do out of love for them. This is the work of salvation, so we don't need to be apologetic or scared!
Lastly, this week, I am grateful for the scriptures. Especially the Book of Mormon. Our new schedule allows us more time to ourselves in the mornings and in the evenings. President encouraged us to use a little of that time reading a chapter of the BOM in the morning and before we go to bed. He thinks this is way more likely to develop into a life-long habit than just 3 straight hours of scripture study in the morning ever could. I am not perfect at it yet, but already, I see the benefit it brings my days. The Book of Mormon was written by prophets called by God specifically for the challenges we would face TODAY. We can learn so much from it if we take it slow and pray for the spirit to teach us what Heavenly Father wants us to learn. I love the BOM!
Thanks for all the constant support and love, Its what gets me through the rough times!

Sister Pace
The pictures are of last p-day when we went to the Australian war memorial in Civic (the Canberra town center)
3 Attachments

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Miracles in Every Day

Hello! I think my email and pictures may not have sent last week so you might be getting double today.
This week was good. Monday was pretty hard, Sister Nilsson and I are not that great at planning yet and everyone seems to go out of town until February, when school starts back up here. So things are still a little slow, but getting better. On Monday, most of our appointments fell through so we ended up door knocking the last hour and a half of the day. It wasn't until our last door that we met a man named Brett who was willing to listen and have us back.
Tuesday was preparation day, that's why my email was late. That night we had splits for Ginninderra ward. I went with sister Loney, the ward mission leader's wife who is so great. We went to see Aining, a recent convert from Indonesia. We discovered that it is really hard for her to understand what is going on in most of the lessons and talks at church with the language barrier, but she still goes every week because she knows its what's right. So I helped her figure out how to get to all the lesson manuals on the gospel library app on her iPad. I would have never thought that I would be able to help someone figure out technology. On Sunday I sat next to her in relief society and tried to explain things to her as we went. It's cool because we are better friends now.
Wednesday we had a lesson with our investigator, Steven. He still hasn't come to church:( He is enjoying reading the BOM though, and we are trying to help him see why all of these things are important, and get the desire to come for himself, and not for us. We also taught a potential investigator, Loisa. She is a really cool older lady who is protestant (we have met tons of protestants this week for some reason, they all seem really cool). We had a good discussion with her about how our faith helps us through life and we tried to explain the Book of Mormon to her and its importance. We're not sure how keen (a word I've picked up here in Aussie-land) she is about reading it but we are going to keep visiting her and help her daughter, who she lives with, move soon.
Thursday we were able to meet up with Melanie again. Our investigator who I thought was avoiding us. We had a good chat with her and her less active mom, Kim. They will talk your ear off, so hopefully we can get more teaching in the next lesson, but we are happy they have opened the door again!
Friday we had dinner with an inactive member, Siope (from Tonga), and his fiancĂ© Emma. Sipoe knows that he's not living his life right and he wants to be active again after he and Emma get married. But that's not going to be for over a year according to Emma's plans. But he surprised us and said that he really wants Emma to start taking the missionary lessons so she can know for herself what its about! Emma is really cool and open to it so we are going to start teaching them every Wednesday!
Saturday we had a crazy miracle! All our appointments fell through, and we were knocking doors on a random street, wondering if we were really doing any good (how we usually feel right before something amazing happens). Then a man named Elwyn answered his door and says "uh oh, are you the Mormons?" So we didn't think this was going to be good but then he immediately invited us to sit with him on his back patio. He said that he had literally just been reading in the bible in Matthew chapter 10 where Jesus is instructing his disciples to go and preach his gospel and not worry about their basic necessities because he will provide. He thought it was crazy how we had knocked on the door exactly as he read that verse. He also said that Mormons have been "attacking him" recently, meaning that he has had a lot of encounters with Mormons the past few weeks, and weird dreams about how he needs to change the path his life is taking. So after explaining this to us, he said, " so what's all this about?" We were shocked because he wanted us to start teaching him then and there! So we dove right into the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. he received it really well! He accepted our invitation to read and pray about the BOM and asked where and when our church is. He wasn't able to make it because he had an "appointment" on Sunday but we are really excited about teaching him and helping him take steps to help him come closer to Christ  and improve his life!
Sunday, 8 hours of church was awesome as usual. Later in the night, we met the sweetest lady, named Gwen. She was just sitting on her porch with her dog and started talking to us immediately. She said she is in her 70's and has dementia. She was so kind and kept telling us we were beautiful:) We asked if she had ever heard our message and she invited us in. We didn't get very far in a lesson because she would start repeating questions she had already asked us but we said a prayer with her and she was in tears at the end. She is so sweet and we will probably keep visiting her every now and then, even if she can't progress towards baptism in this life.
I hope that this more detailed than usual email makes up for previous really short ones! overall the week was full of so many blessings and miracles. Also, our missionary schedule just changed so that we have an extra half hour in the morning and evening so we can read our scriptures throughout the whole day to become more in tune with the spirit. We also have more time to write in our journals and can go to bed earlier now, which is so good for me!
We encountered many naked people this week. I guess it's just too hot here to wear clothes so most of the men we encounter are shirtless and when we went to a less active members home the other day, he mom wasn't wearing pants during the whole visit! That one was a little much for me but I guess it's her house haha.
It has been so cool to see my prayers to be able to find those individuals who are prepared to receive the gospel, be answered this week. And multiple times! I know that God hears our prayers and he wants to give us blessing and he will if we are obedient, work hard, and ask in faith. Some blessings, he is just waiting to give us, but we just have to ask for them! I'm happy to be a missionary because I know that I am doing the most important work in the world. And I'm so grateful I have family and friends who support me so well through the whole thing! I love you all! Its going to be a great new year!

Sister Pace

1. Signs like these make me even more excited to knock on their door....luckily this dog was not like it's description at all, haha
2. I feel extremely loved from all the thoughtful Christmas cards. I especially am enjoying the 2017 Pace family calendar!
3. The one and only...... Sister Nilsson
4.lucky for me, Sister Nilsson likes to drive in front of the Australian national Library, where we email

P.S.  Emmalynn also just got the letters that the Calico Ridge Ward Primary sent to her.  She really appreciates them and sends hugs and kisses to all.