Feb 6, 2017 Letter
This week was really good! It started out with a multi-zone missionary conference where they broadcasted a worldwide missionary devotional where Elders Oaks, Anderson, Bednar, Sister Oscarson, and a few other general authorities talked about applying our purpose of teaching repentance and baptizing converts, how to teach and live according to that. They also talked about the new missionary schedule and how we will now only report on 4 key indicators. After they talked about them on the video broadcast, all of us missionaries had a discussion about it. Basically the benefit of the schedule change is that we get to practice our agency with how we want to organize and spend our time instead of it being an exactly set schedule. The main benefit of the key indicators (now we only report on baptisms, new investigators, and investigators who attend sacrament meeting) is that it is focused more on the progression of those we teach instead of trying to get a high number for lessons taught. I really like this change already because it has helped me build stronger relationships with those we teach rather than just looking at our visit with them as a number.
It was a really motivating conference! I also got to see my past companions SIster Ockey and Sister Fotu, and another MTC bud Sister Howard. It was so good to see them all again! Sister Fotu goes home back to Tonga this week, which is so crazy to me! She is so sweet and I’ll miss her. She gave me a photo album of pictures from last transfer, which I absolutely love!
Today is actually the start of another transfer. Sister Nilsson and I are still together! The other day, Sister Back called us and said they were contemplating taking us out of one of our wards because there is too much work to do. We said we were handling it pretty well but that it might be nice to just focus on one ward. Now Sister Mills and Sister Kapu, I think, are moving in with us. We have flat-mates, woohooo!! I guess they will be mostly working with the YSA because they are trying to form a branch, I think. Basically the YSA is really weak here and needs help. We are not sure if they are taking one of our wards or not yet, so we will see. I hope they do because recently it has been a bit overwhelming trying to visit and work with all the people we want to. Especially the less active members, there are SO many here.
Besides that, the week was pretty average. We met with Steven again and had a good chat. He acknowledged that he is moving at a snail's pace but that is just how he is. He reads the Book of Mormon a lot and understands the concepts of each chapter really well. He is not ready to step out of his comfort zone and come to church yet though. He does have some mental or social anxieties so it will just take a little longer with him. I think that he will eventually accept the gospel though.
We met with Jason again, the less active we found. He has forgotten most things in his 14 years or so away from the church, when nobody knew where he was. We noticed he had some word of wisdom issues so we taught him about it and he immediately was willing to live it again. That same night, when Brett, our ward mission leader, and one of the elders went to visit him on splits, he dumped out a big jar of coffee in front of them and made them call us to tell us that he did it. He is so funny but has so much faith!
The good news is, school is back in now after the summer holiday so people should be more reliable! We went finding at UC (University of Canberra) on Friday and found lots of potentials! People there are much more open than door knocking. One night this week, our night appointment fell through so we door knocked a neighborhood that ended up being super crusty. We got told to buggar off (which I was told is a very bad word) by one lady and another called us disgusting. We didn't get discouraged though which is probably what those people needed to teach me. I know I can do anything now because I can door knock a crusty neighborhood after dark! I know I will be protected from physical harm and I don't have to be offended because it is not MY message I am declaring, and they reject it because they are not prepared for it yet. I am coming to learn that no matter what the situation, I can always chose to have a happy attitude.
Overall, I am loving doing the work of The Lord all day, every day! It is all I have to worry about! And I know that I am making a difference in people's lives, no matter how small it may be, just by showing them love and inviting them to Jesus Christ. Have a great week everyone!
Love, Sister Pace
The pics are of our zone water fight we had last pday! The other sisters in the one picture are L to R: Sister Whaanga, Sister Haretuku (New Zealand), and Sister Alofoki (Tonga). [These pictures didn’t actually come through this week.]
Driving to go email with our new flat mates!
13 Feb 2017 Letter
This week was really good! We have flat mates now! Its fun being with more people all the time. Their names are Sister Kapu (from Hawaii) and Sister Mills (from Idaho). They have both been out on their missions much longer than we have so I look forward to going on trade-offs with them and learning from them. They are just working with the YSA here. I think it’s under the direction of the area presidency. They want to form a branch for the YSA here (which is a small ward).
With this new transfer, there are a lot of changes in our zone. There are a lot more missionaries because we have three trios of missionaries instead of companionships and there are extra missionaries working with the YSA. Canberra was one of the smallest zones, now it is almost the biggest! There are three greenies (brand new missionaries) as well. One of them was in my institute class when I was in a BYU ward right before I left for my mission, which is cool! Her name is Sister Hampton.
This week was the hottest of my life. There was one day when I didn't stop sweating throughout the whole day. That night, we all pulled our mattresses into our tiny living room to sleep with the AC. It has cooled off though now, hopefully for good but it will probably keep getting hot until the end of Feb.
The highlight of the week was stake conference! Elder Johansson from the quorum of the 70 came and he is so cool! He is from New Zealand. In the adult session on Saturday night, He talked about how one thing that our church lacks is that we don't talk about Jesus enough. Some churches only know a little about Him but they will say a lot, whereas our church knows a lot about Him but we only say little. We get embarrassed when people are very vocal about their love and admiration for Him, but that is how we need to be! He kept saying "Hallelujah!" I loved it. He also said that latter-day saints need to be more joyful. He said that we should be the happiest people in the world because we know that through Jesus Christ, we can be happy in any situation. I know that that is true! Especially living on my mission where there are a lot of long days. I can always choose to be happy!
President and Sister Back were also at conference and president announced that the new mission president, starting at the beginning of July, will be President Bingham. He lives in Montana right now. It will be interesting to see how the two are different. I will sure miss the Backs. They are so cool and down to earth!
Not much to report with our investigators but Overall, the week was really good. I love you all, have a great week!