Sunday, March 26, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017
So this week there has been so much I don’t even know where to begin. The biggest news: I have been transferred to Mittagong Branch yesterday! It is in the South Coast Zone which means it is beautiful. Apparently it has rained every day the past couple weeks. I feel like I am in Oregon or something, which I love! Also, my new comp is Sister Sumaribos, from the Philippines! She is so sweet and cool. She has only been out in the field for 3 weeks, which scared me a lot when I first found out, especially Mittagong being a new area for me as well. But she is so sweet and cool and doesn't seem to need much more training which is good! She is 26 and already got her degree in teaching high school. She's basically a rock star, I am going to love being with her! Being in a Branch and in the "bush" or more country area is going to be way different, I can already tell. Apparently there are about 50-60 active members and the area is huge. When we were driving on the highway to Sydney for transfers yesterday, one of the Elders told me where my area starts. About an hour later, he informed me that we were still in my area! It’s going to be crazy figuring out how to get to all of these places and use the kilometers on our car wisely, but we'll do it. I already really like the people I've met. Also, our flat is apparently the best one in the mission because it used to be a senior missionary couple's flat. Its basically a house to the two of us, which is awesome for everything besides cleaning.
My last week in Canberra was super good. I am going to miss seeing Sister Nilsson, Mills, and Kapu all the time:/ I loved my district so much! and the whole Canberra zone. I’m excited to get to know other missionaries though.
One of the Elder's investigators, Wyman, got baptized on Saturday. I don’t know if you remember me writing about him at the beginning of my mission, but he was one of the first people I ever talked to on the street and it was a miracle because we weren’t even talking to him, but he overheard what we were saying to another guy and wanted to know about Jesus Christ. Anyway, we passed him to the Mandarin speaking Elders and they did a great job teaching him. I got to give the talk on baptism which was really cool:)
Apparently Ali moved to Sydney so we are trying to get his info so the missionaries there can teach him. Arsene, recent convert Grace's brother, is doing so good. I think he will be baptized this transfer. He is learning all he can and contributing in church lessons. I will miss him and Grace. The other day, they started remembering all these bible songs their mom had taught them when they were little and singing them for us in Swahili. It was so sweet to hear them tell stories about their mom, who has passed. Grace started teaching one of the songs about Ezekiel.
On Friday, we had a great District Training meeting where everyone bore testimony. I love getting to bear my testimony in small groups because I don’t feel pressured to say a certain thing and I learn a lot about myself and others. I have learned a lot about myself and my weaknesses and strengths this past transfer with Sister Nilsson and I am so grateful for that. Life is good when I am trying to be better and humble every day.
On my last Sunday in Canberra, I was asked to participate in every meeting in Ginninderra ward. I gave the opening prayer in Sacrament Meeting, taught repentance in Gospel Principles with Sis NIlsson, and bore my testimony in Relief Society. I love both Ginninderra and Belconnen wards a lot and I will miss the people, especially the Loney's:( I took heaps of pics so hopefully I have enough time to attach some!
River Hike with Canberra Zone a couple of P-Days ago:
With Sister Mills
With the Clarks
Below: Paita between Sisters Pace and Nilsson;
and Wyman's Baptism
Monday, March 13, 2017
G ‘day mates!
It’s been a great week with so many miracles and tender mercies from the Lord (as usual when we are working hard and having faith).
The most exciting thing was that we put Ali on date for baptism for April 8th! (we're probably going to have to change it because that is when conference is, lol) We have to teach him really slowly because of the language barrier, but he is so willing and eager to learn! Apparently when we invited him to come to Stuart's baptism (one of the Elders' investigators) he thought we were going to baptize him! And he came! haha. We explained to him that it will take some time to learn the basics but that he will get there. He has been looking for the truth and a happier life for a while now. He has had a really sad past:( Because of it he is super humble and really needs the gospel in his life. We are so excited for him and the beautiful change this will be for him!
We also have a new investigator named Arsene. I sent a picture of his little sister, Grace, who is a recent convert. They came here as refugees from the Congo and they are both so fun and cool. He told us that he has been "lost" for too long and wants to commit to a religion. He wants to know which one is the truth of all of them. He loves learning and he is already progressing.
We had a lesson with Norbert on Tuesday and he broke our heart and told us that he is going to Africa for 3 months to do more research for his HIV antibiotic. He is so good though, and will definitely progress when he gets back. He even said he wishes he could postpone his trip to learn more.
On Sunday, I got to experience a sacrament meeting and relief society meeting in a branch, which is a lot smaller than a ward. There is an city, in Ginninderra ward, called Goulburn and it is an hour away from Canberra. There are a couple sisters and families that drive an hour from Goulburn to church EVERY WEEK! So once a month, they have a meeting up there instead. Several Ginninderra ward, and stake members have to come as well to make it work. There are mostly just sisters there, so not a lot of priesthood holders. That's why they aren't an official branch yet. It was interesting to have the sacrament in a scout hall, and then a primary and relief society were just on opposite sides of the hall so sometimes, it was a little hard to hear. We drove with Sister Loney and Sister Reaside, who are both in the Ginninderra relief society presidency.
Last night we had a surprise sleepover for Sister Mills and Sister Bird, who are both going home next week at the Clark's house. It was way fun! I love the sisters in the zone, they are all so fun. Especially my flat mates. Many of the nights in our flat consist of wrestling matches or dance offs.
Overall, great things are happening here in Canberra! I am building more confidence the more I teach people and handle different situations. Now I'm just scared that I will very likely be transferred next week :/ I'm excited for whatever is coming next though. The mission is such an adventure every day and it’s best when I just lose myself in the busy days. Thanks for the emails and love! I hope you all make this week a great one!
1-driving back from Sydney after our mission tour with President Halleck of the seventy.
2-the famous "Big Merino" sheep in Goulburn (Above). You can climb up inside it and look out its eyes at the gas station across the street, haha.
1- Almost swapped name tags after changing in the car after we cleaned a nasty house with mice in it.
2,3-bringing all the blankets to the sleepover!
Sunday, March 5, 2017
This week, we witnessed a lot of miracles and tender mercies.
We got two new investigators! The first is named Norbert. He is this super cool guy in probably his late 60's from Uganda! He has amazing fashion sense. He is always wearing cool hats and ascots. Some other sisters referred him to us. He is a genetics scientist and is inventing some sort of antibiotic to cure HIV. He is pretty busy trying to submit that to MIT right now, but he is still very interested in learning. His interest was piqued because he wanted to know what causes us to believe and have so much faith because he doesn't believe that so many people who have joined the church could all be deceived. So far we have taught him twice and are going to continue to go back!
The other new investigator is Xiang. He just moved here a month or so ago and is going to ANU (Australian National Univ.). He was born in China but grew up mostly in Germany, so he knows German better than he knows Chinese (weird, I know). His English is great too though. He is agnostic so he doesn't really believe in God or not believe in Him. We taught him the Plan of Salvation. He thinks it will be hard for him to progress and understand because it is all so new to him and it is hard to charge your way of thinking after 20 years, but I think he will be surprised at how much it will make sense to him as we continue teaching him. He asked a good question when we asked if he would pray about what we were teaching and the Book of Mormon are true. He wanted to know if praying would still work if he isn't sure if God is real or not. We told him that that is something he can pray and ask God, if He is really there. We are really excited about both of these guys!
We also got to visit Grace (a recent convert from the Congo) this week, after a long time of not seeing her. She has to work all the time to support herself. She lives with her brother, Arsene, so we got to meet him too. We were just joking around when Grace randomly asks "can you explain to my brother what the Holy Ghost is?". Apparently he had a lot of random questions about the church from when he had previously been investigating it. It was really good to try and clarify some things and talk a lot about the Book of Mormon. He had never opened it before and he has the same question that Joseph Smith had, that is, Which of all the religions has the truth out of Mormonism, Christianity, and science? We told him that he would be able to find out for himself the truth of the restored gospel as he reads from the Book of Mormon. He and Grace are going to start reading it together. He even came to church yesterday, when Grace had to work! Miracles.
As for our investigator, Ali, he has been really busy with work this past week, but we are going to teach him this week.
Overall, things are going really good, and I am loving serving my mission. Recently, I have been trying to look at things in a brighter light and smile more. It’s amazing how much that can change your perspective of everything around you. Life is good, God is so loving, and Christ is so merciful to us when we come to him with our struggles in difficult times. In gospel principles yesterday, we learned that the word Atonement was made up by the guy who translated the bible into English (I think) because there wasn't a word in English that described all that Christ does for us well enough. At/one-ment literally means to become at one with God and His will for us. And that is only possible through Jesus Christ! I am so grateful for the gospel and how it can help me be happy and learn through every situation!
This is Norbert! He is so cool! (above)
The following pictures that Emmalynn tried to send didn’t come through, but I’ve attached a couple that another missionary mom posted from the river hike:
On Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 1:03 PM, Emmalynn Pace <email@example.com> wrote:
1&2- Roo sighting
3- Sister Clark and I matched on Sunday
On Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 1:01 PM, Emmalynn Pace <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
River HIke 4
On Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 1:00 PM, Emmalynn Pace <email@example.com> wrote:
River Hike 3
2- Sister Mills
3- Sisters Bird, Bergoyne, Nilsson, and Kapu
On Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 12:57 PM, Emmalynn Pace <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
River Hike 2
On Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 12:56 PM, Emmalynn Pace <email@example.com> wrote:
My first hike in 'Straya last P-Day! With most of the zone