Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Monday, April 24, 2017

24 April 2017 Letter

Happy Birthday to Lyndsi on Saturday! I heard you went camping! Wish I could have been there, I want to hear all about the festivities! 

This week has been full of so many conferences! Our South Coast Zone Conference on Tuesday, a multi-zone conference with the church historian, Elder Snow, and his wife, and his assistant, Elder Nilsson, and his wife on Thursday, and Stake Conference on Saturday and Sunday!

The conference with the church historians was really interesting. They explained what their role is of collecting information about the church. They talked about how we make history everyday and the importance of keeping records like writing home to family and writing in a journal. The coolest part was getting to ask them questions about church history or anything we wanted to know. They know so much! It was good to hear their answers to questions we get all the time from people, especially about Joseph Smith. It was very informative. It was also fun to see missionaries I have served with in the past.

Stake conference was a really spiritually uplifting experience. Being in the chapel with so many saints again was so refreshing because the spirit was strong. It felt like Christmas or like I was at home, even though I am far away. I received an answer to a question that I was asked recently about how Mormons "earn our way to heaven" when the bible says Christ's grace is sufficient. The speaker used Brad Wilcox's analogy of piano lessons. Mom (the Savior) has already paid the price for the piano lessons. For the child (us) to practice does not pay her ( the Savior) back, but it shows our appreciation and helps us to actually benefit from the sacrifice. We ARE saved by grace, but Heavenly Father sees so much more potential in us. Anyway that was a cool to learn.

We didn't get to meet with our instigators as much as we would have liked to this week because we were out of town for a lot of the week, but the Ragg family is still doing good. WE are planning on seeing them tomorrow night. WE will be seeing Patrice on Wednesday night, and are excited about that. Hopefully more investigators will come to church this Sunday because it is not stake conference that is almost an hour away. 

We have done lots of finding this week using the Book of Mormon. Heavenly Father placed so many prepared people in our path. it was amazing! One of these experiences was meeting a guy named Lewis at the train station. HE was bummed because he had to wait for his bus for two hours. WE started telling him about the Book of Mormon, and he said he was interested. We read with him from the introduction and testified of it's truthfulness. He talked about how he has lots of questions about different religions and that everything we were saying made sense to him. We will text him this week and hopefully we will have more questions. When we were walking away from him, he was already starting to read from it! I know that there is a reason he had to wait for his bus for that long and that Heavenly Father placed him in our path. All we had to do was open our mouths and they were filled with the words to say! Heavenly Father has blessed us so much this transfer. I am pretty sure we are both staying for next transfer and  I'm excited for good things to come!

I hope you are all doing well and praying and reading the Book of Mormon daily. When we do these things with faith that we will receive help, direction, and answers, we will receive them! Love you all!

Sister Pace

Last P-day, we were in Dapto with the Dapto sisters:  Sister Samsen (fiji) and Sister Chan (Malaysia). We went to the Nan Tien Buddhist Temple (the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere)-- and to a Boardwalk next to the Lake: 

Perry Murrin!

Sisters Uelese, Chan, Pace, and Sumaribos after the multi zone conference on Thursday:

Us and Steph Bergoyne, from the Branch, after Stake Conference:

Multi-Zone Conference:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

19 April 2017 Letter

Hello and happy late Easter!

Sorry for the late email. Monday was a public holiday and yesterday was zone conference. A lady in Dapto ward said that she posted about it on FB and that my mom commented, so I'm happy you knew. Facebook is an amazing thing.

The past week has been a really happy one with Easter. I spoke about Easter according to the bible in sacrament meeting. It was so good for me to brush up on the four gospels and the actual story of Easter from the Last Supper to The Resurrection. I have been focusing mostly on the Book of Mormon lately, which tells me more how I can use the Savior's Atonement in my life. It was good to think about all the actual events that occurred. The branch also put together a little choir to sing He is Risen too, which was nice. One of our investigators, a 9-year old girl named Kaitlyn, came with her mom too :)

The rest of the day, we mostly just tracted around, handing out the Easter Initiative cards, and spreading Easter cheer. It reminded me of Christmas and sharing the Christmas video with people. If you haven't seen the Prince of Peace and the Principles of Peace videos, I would recommend them! They help us to understand how we can access the peace, joy, and power that the Savior can give us.

On Thursday night, we went to a play that the Anglican church put on for Easter because one of our investigators, Steve, was acting in it. It was called "The Mark Drama" and they acted out the whole gospel of Mark in 90 minutes. It was really cool to see it all so quickly. It made me think a lot about the Atonement, and how our church looks at it differently from others. How we don't dwell on the cross but on the Resurrection. And how we all have different interpretations of the Savior's attitude, personality, and nature. I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon, that helps me more fully understand who Jesus Christ is and All he did for us in preforming the Atonement. It clarifies the bible and the bible helps clarify and explain the Book of Mormon. It's so cool! It was fun to go to a play, it reminded me of the "Savior of the World" play that dad was in once, except they were just wearing regular clothes and much more dramatic.

The Ragg family is doing good. We are going to try to meet with them more often during the week if we can. We have just been reading from the BOM with them lately. It is cool to see that they are really taking it in and understanding! Mia asked how you become a "one of us" and we got to talking about baptism. They want to have their kids baptized into a church and have lots of questions so we will teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ lesson next. They seem really prepared! Keep them in your prayers! They haven't been able to come to church yet, so hopefully soon!

We won’t be able to meet with Patrice this week because we had a conference on Tuesday and one tomorrow in Sydney, on the day we were planning, but we are excited to start teaching her.

We have a few new investigators so hopefully we can help some of them to progress.

Zone Conference was really great yesterday. I love seeing all the missionaries in my zone and especially getting to see President and Sister Back! The theme was a talk called "the Consecrated Missionary", but I mostly just got out of it that I need to be constantly looking to the Savior because He offers peace and eternal life. I can look to Him by continually learning more about Him and always reaching for Him through prayer and repentance(change for the better).

I love you all and I appreciate all the love so much! Make it a great week!

Sister Pace

P.S. Mom, you asked what part of my day is the hardest, and I would probably say the mornings right when we start proselyting and it is a little bit slower.  And planning out the day is a little stressful sometimes because we want to make sure we are going by the Spirit but we also have a limited number of kilometers in our car that we need to carefully plan. Each day is different though and we experience miracles daily. Every day gets a little better I think. Prayer is so powerful and the answer to every problem, so I am so grateful to have that and better understand how to pray with a sincere heart.

Thanks for all the pictures, have a great week!

The Ragg Family!  Me, Sumaribos, Mia, Lexi, Kayla, Cane, and Michael (Cane's little brother who was there that night):

Sister Back!  She and President Back are so cool!  I love them and will miss them when they go in July. :(

Sister Fifita from New Zealand <3 :

Sisters Fifita and Sumaribos:

 All the Filipinas and me at zone conference yesterday (Sisters Sumaribos, Villanueva, and Yuson).  They are so tiny! :  

Beautiful (and chilly) Bowral, Australia:

Trade-offs in Nowra with Sister Uelese from New Zealand.  She is the best!  We did finding outside the mall by passing out Easter Eggs to people.  So fun!:

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Happy B-day Mom!!!!!!!! 10 April 2017 Letter

Its the 10th in Australia! That means it's my wonderful mother's birthday! I hope that you got my birthday card by now and that you have too much fun celebrating! I love you soooooo much! Also thank you so much for the Easter package! You are the most thoughtful mother on the planet! I shared my American candy (Swedish fish and sour patch) with Elder Crowten, who is obsessed with them and been missing them, so he was happy about that.

This week has been so good! Mostly because of general conference. I went into conference praying to have some questions answered and receive guidance for specific things I struggle with and questions our investigators have had, and I think every single talk answered my questions and spoke peace to my soul in some way! I am so grateful for the organization of the church and especially the restored gospel on the Earth now! A few favorites were President Monson's on the importance of the Book of Mormon, President Ucthdorf's, and Gary B Sabin's about "standing up inside" and being "all in", very applicable to whatever situation you're in. I like how president Uchtdorf said that as God's covenant people, we need not be paralyzed by fear because something bad might happen. We can move forward with faith and trust in the Lord, He is always with us! And because of that,  I can find joy and hope in each and every day!

We have a few new investigators this week! We met a woman named Marie door knocking this week. She immediately let us in to share a message, she is the nicest person I have ever met! She is so stylish and her house looks like a gingerbread house. She was playing scrabble with her grand kids and baking cookies before we came. Basically she is my mom! She is already really Christian which is great, hopefully we can help her understand the importance of the restored gospel. She tried coming to church on Sunday, but there was a miscommunication about time, so hopefully next week for Easter! I have to give a talk and I’m singing in the choir, woohooo!

Another one is Patrice, the daughter of one of our less active members. We are going to start teaching both of them!

The Ragg family is still doing good! There is always a lot going on in their house and sometimes it’s hard to get them all settled down, but we are going slowly but surely! They are planning on coming to Easter Sunday as well!

One of the inactive members, called us this week after we tried to visit and left a note for her. She basically said to quit harassing her and she is calling her lawyer to put an end to it. SO that was a little scary, but that’s what happens when two new sisters get put in the area and don’t know lol. I hope she doesn't sue the church. I was feeling a little down after that, but then  I realized  I was letting Satan win. We can't control the agency of others, but we can always control how we respond to it and feel about it.

There were so many other miracles this week, as there are every week. I am grateful for the companionship of the Holy Ghost whom we learned so much about in conference. When I don't know what to say to people, the Holy Ghost always brings things to my remembrance that are beneficial for them to hear. I am also grateful that my testimony of the restoration and the Book of Mormon have been strengthened so much on my mission. Testifying of these things comes much more naturally and powerfully now. I know the Holy Ghost is with us all the time! I am also grateful for eternal families, especially mine! I loved seeing pictures of Matt and Joanna getting sealed to baby Emerson this week! What a happy day! There is so much to be grateful for, especially the gospel of Jesus Christ! Have a great week all, and to all a good night!

Sister Pace

Pictures above:  (1) Throwing up our Mittagong Branch M's after the Sunday sessions of conference. :)
                            (2)  Faith in God Activity

Pictures below:  

The sassy cat that glares at us every time we pull into our driveway.  I die whenever I zoom into his face:

 The Murrin Family, aka the coolest family.  They live outside in the bush in a couple buses and an open kitchen; my kind of life!

Mission Olympics:

South Coast Zone Training Meeting:

The Filipinas in my zone.  They are all so cute and tiny!:

 Sisters Samsen (Fiji), Uelese (New Zealand), and Stetson (Arkansas):

 P-Day Fun:

Zone Training Meeting:

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Two weeks of news from Mittagong Branch

 The New District:
27 March 2017 letter

Hello my loves! This week seemed really long for some reason, but it was really so good and full of countless miracles! Sister Sumaribos is so awesome. She is teaching me so many great things. One thing that she and her old companion did differently was pray a lot more. At first I was worried about how much time it was taking, but then I realized that Heavenly Father is the only one who knows where our time will be most beneficial and what each individual needs to hear so we need to be involving Him in our days as much as possible. It is His work! I really believe that it is the source of all our miracles this week!

The most exciting thing is that we have three new investigators who we found on a potential investigators list. It is a family who is super nice and open. The parents, Cane and Kayla are both really young and they have three cute kids. Mia is 8 and super outspoken and talkative haha; she will tell you anything on her mind. Then they have two adorable toddlers named Curtis and Lexi. We first met Kayla, who was happy to have us back. The second time we came, we met Cane, he and his buddy were smoking weed or something on their front porch. He doesn't really believe in God but he is also really open to listen and interested. The daughter Mia, is the one who is most excited about us coming. A lot of primary schools in Australia have bible classes and she loves hers. My favorite quote of our first lesson with them: when Sis Sumaribos and Cane were talking about a famous Filipino boxer, "are we going to talk about boxing, or are we going to talk about JESUS!" Another time she asks us how old we are. Sister Sumaribos says she is 26 and  I say I am 19. "Oh, so you're only a teenager."  Instantly shot down lol. Anyway, they are a strong little family and the gospel would bless their family so much! Please keep them in your prayers and pray that Sis Sumaribos and  I can be adequate teachers and help them to understand. Mia's Friends that live next door, Madelyn and Jacob came over for the lessons too!

My first Sunday was an interesting experience. They definitely put us to work in a branch! In sacrament, I bore my testimony, then we taught three crazy boys in primary, then in the 2nd hour of primary, we did singing time with them. It was all so fun though! We have to work a lot more with the branch members in this area because basically the only way of finding people to teach is door knocking, which is not the most effective. We visit them every day. There are so many great members! A lot of old adorable couples. On Sunday, the numbers were low so there were probably only less than 40 there, but usually they get 50-70. I received such a warm welcome though! There are just one other set of Elders in the branch, Elders Tovi and Crowten. Elder Tovi was also just transferred in as well. We work a lot with them.

I love getting to meet so many cool people from all over the world every day, and be in such a beautiful area. There are so many reasons to be happy every day, especially when I am doing the work of the Lord. I hope you are all doing well and happy and healthy! Have a great week!

Sister Pace

Photos:  a cool Filipino brother and sister that we met at the car dealership, waiting for our car to be serviced this morning.  Sister Sumaribos takes pictures with all the Filipino's we meet.

April 2nd Letter:

Well, it has been another great week in the Mittagong Branch. I'm trying to remember what even happened.

The Ragg Family, the ones  I told about last week, said they will be at church this Sunday! We forgot that it is general conference, but that will be even better. Hopefully Mia, the 8 year old, will be willing to sit and listen to some of the talks. (Oh yeah  I forgot to mention that we see conference the week after because we are a day ahead of when it happens in Salt Lake). We had a great lesson with the Raggs on Thursday.  Turns out, Cane, the father, started reading the Book of Mormon! When we asked, he started recapping the whole introduction and he had lots of questions, Some that we didn't even know the answer to! We were so shocked and happy! We are excited to finish teaching them the restoration so he can start putting it all together. They are so great! All of their neighbors are always in and out of their house (they are friends with everyone!) so sometimes it’s hard to get everyone settled down for  a lesson, but it always ends up working out, usually with multiple neighbor kids listening in as well.

Every week has countless miracles! One that happened on Monday night was after our plans had fallen through (when miracles usually happen).  We decided to go visit a less active member Natalie, who has some mental disabilities. She was so sweet and we had a productive visit with her. Then we were knocking doors around her house. It was getting late, but we decided to knock on one more door. Then we met an older woman named Barbara. She and each of her family members have all different faiths. The whole time we were talking to her, she looked like she was trying to decide.  Then, she realized that she had met with missionaries before, around 6-8 years ago, but had lost contact with them over time. We helped her remember that she felt the Holy Ghost when they taught her. Finally, she decided that yes, we could come back the next day!  Unfortunately she has been sick all week so we haven't met with her yet, but hopefully tonight. I know that the Holy Ghost was guiding what we said to her. I am so grateful for those elders who planted that seed of faith in her heart years ago! I have realized that that is most of our work, planting seeds. Seeds take time to grow, and we might not always see the harvest, but we can be confident and happy with our work as long as we are being obedient and doing our best.

Other miracles have involved having really good visits with a few less active ladies in the ward.  One of them has been going through an extremely difficult time and is losing her faith. I was able to feel heavenly Father's love for her so strongly, I was having trouble keeping it together. We mostly just testified to her of God's plan of happiness for us because nothing we could have said would have made it better. It is so cool how we can always just testify of the things we know and have felt, and we can never be wrong!

I am really enjoying the work more and more every day! Sister Sumaribos is still so great and we are doing well. Having the guidance of the Holy Ghost in our lives is so important, especially on a mission. I have been able to see Him guide us throughout each day, it is incredible.

I love you all So so much! Have a great week!


Sister Pace

 April 1st was both Brother Magick's and Sister Roger's birthdays.  The Lake where we had the party:
 We went to the surprise birthday party of Tony Magick, a recent convert.  That man talking to me is  Brother Smith.  He talked to me for probably half an hour about church doctrine.  Most of the time I  had no idea what he was talking about.  Good times!
 My cute companion:
 It is getting cold outside and still rains most days:

Good Eats!  Sister Sumaribos likes to cook for us!  #blessed