Hello from Sydney!

Hello from Sydney!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 7 - Autumn is in the Air

Hopefully only 2 more weeks before I fly to Sydney!!

Ni Hao! 

So hopefully (depending on visa, flight plans, etc.), I'll be on a plane to Australia in exactly 2 WEEKS! Crazy, right?? 

This week has been a huge learning one for me. I've had so many new insights on the Gospel and have had so many prayers answered in ways that I would never expect. Everyday, I can see our Heavenly Father's hand in my life. It's really such a blessing to have. 

P-DAY! The best day, after Sunday of course. Thanks mom for the Shirley's Peanut Butter Rolls and Cheese Bread, as well as the package of goodies! Thanks Jessie and daddy for the note and letters!!! I'm getting fat.... 

Cheese Bread and Peanut Butter Rolls from Shirley's Bakery

On Monday, we had Skype TRC, which was pretty neat. It was kind of awkward because our volunteer was using Skype on his phone, so he could see us, but we couldn't see him. He Skyped us from Taiwan, which I thought was pretty cool. The communication was a little rough, but we talked to him about the Book of Mormon and why it's so important. The Book of Mormon is one of the most powerful tools we have. When used properly, we can gain personal revelation and direction in our lives. We receive answers to deep questions of the soul. It's an amazing gift to have. 

It was freezing!!! It rained, and it was so cold... It was in the 60s.. 
We taught Zhang Wang Quan about the importance of the scriptures and how we can liken it unto our own lives. It was a good lesson. This week, we have a new batch of mandarin missionaries!! Tuesday is when the international missionaries come, so as STL's we got to pick up Sister Meyer who is from SYDNEY going to Taipei! When we picked her up, I saw Elder Pelz!! That was so crazy!!! It was nice to see a familiar face from home. We took Sister Meyer to choir with us that day. I also saw Jordyn and Sarah, so we got a Posse picture! :) 

Devotional was really good. The General YW President, Sister Oscarson spoke. She just told us about the most important advice she had for missionaries from her missionary children. Some of the things she mentioned were;
Through hard work, we can receive true happiness. 
We can't solve our problems unless we put our shoulder to the wheel. 
The work should never end if we're doing it right.
We should give our all to the the Lord and hold nothing back.
Go the extra mile.
Listen to the spirit and pray always.
We are never alone.
Expect miracles when we are obedient and faithful.
The Lord will labor with us.
Love those we serve.
It's basically everything we've already heard, but it was nice just to be reminded of it all. 

That was a cold day too... 
Wednesday is when all the greenies came in. I caught up with Elder Pelz a little bit, so that was nice.

Me with Elder Pelz and companion

A bunch of Helaman Hall'ers came in that day! Elder Daniel Bellingham is going to Taipei, Sister Ashley Poelman and Elder James Otani are going to Kobe, Japan; Sister Sarah Eckstrom is going...  oops, I forgot, but she's here; Sister Hannah Sharp and Lizzie Christiansen are going to Hong Kong! It was so fun to see all of them, especially since I was relatively close with most of these missionaries at school. 
If you're part of the Posse and you're reading this, Cat Daddy says hi to y'all! 

We had a new district come into our zone. All of them are going to Taipei except two elders. One is going to Boston and the other is going to Houston. They're such great missionaries. There are 5 sisters and 7 elders in that district. Two of them are ABC and have really good Mandarin. Also, one sister, Sister Bowman, worked in Shanghai for the past year, so she's pretty good as well. She knows the Messicks and the Allred's. Small world... But I love all the new missionaries, especially all the Sisters! They're so nice and adorable, even though most of them are older than me haha, they feel younger since they're younger in MTC age. As STL's, we had to give the orientation to the greenies about the importance of companionships, the white handbook, and then give them the tour of the campus. It's weird to think that I was doing that 6 weeks ago with Sister Howell and Sister Jackson

New sisters joined our zone this week

That night I was really struggling and so I just cried out to my Heavenly Father in prayer, pouring my heart and soul to him. So I went to sleep just seeking an answer to my prayer.

That morning, we went to the 6 AM yoga class, which was absolutely amazing and relaxing. Much needed. At the end, we meditated, and our instructor gave us things to think about so we can relax. She said that we are strong, and no matter what we do, Satan has no power to bring us down, and we shouldn't try to bring ourselves down either. Through Christ and his atonement, we can do anything and we can rise up because we know we have a loving Heavenly Father who is watching out for us and is helping us.
It was a good day after that. We cleaned the toilet stalls for service that morning. Then we studied. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and perfect. 72 degrees, blue skies, and a breeze. We taught Zhang Wang Quan, which went well. We also taught Huang Li Xin about the power of prayer, and that was a really good lesson. The spirit was strong, and she's finally starting to understand Heavenly Father's role in her life. We had a district party that night, which was really fun. All the elders brought tons of food and we were hanging out in the 'secret garden' under the stars. I love our district. We're so tight. The love and understanding we have for each other is so incredible. We all have our flaws and our strengths, and we work hard to build each other up. 

We did cardio kickboxing for our early morning workout class. That was interesting...we did lots of squats. During personal study, I accidentally fell asleep and I got lipstick on the corner of one of the pages in my scriptures...haha whoops. All of the Taipei missionaries (31 of them) who came in the same day as us got their flight travel plans since they leave earlier, Sep 5 (due to mission presidents conference in HK).  There were a bunch of rumors about visas not coming through and that the Taipei missionaries would be delayed a week, but we don't know. I think it'll all work out.

It won't be long before our district is on it's way to Taipei and Sydney

We taught a Less Active, and that was okay. It was just hard to reach him. 
We collaborated with the Taichung district, and we had to lead a discussion about the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion, and that was good. Sister Fisher and I were paired up with Sister Wawro and Sister Cardon. That was really good. The Holy Ghost plays such an important role, and it's vital that we are qualified and worthy to receive it. I got to interview some of our new sisters that night, and it was so fun getting to know them.

There was snow on the mountains when we woke up...does that seem right? It's freaking AUGUST. But the weather that day was absolutely perfect, mid 60s and sun. There was a huge thunderstorm that night, so we woke up a couple of times because of that. It finally felt like fall that day. The air was crisp, leaves are starting to change color, and I was in a sweater. We taught Zhang Wang Quan the word of wisdom, and he accepted it with no questions. I was pretty surprised and pleased. We ran into Sister Chen with her husband and daughter, Verina, who just got home from Taichung. She served with Sister Christina Tsoi! Crazy! But she told me a bit about her mission. She's so cute! She's going to BYU studying piano performance. I absolutely love their family. They're always so nice, and have the strongest testimonies. They've been so supportive and helpful over the past few weeks. 

We read Alma 5 as a district, and just recorded all of our personal insights. I love that chapter. It's just so powerful.
After dinner that night, Sister Meyer (from Aus) and Elder McLaughlin (from Scottland) had an 'American conversation', which was hilarious! Their American accents are pretty good. 
I went a little crazy that night...I accidentally lightly punched an elder in the arm, jokingly because he was making fun of me, and Elder Elliott said I had anger problems, hahah. 

That was honestly the second longest day of my life. It was so overwhelming. We had training meetings in the morning, then Relief Society. RS was really good. We talked about being devoted to Heavenly Father and to be anxiously engaged in the work. She showed us a video of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, which was really good. It just reminded me that Christ's atonement saves us all, and that God is always with us.
During district meeting, Elder Heaps and Elliott talked about the Light of Christ and the Holy Ghost, which was also really good. One point I really liked is that ALL good things come from God.
That evening's devotional was given by Stephen B. Allen, and was really good. 
Some points I got from that were:
There's nothing that Heaven can't heal us from;
We must build our foundation on a rock, not the sand;
We are called of God;
Through Christ we can do all things;
We're at war with Satan, and he will do his best to push our buttons, but we can over come him when we are faithful;
We need to trust in God's answers;
The Lord will always comfort us; 
Rely upon the mercies of God;

Then for movie night, we watched one of  Elder Holland's MTC devotionals, called Missions are Forever, which was superb! He talked about how this is the only time we can be considered apostalic. 
We can't come back with any regrets. The mission will change my life and affect every decision I make. We need to keep our missions as a part of our heart and soul. 

I love you all and miss you all!!

Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders

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