Monday, January 11, 2016

Solos and Indian Food

We were on tradeoffs with Allenby Gardens this week, and I got to be back with my MTC companion Sister Rougeau! We went to a member's home for dinner, and apparently they have a tradition there for new missionaries.... which they waited to tell me about til after we had eaten and had dessert. The tradition is that the missionary must sing a solo, 3 verses of a hymn of their choice, with the whole family and friends watching. Oh and just maybe be recorded while doing it. Sister Rougeau knows how to sing, so I was really trying to get her to sing with me, but that was a no. I got to sing that solo all by myself.
Funny finding story from this week. We were riding our bikes down the street, on our way to visit someone, and there was this really strong smell of Indian food. We kept going down the street, and our friend wasn't home. So riding back up the street, we were thinking, "If they're cooking, they must be home!" We basically sniffed them out, trying to determine which house that heavenly smell was coming from. It was so funny, but it worked! We found this family, who invited us in and we got to teach them about God.
So we're on bikes a lot. I'm used to it now, but sometimes it can still be challenging. Saturday night we had stopped to talk to this lady parked on the side of the street, and parked our bikes on the footpath (sidewalk). Before we were done, one of my companions had walked off to talk to another family, so 2 of us were left with 3 bikes to push down the street, with the neighbours watching us and then wondering, "Why is this weird girl coming to talk to me?" But that's the fun part of missionary work :)
Sister Craig, my first companion, is going home this week, and so she's been staying her with Sister Goisisi and I. Fun to have both of them here.
And this photo is one of the beautiful sunsets I got to see this week, Australia is really such a gorgeous place. So lucky to be here, doing the work of the Lord.

I hope you all have a wonderful week, and are able to recognize the little miracles God gives to us every day :)
Sisters Goisisi, Craig, Townsend

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Accidents happen, we move on

Finally fell off my bike this week, I've honestly just been waiting for that to happen, I'm surprised it's taken this long. Luckily, the only bit that got hurt was my knee. The fun part was that it happened when I was in an area where we are only on bikes, and we were rushing to make it to an appointment. I had nothing to clean my knee up with, and so I used some leaves and flowers from a nearby bush to mop it up and hopefully stop the bleeding, then we went jumped back on those bikes to make it on time. I thought everything was going fine until I look down during the lesson and realize I didn't clean it up as well as I thought I did.... But it's all good now, and everyone needs some scars to take home from their mission :)
For New Years, missionaries aren't allowed to be outside after 4 pm, so we spent a long time in the flat that night. We did our weekly planning, then ate heaps of food :) It was so good to et organized. For a few hours, I was in a different year then everyone back home! The hardest part of New Years Eve and Day was that the weather was nice and hot, and because of the holiday no one had any reason to be outside. And anyone we did talk to thought we were crazy for not sleeping the day away :) But the good things come when we work work work!
I really really loved my personal study this week. In Alma 61:15 (Book of Mormon), where it says the Spirit of God is the spirit of freedom, that really stood out to me. It referenced 2 Corinthians 3:17, which says that the Spirit of the Lord is liberty. This is a perfect way to describe it, but I've never thought about it in that way before. When we keep the commandments, we truly are liberated, and are free to choose for ourselves this wonderful path that God has laid out for us. The liberty that comes from keeping these commandments (being an exactly obedient missionary) is what brings miracles, because then we have the Spirit of the Lord with us at all times.
Our continued focus has been to hand out Books of Mormon, and to testify of the power of this book. It is so amazing to see the hearts that are touched and softened when we share this great source of knowledge that we have. I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true, and love being able to share that with others. We have done this with people we are teaching, people we meet on the street, or those we talk to at bus stops. When someone does accept this wonderful gift, it makes me so happy, knowing that this one thing can make such a positive impact on their lives.
Have a wonderful week, and Happy New Year!

Christmas - A time of blessings and miracles 12/28/2016

What a week! Kind of hard to describe everything that happened, so here are some highlights :)
Sisters Conference:
All of the sister missionaries in the mission came together on Wednesday for a special conference. The first thing we did was go to a nursing home and sing carols (we split into 2 groups) It is honestly one of my favourite parts of Christmas, and something my family would do every year. After we sang for them and shared some scriptures, we were able to just walk around and visit with those residents, especially the ones who didn't have family they would see this Christmas. Loved it!

Christmas Eve carolling:
I guess Christmas for me involves a lot of the Christmas songs, cause those are a lot of the experiences that stand out most to me. This night we went out and knocked on some doors of people we've net since I've been here, and it was so beautiful. This one family, I had met the grandparents a couple months ago, and they had all of their extended family at their house for dinner. They had just sat down and said grace, and then we came up singing. Most of them came out to the door, and started crying they loved it so much. That's why I love it, the songs really help you feel the spirit of Christmas.
Boxing Day (Dec 26):
We had a really awesome training. We talked about fasting, and the importance that it is. Something I really liked from it was to think of fasting as sacrificing something physical like food in order to increase our spiritual sensitivity.
One of our leaders talked about coming unto Christ. He said that the yearning to become better is the yearning to come unto Christ. We can feel more confidence as we continually put ourselves in a place where Jesus can be at our side, always strengthening us. Then, when bad times come, we know that we've done all we can and can turn in over to Him.
Dec 28:
We had such a great day yesterday :) Our goal this week was to increase our referrals from members (receiving names from members of the church who they want us to teach). We started out that morning, striving to be diligent in everything we did. We were knocking doors on this one street, and right at the end there was house where some members lived. We stopped by for a visit, and they started telling us about 2 of their neighbors they had been talking about the gospel with, and wanted us to go visit! It was an amazing miracle for us, a real answer to prayers. We know that there are people everywhere who can find more happiness and joy from the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and this is what we have to share with them.

I love you all, and have a safe and happy New Year!
(Fun fact: missionaries here are not allowed outside on New Year's Eve, so we'll be stuck in the flat starting just before dinnertime. But I hope everyone else has a really fun time!)