I cannot believe that this is real. I've joked and dreaded and at times dreamed about this day over the last 18 months and now that it's here... I don't know which emotion to choose. It's strange. I feel so many of these emotions but if I take a second and breathe I feel at peace. I reflect on these past 18 months and I can honestly say I gave 100% to the Lord. I tried my very hardest to do His will every second of every day. At times I failed, but that meant that I hit my knees and the next day I was working twice as hard to make up for it. I've tried, and that's all I could do. And I'll keep pushing and keep trying until the fight is truly over. I still have a few days left!I just want you to know how much I love this Gospel. It has truly changed my life. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father, that knows each of us individually and loves every piece of us. I am so eternally grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the best big brother (and that's saying something because my big brothers are incredible) that leads us and guides us and helps us just as brothers do. I'm so grateful that the Priesthood is restored on the Earth! I challenge anyone to read any page of the Book of Mormon and tell me that Joseph Smith translated that without the power of God. Impossible! The Book of Mormon is evidence that God's power and authority is on the Earth to day, and how grateful I am for that! I am so grateful that God gave me these last 18 months, and I truly hope to live the rest of my life in a way that I can repay him.THE CHURCH IS TRUE! I promise you that.See you in a few days,Sister Danielle Laree StottOh yes, please only use firstname.lastname@example.org now. :)My pictures are taking forever to load, so I guess I'll just have to pull it up on my own laptop and show everyone in a few days.
Sunday, August 7, 2016
Sunday, July 31, 2016
There is one thing on my mind.... And that of course is how amazing the work is! Honestly, I just can't even put into words how I feel about being a missionary. It is the best thing in the entire world!
This week was quite an interesting one. We decided to not use our car two days, which created a lot of moments where we were in a dead sprint running to the train and praying that we'd make it (since trains around here only come once an hour) but you know what, we made every train and every bus! It was nothing short of a miracle to say the least.
I had my first and hopefully final full on run in with a Jehovah's Witness. We were just walking through town doing some street contacting and this lady just called us out and started trying to throw all these Bible verses at us to disprove our doctrine. So we just bore our testimonies and she kept going at us and wouldn't let us walk away. So finally, I just mentioned a Bible verse back to her testifying of what we had been testifying of and she was quiet... She didn't know we use the Bible. hahaha. You know, I don't mind if people don't believe what we believe. Some of the dearest friendships I've made on my mission are with people of different faiths - Muslim, 7th Day Aventist, Catholic, you name it! It's just sad when people start making harsh judgments and talk about things they really don't have any knowledge about. After she paused for a minute, she told us we could leave. So we gave her a hug and headed on our way. Definitely an experience for the books!
M is doing well. He's keeping all of his commitments and has changed so much! I am so proud of him and every day when we talk to him, I can literally hear him changing! It is the best. We just want to make sure he's 110% ready for baptism though, so we might push back the date if we feel prompted. Keep praying for him though. He's so great!
Well, it's August in Australia now. I changed my calendar from July to August this morning I can't even describe how weird it felt. How can I be so depressed, anxious, excited, relieved, and confused at the same time? Going on a mission is the best decision I have ever made. I can't believe how much love my Heavenly Father has for me for allowing me these last 18 months. The end is near, but it's not here yet! I still have a week to work hard and pray harder! I'm not giving up the good fight until I'm in the airport terminal hugging my mum and dad. So let us not be weary in well doing! There is so much to do! The time is far spent, but there is still some remaining! So I've got to use it the best I can.
Sister Danielle Laree Stott
The picture is not the cutest, but this is what it looks like when you dead sprint for the train multiple times in a day. haha
Monday, July 25, 2016
In honor of the inspired pattern of us preaching the word two by two, I thought my email should be two by two as well. So here are the twos:
TWO terrifying experiences: 1. There were two huntsman spiders IN THE CAR. I screamed and cried and threw stuff at them until they got out. Sister Tim just laughed at me. 2. Our investigator got into some anti material on the internet and just yelled and bashed us and verbally attacked the young woman we had teaching with us. Oh my heavens! The Mama Bear in me almost came out. But we held our peace... Mostly. We ended up just walking out of her house because there was no use in talking to her. So yea, that was terrifying but all is well. Heavenly Father is the best and the church is still true. :)
TWO Hilarious finding experiences. 1. We were talking to this man and he was really nice to us. Then we told him our purpose as missionaries and he was rude and said. "No!" Right as he said, "no," a bird pooped right on him. I was a little unprofessional for a second because I could not stop laughing. It was the funniest thing I had ever seen! 2. We were walking past this little Asian shop and I saw GOBSTOPPERS! Oh my goodness, I hadn't seen those in ages. So I ran in and bought two boxes, then we went back to street contacting. So I'm just walking along eating my candy (because you know me, always eating) and I offered some to everyone we passed, and got some crazy looks. BUT one girl said, "Oh thanks, we have these in America!" And I freaked out because she was American! And we talked for 20 minutes and she invited us to come back next week. :)
TWO M miracles: 1. We were following up on a potential and knocked on the wrong door, but that's how we met M! He was super depressed but said we could come back. So we went back a few days later and he answered the door and said, "Hey Sisters, I'll meet you out back." And I was confused because how did he know he had to meet us outside since he's a single male? Then we walk out back and he had a Book of Mormon in his hand! What is going on?! Then he explained that he met Sister Missionaries in the 90's up in the Highlands and he wasn't ready to be baptized then. BUT he really wants to give up his substance abuse and accepted the goal of being baptized on the 7th of August. PLEASE PRAY FOR HIM! 2. M came to church all by himself on Sunday and really enjoyed it. He's a miracle I tell you! Just pray for him please. :) I need to see him in white!
Wollongong is the absolute best! Sister Tim is a saint! Life is good and I'm as happy as a clam. :)
All my love,
Sister Danielle Laree Stott
TWO Pictures: We went on a hike this last week. So here's a picture of our district (I'm slightly obsessed with these people) then a picture of my beautiful, wonderful Sister Tim!
Monday, July 18, 2016
Hello from my beloved Gong!
This week was crazy! I just can't even explain it! So I thought I'd sing/type a few songs that went along with the week.
Song 1: Woa Shur Shen Di Hai Zi.
Don't understand? That's okay. It means, "I am a Child of God!" Half of Wollongong is the university, which is primarily Chinese. Our friend Peter got baptized on Saturday so for his baptism we all sang Woa Shur Shen Di Hai Zi! It was really nice. I had no idea what I was singing but the Spirit was so strong, so in a way I did know. We've been able to visit so many beautiful people this week and I just want them to know that they are a child of God! Everyone needs to know that. So we have heaps of work to do.
Song 2: I don't know the title, but it's an Aussie Song.
"Give me a home, out by the gum trees.
With lots of plum trees! A sheep or two, a kangaroo!
A clothesline out the back, veranda out the front,
and an old rocking chair!"
I just threw this in there because we've had a few true Australian moments this past week. We had a bush dance that a few people we're working with came to and it was so much fun! It's been so fun being down here with everyone. It's especially been a great week to see Terry! So Sister Moon and I tracted into Terry about a year ago and just yesterday he received his patriarchal blessing! That moment right there just grew my love for Australia about twenties times larger. It's so good to see the people I love coming closer to God!
Song 3: I Feel My Savior's Love.
Honestly this week I just feel my Savior's love so strongly. Everything around me just makes me so grateful. I'm in a place I love, teaching people I love, with an awesome companion that I love! Aah, I just love it! Being a missionary is the best experience in the entire world. I love it so much. I am just happy as a clam. We had interviews with President and Sister Back on Saturday and they asked me to rate my mission on a scale of 1-10 and I gave them a 20 because Heavenly Father is the best! I've been so blessed.
I'm trying to limit too many stories because if I email them all or remind you of my past ones, I won't have much to say in my homecoming talk on the 21st of August. So don't think I'm being somewhat vague on purpose, know that I'm being somewhat vague on purpose. hahaha. Also, any mail sent after tomorrow I fear will get here after I leave. So if you have something written, please mail it, and if you don't have anything written, just tell me about it when I see you next. :)
Sister Danielle Laree Stott
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
This week was so good. I just can't even express to you how my heart feels. Let me tell you 4 simple reasons why I can't stop smiling and my heart is fluttering!
1. I was able to spend three glorious and hilarious months in beautiful Bathurst. I learned so much from the people there and I was able to develop such a different attitude and desire to love and to serve. I'm so grateful for the people there that helped me to do that.
2. I was able to see my sweet Sister Swan! I had to go to Sydney for a conference and she rocked up to the office right when I was about to leave. It was so good to see her and to hug her. She is doing miracles over in Sydney! She is so strong and such a good example to me. I think she's the companion that has taught me about ministering to the one when I was with her and I'm so grateful for that because the Lord's work runs on love, not on numbers.
3. Transfer calls were on Saturday and I was so sad when I heard I was leaving Bathurst. But then President Back called me on Sunday and told me he was sending me to a place called... WOLLONGONG! I screamed, cried, leaped, skipped, twirled, and hyperventilated a bit. I get to spend the last month of my mission in my beloved Wollongong. I can't even express how good it felt to hug Katrina and have her say, "Welcome Home." It feels so good to be back. I haven't stopped smiling since! AND I have the cutest companion. Her name is Sister Tim, she makes me look like a giant! She is from Cambodia and I'm so excited to learn from her.
4. I got a special email! 10 March, 2015 I met my first investigator, Aaron! And then on the 17 May, 2015 Aaron was baptized! And he's been so good at keeping in touch with me and updating me on his life but I haven't heard from him for a bit. And he emailed me today and bore his testimony to me via email, and my heart is at so much peace. It's so good to hear the testimony of someone you've taught. Just that email made the last 17 months more than worth it.
So yea, life is good, I'm on cloud 9, and I can't wait to finish what I started down here in the Gong June - August 2015. Heavenly Father is the BEST!
Monday, July 4, 2016
This week just flew by. I don't know why the days and the weeks are flying. I feel like there isn't enough daylight to do all the things I need and want to do! This week the Lord blessed us so much. We've been reaching a lot here but not a lot of the people have been progressing. So we decided to lessen our visits to a few of them and put more time into finding. So that's what we did! And the Lord blessed us with FOUR families and a young man that invited us back! We've already taught one of the families and the young man, and we have the other families scheduled for this week. Heavenly Father is the best. I'm so excited to teach them! Please pray for them that their hearts may be softened and that they will be ready to accept the Gospel.
I think another highlight of the week was we rocked up to see a part member family in the middle of a fight. The teenage daughter had just kicked her little brother and the mum was on the couch just crying. So we knocked on the door, sat them all down, and showed them how to have a family council. The Spirit was so strong by time we left. And when we saw them the next day, it was like they were a completely different family.
We had our zone training and our zone p-day this week. That was a lot of fun. Elder Brown, Elder Meyer, President Moeller, and Sister Mussin all gave amazing trainings. I gave a training too and I only cried for like a third of it so I was impressed with that. Coming on my mission made me a cry baby, I'm sad to say. So watch out when you see me next, the waterworks flow open and free lately. And then we went bowling which was good comical relief because... Well... Have you seen me bowl? My high score was 53 and I felt pretty on point. ;) Haha.
I also had exchanges this week with Sister Mafi from Tonga! She is just the sweetest. She is so humble and I learned so much from her! She has only been on her mission for about a month but dang, she is a power house. It was great to be able to feel green again and to work hard with her by my side for the day. We also reminisced over how much we miss Tongan food. Haha. Faka Holo....
The title of my email is all about chapter 5. I just wanted you to ponder about how important the 5th chapters in the books in the Book of Mormon are. in 1 Nephi 5, Lehi teaches us to handle criticism and complaints with love and comfort. In 2 Nephi 5, Nephi teaches us that making sacrifices for a temple and following the covenants we make there help us to "live after a manner of happiness." The Allegory of the Olive Tree in Jacob 5 teaches us to never give up and to always be diligent in serving the Lord. Mosiah 5 reaches us what it means to repent and have a mighty change of heart. Alma 5 teaches us that we have so much room for improvement, but that the Lord is always there to help us. In Helaman 5, Nephi and Lehi are protected because the foundation of their lives and their faith is in Jesus Christ. In 3 Nephi, Mormon boldly declares who he is and shows us how easy it is to say, "BEHOLD! I am a disciple of Christ!" and then act accordingly. In Mormon we are reassured that the Lord always goes after His lost sheep in His due time, because He knows when they are ready. Either 5 tells about the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon and Moroni 5 is the sacrament prayer. Chapter 5 is important. Read your scriptures. Every day. And don't give up because you've been stuck on chapter 4 for the last year, move forward and read Chapter 5.
Sister Danielle Laree Stott
Instead of a picture, I thought you might like this video. :)
(VIDEO DID NOT DOWNLOAD)
Sunday, June 26, 2016
This week was completely crazy. Not slightly crazy, completely. It was awesome! I absolutely loved ever second of it. I thought the best way of filling you in would be sending 6 things that haven't happened the previous 16 months of my mission, but only in Bathurst.
1. On Wednesday we traveled out to a place called "Trunkey Creek" that is about the size of Koosharem, UT. It's so cute. We met a lady in a petrol station closer to home and she said to come visit her so we did! How did we find which house was hers? Well, the Pub and the Police Station are both in houses right next door to each other, so we just knocked there and asked. There's only one islander in the whole village, so she was easy to find. We had a nice visit with her and we'll see how interested she is.
2. I was trapped by a dog. This MAMMOTH dog was chasing our car and when we got to our investigator's house it just waited for us outside, barking and biting our tires. Sister Nansen and I were both freaking out. Then I remembered one time when Sister Davis and I were tracting and she told me how this one Sister was attacked by a dog and the owners ended up getting baptized. So I thought, "Okay, why not?" and said a prayer and jumped out of the car! I didn't get eaten by the dog, but we did make it to the lesson. So that was nice.
3. We had two sets of exchanges this week. For the first one Sister Tau from Tahiti and Sister Mafi from Tonga came down. That was heaps of fun. It was Sister Tau's last exchange so I made Tahitian food. It was fun to watch her get so excited. For the second one Sister Creel from California and Sister Panana from Samoa came up. That was hilarious. Neither of them had left Sydney before so President Back sent them up here for a day since Sister Creel is going home soon. We took them Kangaroo spotting which was really fun. It's going to be weird not seeing Roos every day. I didn't even think about that until I saw them freak out seeing them for the first time. It's been a common daily part of a huge chunk of my mission.
4. IT SNOWED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh happy day! I started to cry when I saw beautiful white falling from the sky. Sister Nansen and Sister Panana had never seen snow before so I drove up into the mountain where some was sticking on the ground. It was so fun to see them experience snow for the first time. It was freezing though, Australia thinned my blood for sure.
5. We had an experience about following little promptings yesterday. When I was getting ready I felt like I should wear both my badges, one on my sweater and one on my scarf. So I did and when we got to church, Sister Boogaard had forgotten her badge! So she borrowed mine. :) But she forgot to give it back, so she dropped it off to us that night before we headed to an appointment and as soon as we pulled away but before the Boogaards did, a man walked up to their car! And he asked them to please call the ambulance because he was sick, dizzy, and confused. So they did! It was neat to see how all these little things added up to them being able to help someone in need.
6. We read the Book of Mormon with an investigator family last night and as we read Alma 5, the dad began to cry as he expressed how grateful he was that God brought us into each other lives. His heart was so hardened when I came here, but the Gospel can change anyone. It was a neat experience.
All my love,
Sister Danielle Laree Stott
Pictures: Our two sets of exchanges, and Sister Panana and Sister Nansen's first snow! :D