Monday, December 28, 2015

Dun. Dun. Dun. DUN.

Well, I apologize right now for the shortness of this email. Christmas was fantastic! I was able to talk to my favorite people in America and I was able to spend time with some of my favorite people down here. We had a really fun time and rumor has it Facebook is plastered with our pictures. Sorry, the Woden Warriors just love taking pictures. Haha. It was a really fun time and I didn't miss home quite as much as I thought I would, which makes me happy. 
Transfer calls came and dun...dun...dun...dun... Sister Verances is leaving Woden and I'm training again. So that's going to be an adventure. Please pray for my companion. I drove up to Sydney this morning and I'm hanging around and going to meetings until she gets here. She flies in from the MTC tomorrow and I'll pick her up and take her back to Canberra tomorrow night. I'm not sure who she is, where she's from, if she speaks English, or if she likes white people (hahaha joking). So please pray for her that she will be able to love Woden as I love Woden. And that she will be patient with me. hahaha. 
Saying goodbye to Sister Verances was rough. You learn to love your companions so much and it's just really a rough experience when they leave you. But it's okay, because I can speak a little bit of her language so that obviously means I have to go visit her in the Philippines after she's done with her mission. ;) I've only had one American companion while I've been in Australia, so if I ever become a world traveler I have heaps of couches to crash on. :) 
We all gave talks in sacrament meeting on Sunday which was good. We taught the Plan of Salvation together and it was a really neat experience to show the unity the five of us have to the ward. Elder Fine is getting transferred as well so all five of us missionaries were just crying our whole talks because we knew this was the end of the original Woden Warriors. But Elder Laga'aia, Elder Cowan, and I are still sticking around and my new companion is going to be wonderful! So our tears won't last long. It's going to be a beautiful next few months. :) 

Enjoy the last few days of 2015. I'm excited to hear all about your New Year's Resolutions. Stay safe and stay happy. :)

Sister Danielle Laree Stott

Picture: HOORAH FOR ISRAEL! - the Woden Warriors and the Tugg Thugs (The ones without the shirts and the missionaries for the ward next to ours)

Monday, December 21, 2015


IT'S CHRISTMAS! Okay, well, almost. That's been our excuse to get into people's houses this week, so it's just Christmas for 2 weeks according to us missionaries. :) 
This last week has been quite an adventure. We taught heaps of lessons and saw a lot of miracles. We were able to find new investigators, stop teaching some of the investigators that aren't prepared to accept the Gospel at this time. We were able to meet some less active members and figure out why they aren't coming to church, and we were able to work with some active members and take them out to meet our investigators. This seems like a pretty vague email, right? Normally I'm better at writing emails in detail, but this week that's not what I wanted to focus on. I just want to tell you how we brought the Spirit of Christ into Christmas. 
Last Tuesday we put the Spirit of Christ back into Christmas by inviting others to share the best gift they could. We have a new investigator named Bruce and as soon as we taught the Restoration and he accepted to be baptized, we handed him TWO Books of Mormon. One for him, and one for someone else. The Book of Mormon is one of the greatest gifts we could ever give or receive, and we want him to experience that joy. He gave us the name of one of

his friends, and we went over right away and delivered it. :)
On Wednesday we brought Christ back into Christmas by going and visiting part-member families. When we went and visited them, we shared the videos found at and talked about what it means for us to have a Savior and who Jesus Christ is to each one of us personally. 
Thursday we found Christ in Christmas when we met with Terry. He's been confused on whether or not he's supposed to continue meeting with us. So we all knelt together as Terry prayed for an answer and then we sat there for 10 minutes as he waited. Then he felt he received his answer, he closed his prayer, and he told us he's ready to prepare to be baptized in February. He realized who Christ was to him and decided to give his family the best present he could by setting this example for them.
Friday we brought Christmas to the Woden Hospital. We, along with the Elders and members of our ward, went and sang carols to various floors of the hospital. I have to say it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my mission. An especially precious moment to me was when we sang to E.A. She's a quadriplegic and has a tube in her throat so she couldn't talk, but she cried as we sang and then when we asked her if we could come back she cried and blinked 3 times (signalling a yes). That was probably the best part for me. 
Saturday we felt Christ in Christmas as we sang Christmas Carols to a less active member. She's been pretty hard on missionaries in the past and doesn't like you bringing up church, but after we sang we brought up church and she said, "Yes Sisters! No matter what! 27 December you'll see me there!" Christmas miracles happen.
Sunday was just full of CHRISTmas! The whole block of church meetings was centered on Christ and the Atonement, the true gift! Then after church we went and combined with all of the other churches in Queanbeyan, and put on a live nativity trail! We sang as angels and it was so great to watch everyone come together with our common love for the Savior. 
Monday was our annual Christmas Conference in Sydney! The whole mission got together and we talked of our love for the Savior and what gifts we could give him as missionaries. It was the best! I love being a missionary and I love Christmas. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and all that he has done for me. 
I hope you can feel the love I have for Christmas and the love I have for this work. Merry Christmas!
 Sister Danielle Laree Stott

Australians LOVE Sheep, so Merry Christmas Aussie Style. ;) Zoom in- you can see the missionaries at the bottom.

There is an Elder Stott in the mission from Logan, UT. We did some family history detection and we're actually cousins not super far back. Woo for family! So here's an extra picture. Merry Christmas from the Australia Sydney South Stotts. :) 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

That's What We Do.

I feel good, nananananana. That song was on in the grocery store this morning, and I feel like that part accurately describes my life right now. It's a good life down here. The bumps in the road just help us catch air. ;) I think my sense of humor went down the drain when I came on my mission, what can ya do?
Last p-day was actually a lot of fun. We went to this place called Telstra Tower. You go all the way to the tip top and you can see all of Canberra. It was a pretty sweet view. We went with the Elders in our district and no one seemed to understand why I was so excited to see so many pine trees from up there! None have them have served up in Sydney or been to Idaho, so they don't know how much I was missing out on. After p-day we went and had two family home evenings with different families in the ward. I had a 6 year old teaching me Indonesian, so that was a fun  dinner conversation. Haha.
Tuesday was Sister Clark's birthday! The Clarks are the senior couple here and they take such good care of us, so we wanted to make her happy. So we went and decorated her door bright and early with the other #wodenwarriors. Haha. The members and the Elders in our ward all have a fun sense of humor, so we missionaries have our own hashtag. Then we went and saw our investigator T! he just got out of the hospital, and he was really excited to see us! Hopefully now that he's back, he'll continue progressing where he left off. Then we went and saw Nana J! She's a recent convert and is so good to us. We went and saw a few more people that like our visits, but they aren't necessarily progressing. It's a hard line some times. We want to visit people and help them progress, but we don't want them to forget our purpose.
Wednesday was a honey of a day! We went tracting, and I was able to use the Indonesian I learned Monday night! Woo! Then we went and saw some less active members that the sisters have been trying to visit for months and we finally got in and shared a message. It was a Christmas miracle if I ever saw one! Then we went and did service for one of our investigators and it was pretty great. I love doing service! Then we went and saw our family from Botswana, but they're going back for two months so we won't be teaching them again anytime soon. :/
Thursday was great. Even though weekly planning takes up a good chunk of Thursday, we are pretty productive the rest of the day! We met a less active member and she's so great! her New Year's resolution is to be active again, so we told her we're going to basically move in and get her motivated. The spirit was so strong in our lesson and I can really see her coming back. Then we went and met K! She's a freaking character alright. She was raised by Athiests but every time we read with her from the Book of Mormon she has a better day the next day, so she knows there's something to it. She'll come along. :) Then we had a meeting with Bishop. It was fantastic! We had FHE with the kids, then we had a sit down with Bishop and made a game plan for the ward. It was really nice to get on the same page as him. I love when missionary work turns into member missionary work!
Friday was great. It was Zone Training Meeting and that pretty much took up most of the day. But it was really nice and I got a lot out of it. I love learning. And a few of the Elders and I were able to do the musical number which was really fun. Then we went and saw Sister S. She's less active and has been really rude to the missionaries in the past. But we just talked to her a little bit and she really softened up and even gave us hugs before we left. It was great! I love when people feel the Spirit of CHRISTmas. We also met Elsie! She's beautiful, wonderful, and wants to be baptized at the end of January! So we're working hard getting her feeling ready.
Saturday was fantastic! We went and mowed Elsie's lawn and then the Tongans across the street brought us KFC because they saw our badges. Haha. Missionary life! Then we went and followed up on some former investigators and invited heaps of people to the Ward Christmas Party! Then we went to the Ward Christmas Party and it was so much fun! I love this ward. They're so wonderful and I couldn't ask for a better place to spend my Australian Christmas.
Sunday was great. Church was wonderful and we were able to get to talk with leaders of the ward and express what we needed and what our plans were to help. After church we took Ash out with us and did some finding! It was a lot of fun and we were able to set up quite a few return appointments for next week. Then we had the Christmas devotional and a Stake sing-a-long. I love Christmas!

Thanks for powering through my super long email, but life is good so I figured I'd rant on about it. :)
All my love and a very Merry Christmas,
Sister Danielle Laree Stott

Christmas lights in the summer, that's what we do. :)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

It's December! And 90+ degrees Fahrenheit outside...

Well, I survived a whole week in Australia's version of Washington D.C. But due to the fact that we're working with a handful of High Commissioners and diplomats, I can't necessarily use people's names in my emails. So nicknames or initials will have to suffice for a few of them. 
Well last Monday was beautiful. We were able to have Family Home Evening with the M family in our ward and get to know them a bit better. They're so beautiful and I love how inviting Samoans are. It was a really fun Family Home Evening and I'm looking forward to more to come. 
Tuesday was great. We went and saw one of our investigators named A. She's really keen but due to her husband's political standing and the culture that they come from, her getting baptized would be super disrespectful and cause a lot of issues. So we're trying to get the clearance to teach the husband. Wish us luck! We went and visited a few members as well. There's one member named Emily that I just adore. I'm pretty sure we were best mates in the pre-mortal existence. Then we went and saw one of our investigators Merhawi. He's a preacher in another religion so our conversations are always pretty interesting. Haha. He always tries to trap us will bible verses but little does he know, we have footnotes that give us Book of Mormon verses to back us up. Blessings! :) 
Wednesday was a lot of fun. We were on exchanges so I was actually in a different area with Sister Paongo. We were busy, busy, busy! It was fantastic. We went finding, taught some less active members, and met up with a few investigators that are preparing to be baptized. It was a long, beautiful day. We honestly had maybe fifteen minutes to sit down and eat. That's a sign of a good day! 
Thursday was Zone Conference. So yea, that meeting took up most of our day. We were getting a bit tired during it so Sister Back thought that it would be a good idea for us to do the wave to wake up! So we were doing the wave and then two beautifully awkward and hilarious moments happened. Elder Cowan, an Elder in my ward, only has one leg. Right? So when it was his turn in the wave, he threw up his prosthetic! But then he started laughing and fell over. Hahaha. (I'm only laughing because he thought it was hilarious too) And then, President Back not being the type to be outdone, jumped on the table when it was his turn! Oh my goodness, he's half kangaroo! No wonder he's the mission president here. The training was nice as well. After our meeting, we had a lesson with our investigator D. And then she accompanied us to the Relief Society Christmas dinner, which was really nice! It was good to be able to get to know some of the sisters better and for D to get to meet them outside of church. 
Friday was well, anticlimactic for the most part. This area is slightly huge, so it needs a lot of organization for me to even think properly here. So we spent a good 5 hours organizing the area, making maps and redoing folders. Yayy for weekly planning! But by the end of those 5 hours, our upcoming week looked spectacular and I could breathe. :) We went and saw some members and some less active members in the afternoon and then went and sang Christmas Hymns for some of our potential investigators. :) I love Christmas!
Saturday I discovered something... Are you ready for my secret? I am actually Samuel the Lamanite. Hahaha. One of our members has a huge wall of ivy vines in their courtyard, I'd say 15 feet by 25 feet, that really needed to be trimmed. I was SO keen! So they let me do it! Sister Stott, a chain saw, a latter to the roof, and two hours before me. What could possibly go wrong? Hahah. The ivy looks beautiful and no one died, so I'd say it was a successful service project. And climbing up an ivy wall onto a roof is about as close to rock climbing as I'm allowed as a missionary, so my heart was pretty happy. We had a really neat lesson as well with R. She is really stressed with her husband's political status and things that result of that, and she's far from her home country, and she doesn't understand why she's depressed. So we were talking and she grabbed the Book of Mormon out of my hand and said, "God will tell me the answer in this book if what you're saying is true." And so Sister Verances and I said a silent prayer, felt an answer, and gave her a verse! And by golly, she was shining. She received the answer that she needed, and a spiritual confirmation that the Book of Mormon is true. Probably the sweetest lesson I've had in a long time. 
Sunday was great! Have I mentioned before that I love Fast Sunday? Well, I do. Church was great, and I really felt like I'm supposed to be in this ward. After church we went and saw some members and some investigators. Nothing overly exciting for the most part. Then we went and sang at a Samoan multi-religious Christmas celebration. That was a lot of fun! Then we felt like we needed to  leave before it ended, so we did. We went and followed up on a potential and then did some tracting around his house. And that's where we met Jean! She's so beautiful! We just started talking and told her our purpose as missionaries, and she was so excited that she made two return appointments, told us to visit three other people, and gave us her number and took ours so there was no chance of us not keeping in touch. It was crazy! It was beautiful! It was the Spirit! 
Well, that was my week. It's been interesting adjusting to Canberra and Woden, but I think this is what the Lord wants and this is where I'm supposed to be. Enjoy your Christmas festivities! Remember that without "Christ" Christmas is basically a "mess."
Until next week,
Sister Danielle Laree Stott 

Picture: We refer to ourselves as the "Woden Warriors." 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Aah, a twist!

Oh my good heaven. I don't think I can fully explain how much my head is spinning this week. I'll just start off with the nice slow start we had...
Monday we had a few lessons after p-day with some members. Tuesday was pretty slow as well. We saw some less active members and tried to do a lot of finding. We went and visited an investigator with one of the Relief Society Presidency members. Wednesday was good, semi-slow as well. 
I know my email seems boring and vague up to this point but it's so you get to the good stuff faster... Trust me. 
Thursday was Thanksgiving! We had some appointments that stood us up, but the night was AWESOME! We had a Samoan Thanksgiving! I made sweet potatoes with marshmallows and mashed potatoes and gravy to bring some America into it. :) It was so fun! Then we went to another part member family's house. They're Fijian and made us curry. So it was truly Thanksgiving since I was waddling by the end of the night. :)
Friday is where the twist came in! I was sitting there writing in my journal while Sister Toailoa was finishing up getting ready... Then a phone call came in... from President Back... And he said, "Sister Stott, you're the kind to like adventure, right?" "Yea?" "And you're a good missionary, right?" "Ummm... I guess." "Good! Well... I need you to move to Canberra... this afternoon." So yea. Some stuff happened, not sure 100% on details, but there needed to be a change and it needed to be fast. So I threw all of my bags in the car, said goodbye to some other missionaries, called some members to say goodbye, hopped in the car, and drove for 4 hours. We switched companions, and now here I am! I have the sweetest companion! Her name is Sister Verances, she is from the Philippines! She is so beautiful, humble, and sweet. I'm so blessed to be with her here in Woden! (Woden is our area in Canberra.) We went and got to know the Bishop and saw a part member family as well. :) Nothing overly crazy!
Saturday was so good. We stopped in and met some members and some investigators and shared short messages after I got to know them a bit. They're all so lovely here! I absolutely love Woden! We even had a member family invite us over for dinner and invited four nonmember friends as well! Whoa! It was awesome! I was bearing my testimony and answering questions right and left. It was great! I loved it! 
My first Sunday in Woden was beautiful! Church was great and the members are beautiful. There are a lot of American diplomats in my ward and so it's really interesting adjusting to white people with familiar accents again. Hahaha. :)  There's even a senior missionary couple in our ward named the Clarks! And Elder Clark grew up in Idaho Falls and is a Bonneville graduate! :D I LOVE WODEN! We went and saw some members we didn't get to talk to much after church and they're all so lovely! Aaah, I'm so happy here! I ate horse too which is actually yummy. Just a side note. :) And I don't know what else to say. There's an American member here who looks, acts, speaks, and dressed like my mum so I'm kind of mildly obsessed with her already. But I told her so it's okay. She said she'll be my Canberra mama. :') I just really love it here. The work is a lot slower than it was in Villawood but my heart is doing so well here. 
Sending my love,
Sister Danielle Laree Stott

P.s. I'm over halfway through my mission now, so I'll see you all in 8 1/2 months. You're closer to seeing me than you are to when you said goodbye. :)  So yea, that's cool.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Work hard, play hard, pray hard.

Wow, we worked, worked, worked this week. What a beautiful feeling that is! I love days that we come home, do our planning, and I'm asleep before I can even think about anything else. And we had a whole week of those!
After we had our p-day on Tuesday, we had a lesson with a part member family. It was a lot of fun and the kids know a lot about the Gospel from the missionary visits. They just need to come to church and progress outside of our visits. :) After our lesson, we went on rescue visits with the new auxiliary leaders. It was awesome! They're going to make a huge difference.
Wednesday we tried seeing an investigator, but they weren't too keen on letting us in. But that's okay, because we had an appointment with Uncle Ron! We went and talked about the chapter he's read in the Book of Mormon and the aspects of the Gospel that it applies to. After that we went and saw a YSA girl that just returned to being active, and she said she wants to go on a mission! WHOA! I was so excited! We went from visiting her to bring her back to church to visiting her to prepare her for her mission! She'll be an awesome missionary. After that we went and saw one of our investigators, and none of us (including her) can figure out why she's not baptized yet. But when we invite her to be baptized, she says no. It's complicated, but she'll get there one day.
Thursday was just dandy. We had a lesson with our investigator in the detention center, she's so sweet! And we even met a member while we were in there! He came up to us, shook our hands, and talked to us for a bit. These two are such great examples. They made mistakes, they had consequences for their mistakes, but they aren't dwelling on the past. They're taking their punishment with grace and working hard to have a better future for when they get out. Alma 36 is a great chapter that they both liked and I like it as well. No one is a lost cause. No one has strayed so far that they can't repent and come back through our Savior's atonement. After our visit in there, we went and saw a recent convert family. They're so great and really need a push, so we invited them to teach the first half of the discussion next week. Haha. So we'll see how it goes! I have faith they'll do great. We also went over to a part member home and had a lesson, and they invited us back for a barbeque next Thursday. So I pulled out my planner to write the return appointment and I saw in my notes that it was Thanksgiving! So we are going to have a Samoan Thanksgiving! I am SO EXCITED! We had our English class as well and it was a lot of fun. Thursdays are always great.
Friday was fantastic. We have a new district leader and he's really great and it was my favourite training in a few months. After our meeting, we had to go outside. Oh my heaven! It was 47 degrees Celsius, which is 116 degrees Fahrenheit. And it's only Spring! Aaaaaaaaagh. But we had a lesson with a less active member then we went and saw Mama Fina. And she had a huge tub of Otai ready for us to drink. She's a beautiful, beautiful woman. Haha. Then we went to see Hasanatu, and she had fallen a few days before and gashed her leg open. So she was in heaps of pain. We talked to her a bit and explained what a Priesthood blessing is and how it's the same as in the Bible, and we invited her to have one. So we called the Elders and they came and gave her a blessing. And when they left she was just smiling! And she kept touching her head where the oil was. And we were talking and we said, "Now that you know that the Priesthood Authority is restored, will you be baptized by someone who holds that authority?" And she said yes! So as long as her leg is  healed in time, she'll be baptized on December 12! I'm so excited for her.
Saturday was a full day as well. We went and saw Hasanatu again and taught her the Plan of Salvation, and she loved it! She wants to be in the Celestial kingdom with her family, so she is going to talk to her parents about them taking the discussions as well. Whoa! And then we received a phone call from President Back. He was down in Wollongong at Terry's baptism! Terry is an investigator that Sister Moon and I found and taught together when we were in the Gong! And so they called me and skyped Sister Moon. It was great! I'm so happy for Terry! After our phone call, we went and had a lesson with a part member family and it went really well. They know what they need to do, they just need motivation to act! We went and saw another investigator afterwards and... yea. I'm pretty sure we're going to have to cut her loose. She's only keen when we're there, but if any members try talking to her it's like she's never heard of the church. After our lesson with her, we went to the new Relief Society President's home and got to know her a little. She's so sweet! After our visit, we had Stake Conference and all of the missionaries were asked to go since it was about missionary work. It was really good!
Sunday was great. We went to Stake Conference and then had lunch with Mama Fina. She made a whole Togan spread, so it was pretty cool. I really like some Tongan food. Others.... Well, it's a good thing she likes me and didn't force me to eat more than two bites of anything that scared me. :) After our lunch, we went and visited some members to set up appointments later in the week and had a lesson with a less active member. Then we went CHRISTMAS CAROLING! Oh yea, I love it! We even went and visited some of the investigators and members from the Spanish Ward and we got to sing Feliz Navidad (Did I spell that right?). It was so fun.
The work is great. I love my new companion and all that we're doing together and I'm so grateful for the good times ahead. I'm thankful for my Savior, for His Gospel, and for the opportunity that I have to be on the other side of the world sharing my testimony with others.

Sister Danielle Laree Stott

A Tongan Mama with a Palongi daughter and a Samoan daughter. It works. ;)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Staying in Villawood for Christmas

Oh my goodness, it was a hectic week full of ups and downs and the climbs and falls in between. 
Last Monday was good. Nothing too exciting happened on P-day. The only 3 missionaries going home this transfer were in my zone, so we had a zone p-day at the park and just relaxed together. After p-day we had a Family Home Evening with a recent convert family in our ward and it was a good time. I love Family Home Evening! It's God's pattern of teaching in the home and it really starts the week off great.
Tuesday was absolutely hilarious. Have you ever taught a lesson to someone who is schizophrenic?  It's quite an adventure. They are doing really good and then they start yelling the F bomb and then they said, "Oh no, that might scare the primary children. Maybe I won't go to church this week." Hahahahaha. Oh my good lanta, what a life I live. We also had a lesson with a less active member who is obsessed with America. Honestly, her American accent is thicker than mine. So after our lesson she asked me heaps of questions about peanut butter, poptarts, Kool-Aid, and American television. Hahaha. What an egg.
Wednesday was awesome. We went and picked up Lima, an incredible YSA who is working on her mission papers, and went to follow up on some potential investigators. Well, Ghasem let us in and let us teach the Restoration! He says he knows the Book of Mormon is the word of God and is going to start reading it. Pretty cool, eh? We went and did some more finding and found a really keen person named Diego, but he only speaks Spanish. So we couldn't really help him past inviting him to learn, but the Spanish Elders say he's doing really well. We had a lesson with Ivana and Mama Fina came along as well. She's doing well. We've moved back her baptism a few weeks, but she's coming along. :)
Thursday was great. We saw Ivana again and I ate Pljeskavice, a traditional Macedonian dish. Sydney has so many cultures! Then we went and did some service for a potential investigator, Uncle Ron! He's the best. Then we went and saw the Okotai and Makitae's and had a lesson with them. They're really great. We also had our English class and it was so much fun. We're now teaching through song! So we may be off key, but our pronunciation is superb!
Friday was really good. After our DTM, we had a zone picnic Haha. It was interesting but a lot of fun. We had another lesson with Ivana and Mama Fina came again. She's an awesome missionary! After Ivana's, the three of us went over to Chang's and had a lesson with him as well. He really likes the Book of Mormon, so that's a very good thing!
Saturday, oh what a day! We went teaching, and preaching, and cleaning, oh my! It was transfer call day and my beloved Sister Teahe is leaving Villawood. No more Tahidaho. :( But it's okay, because this new transfer will be intense. There is only going to be one set of Sisters and one set of Elders in the ward now, so our area just grew to 13 suburbs. We're going to be busy! I love it.
Sunday was great. I'll send you a picture with an explanation... Hahahaha. We finally saw Hasanatu again and had a lesson with her. She's still keen, just super busy! Then we had church and went about saying goodbyes and finding for the rest of the day, amongst packing until odd hours of the night. Church was great, they redid three of the auxiliary presidencies. I love changes like that! It breathes new life into the ward!
Monday! Wooohoooo. At 7 in the morning six elders rocked up to our flat to grab everyone's suitcases, since 3 of the 4 sisters living there were leaving, and I had to transport the sisters from the other areas in our zone that don't drive. So we drove to McArthur, I said my tearful goodbyes to Sister Teahe, and I met my new soa! Her name is Sister Toailoa. She's Samoan but is from New Zealand. She's just absolutely adorable. She is pretty new to the mission, but she has such a strong testimony and knows how to share it! I'm really excited to serve with her. When we got back to our area, we went straight to work. We had a lesson with a less active member, then we went and saw Uncle Ron! We taught him about the Book of Mormon and got to know how he feels about religion in general. Sister Quezada came with us. Remember that new life I mentioned the ward was getting? We're seeing it!  After Uncle Ron's, we went to see the Makitae's and had a lesson with them. Then we went and had a Family Home Evening with Simone and her family, and Daner, a YSA, came along and helped out. Then we went and had a Family Home Evening with the Mafoas. It was a great night. :) It's going to be a really good transfer!
Sending my love,

Sister Danielle Laree Stott

The joke in the ward is that I am the Princess of Tonga. I wore this traditional outfit to church on Sunday and all of the members absolutely thought it was gold. So you may now address me as Her Royal Majesty of Tonga Stott. ;) Hahaha, just joking! :)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Tears of Joy!

Well hello, I swear I was just sitting at a computer writing an email. It's crazy how fast time flies by as a missionary, especially when days get moved around.
So Wednesday when I was emailing, I was in Mortdale at the mission office. After the temple we had to drive across Sydney and back a couple of times in order to help some sisters that were training but couldn't drive. We ended up getting back to our area twelve hours after we had left it. Hahaha. But it was a good day. :)  We were able to have a lesson with Amy and it was really good. I really like her.
Thursday was hectic but when I tell you about it, it won't seem as hectic as it truly was. We had a lesson with one of our investigators... Did I mention that we're teaching someone in the detention center? Anyways, she's awesome. But you have to go through HEAPS of security in order to get in to share a lesson. I was "randomly" searched going through the security. That happens to me a lot more than you think it would. But it was pretty funny. It's been the joke of the zone that Sister Stott got searched going to a prison. hahaha. :) All in good fun! Then we went and saw one of our investigator/ recent convert families and taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They're so great. We had our English class as well. :) Oh my lanta, teaching English is a riot. It's probably one of the highlights of my week, every week.
Friday was our Zone Training Meeting, which was pretty good. Then we had trade offs!!  We had a lesson with a former investigator that went well, but my companion went WHITE in the middle of the lesson and became pretty ill as soon as we made it out the door. My poor companion was sick and slept all day, so I watched Church approved movies and read my scriptures all day. An interesting way to spend trade offs, but it's all good.
Saturday was BEAUTIFUL! We went to end trade offs in Prairewood before the Vunipola family baptism. I was so excited to see them get baptized since I've taught them every week on trade offs and I love them SO MUCH, but none of our investigators came. :( And the rule is, if your investigators don't come, you can't go to a baptism in another area. So we ended the trade offs and went to the car. I wanted to stay so bad, but I wanted to be obedient even more. So I sat in the driver's seat, started to cry, and looked in my rear view mirror to back up, and President and Sister Back were there! And they said that they thought it was best if we stayed. And then I cried even more because I was so happy! I felt like Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac, then an angel of God (or a mission president and his wife) said to stop! And I was able to watch three people I love so much enter into the waters of baptism!
Sunday was great. We had a lesson with Albert and Amy in the morning, then went and rounded up the troops to come to church. :) It was fun, and church was so nice! It was the Primary Program, or White Sunday as they call it here. it was so sweet. :) Then after Sunday we went to Mama Fina's! Oh my lanta, my Tongan mama is the funniest woman I have ever met. We had a picnic in the lounge room complete with raw fish, taro, sweet potato, curry, and otai.I am officially addicted to otai. Then we had a lesson with our investigator Helen, and did some running around trying to track down some potentials. :) It was a great day!
Great week, great life. :) Transfer calls on Saturday so it will be interesting to see what's in store next. :)
Sister Stott

P.S. If you were contemplating sending something towards Australia for Christmas, that's totally okay with me. I just encourage you to send it by Thanksgiving, or it might be more of a Birthday Present in February for me. hahaha. :)

Sister Danielle Laree Stott
2 Breakwell St
Mortdale, 2223, NSW

Picture: Me and my "adopted" family, the Vunipolas on the best day ever.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"When I say praise, you say amen!"

It's a little bit weird not writing for a week and a half, and when I write again in five days I won't have much to say. Hahaha. But I'll fill you in on my week and you'll figure out why I'm so late. :) 
Last Monday was so much fun! We went bowling, played lazer tag, and then went to work! We did heaps of finding and had a lesson with this really cool lady from Iraq. She offered to help translate when we teach Muslims that speak Arabic, so that is going to help the work heaps! 
Tuesday was so good. We had interviews with President and Sister Back and it was good. We did some service afterwards and then had a lesson with a part member family we've been working with. We set the baptismal date of November 28th with them and they're so excited! We did some finding and it was quite an adventure. Also, SURPRISE from the mission office! Not sure if you know, but I haven't been a driver my whole mission. But blessing came and I am now an assigned driver! Woo! So I drove on the left side of the road for the first time on Tuesday. It was a party. :) 
Wednesday was an adventure. I was on exchanges in Prairewood as I am every week. Oh it was quite an adventure. We saw some less actives, some part member families, and did some finding. My highlight of the day though was our last appointment with a member family. She made a meal that could've passed for an Idahoan one. ;) It's been so long since I've had food I could recognize from home. 
Thursday was great. Sister Teahe and I were back together in Villawood and we did some service with a member for her neighbor. He's atheist and told her before we came that he didn't want us sharing a message. But when we left, he told her he really liked us, and we could bring our message with us next time. WHOA! Talk about a miracle! Then we had a lesson with another part member family we're working with and taught our English class. So much fun! 
Friday was good. We had a few lessons and found some new investigators. It was a really fun day and we even got to go to the detention center here to contact a referral. :D Talk about a party! 
Saturday was Halloween! Did you know that's totally an American thing? I didn't either, but I only saw like three trick or treaters. We met the most golden, interested person in the world! But unfortunately he lives in a different zone. So we made some phone calls and when he got off the train from my area, missionaries were there to meet him and taught him the first discussion. :) It was awesome! 
Sunday was really funny. We had an investigator come and it was fast and testimony meeting. And she stood up and said, "Praise the Lord. Praise Jesus. When I say Praise, you say Amen. Praise!" And no one said Amen, so when she said Praise again, I couldn't leave the poor girl hanging, so I yelled, "Amen!" Things I never thought would happen as a missionary....The ward thought it was pretty funny. 
Monday round two, but a twist! It wasn't p-day. It was just a normal day. So we did heaps of finding since it was super nice and hot outside. We had a little lesson with a less active member and set up a return appointment with her neighbor. I had my first fresh mango and almost got kissed by an Italian creep. I had to shove my juice box in his face in order to run away in time. Karma for not emailing my family on the proper day of the week. hahahaha. We also had Ivana, our investigator getting baptized November 21, introduce us to her nonmember friend. And she bore her testimony and aah! My heart was so happy! I love when people are converted in their hearts!
Tuesday round two, I was in Prairewood again! We weren't able to see heaps of people because it was the Melbourne Cup! Which is a huge horse raise in Melbourne and the whole country shuts down as people try to make $10 turn into $1000. Silly gamblers... But we got to see the Vanipula family! I've taught them quite a few times when I've been in Prairewood, and they're getting baptized this Saturday. They're so awesome! It's so great being able to teach them every week and watching them progress! I know I wasn't "officially" their missionary, but to me and to them, I might as well have been. So I'll probably bawl like a little girl Saturday, and that's SO okay. 
Wednesday, round two, and the reason why I am late emailing. This morning we were able to go to the temple!!!!!! Which is my first time in Australia, so it's been over eight months since I've been able to spend time in the temple. It was fantastic. Just what my heart needed. :) Then we had to drive some of the sisters in our zone to the mission office to pick up a new sister from Tonga. Driving in crazy Sydney traffic is exactly what the movies make it out to be, just in case you were wondering. Haha.
Life is so good! This week had a lot of ups and downs, but the ups are all that matter. :) Love you heaps and I'll write again Sunday/Monday. ;)

Sister Danielle Laree Stott  

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Interesting Service Opportunities....

This week has been quite an interesting one. I think there's a song that talks about, "You're hot and you're cold, you're yes and you're no, etc." And I can't decide if that applies more to the weather, the people, or just being a missionary in general. hahaha.
Tuesday was one of the most interesting days of my mission. Sister Yonthawin and I were on exchanges in her area and it was hotter than Hades and an interesting day. We went and saw an older lady named Maria. She asked us to do some service for her so we said, "Of course!" And then she handed us the nail clippers and asked us to take off her socks and clip her toe nails. And in my head I thought, "Oh Heck to the No." But then the picture of Christ washing his disciples feet came to mind, and I'm not above Jesus Christ. So if he cleans His disciples feet, I can clean an old lady's feet... So we did it, and you'd think they were the feet of a 16 year old after we were done with them. ;) Haha. Sorry for the gross story, but I told you missionary life was full of ups and downs! Then we had a lesson with a part member family, and it was great! They are so ready for baptism! it was just a huge testimony builder to me that the Lord prepares His children and will lead us to them.
Wednesday was interesting. The morning was a lot to handle, but it got better throughout the day. We met a less active member for the first time and it was really cool. She speaks Arabic as well so as she starts coming back to church, she can help us teach some of our investigators whose English is limited. She'll catch the missionary spirit! :) We have been working with a family that was baptized in February, and they've been struggling lately to feel the same Spirit that they felt at their baptism. So we invited them to retake the original lessons that we teach, and they accepted. So we taught them the first lesson again, and the mum, the only one who isn't baptized (the kids live with their aunty), sat in on the lesson! And she loved it! She now has her own copy of the Book of Mormon and is reading it. :) How neat is that?!
Thursday we taught our first English class. That was... interesting. We worked on the alphabet and they actually did really good! Their homework is to rewrite the whole alphabet again, so we'll see how that goes next Thursday! :)
Friday was good. It was exchanges again and I was back with Sister Albano, my companion when I served in the Sutherland Shire. So that was pretty fun, we already knew each other's teaching styles and it wasn't awkward working together. We met a few families that used to investigate the church but stopped for one reason or another. We set up some return appointments so we'll see what has changed since the last time they met with missionaries! :) We went and saw Sister James, she hasn't been to church for a few years as well. She's very nice and is happy that sisters are in the area finally so we can actually come in and spend time with her. Maybe that's all she needs to come back! I suppose we'll see! It was a fun day but the ending.... Oh goodness, I wish I could tell you that I'm a lot more graceful than I was last time you saw me, but I'd be lying. I didn't realize the step lowered next to my seat on the bus, so when I stepped over as the bus was slowing down, the momentum of the lowering speed and my drop in height made me fly to the front of the bus and fall on my face! hahaha. Don't worry, the only thing that was hurt was my pride...
Saturday... Oh my goodness! We were Bible Bashed, Koran Bashed, I was just waiting to get Torah Bashed.... Apparently there's an anti-Mormon movement going through the Pacific right now, and we were blessed enough to tract into the leader of it. o.0 That was.... traumatizing. It's okay, her heart will soften one day. Besides the bashing that went down, we actually had a really nice day! We had a lesson with Ivana, and she accepted the baptismal date of November 21! Woohoo! Let the preparing begin. She's really amazing, and I know she'll be a great member of the church. Oh I almost forgot! Remember how the night before I had a graceful moment on the bus? Well, on Saturday I fell down a flight of stairs. Don't worry, the only thing that was hurt again was my pride. Sister Teahe thought it was hilarious and laughed about the whole thing for 20 minutes. The struggle of being clumsy is incredibly real...
Sunday was fantastic! In the morning we went and saw a less active family to have a lesson with them and invite them to church. Then we went and had a lesson with Albert and Amy and it was great. The less active members, Albert and Amy, and our potential investigator, Hamhid, all came to church! :) It was AWESOME! I love when people come to church and like it! After church we went and did some street contacting and following up on some people that we've met the last few weeks. Nothing overly exciting happened besides an 8 year old trashing me in a game of Rugby I didn't even know I was playing. ;) Little kids are so funny!
It was a good week full of interesting moments. The work is going well, I'm loving every minute of it!
 Sister Stott

Picture: The infamous flight of stairs I flew down, with Sister Teahe laughing at me.

Monday, October 19, 2015

A week of MIRACLES!

This week just started off with a bunch of miracles, and it finished off strong as well! Monday after P-day we went and tried to see a potential investigator that we had named Hasanatu. But she was on the phone so we went to go see another potential investigator while we waited for her to get off the phone. We taught a lesson to Chang and he became a new investigator! :) Then we went back to Hasanatu's and she said, "Sisters... I had a dream and I don't know if it's a good dream or a bad dream.... I had a dream that I was trying to catch this ship but for some reason I missed it. I asked the man at the port to call the ship back and he couldn't. He told me the ship would come back in two weeks. So I woke up and prayed and asked God what the dream meant. I didn't get an answer but I had a good feeling." And I just got this HUGE smile on my face. And I said, "Sister Hasantatu, do you know that we knocked on your door and met you exactly two weeks ago?" And she smiled and said, "Yes. It was a good dream Sisters." And I got all choked up as she expressed how much she wanted to read the Book of Mormon. So we read a bit with her and then we went. Such a good night full of miracles!
Tuesday I was actually in a different area serving with Sister Y from Thailand. We'll be going on exchanges together once or twice every week. It was a very interesting day. A lot of people are bitter in this world and I don't understand why. You can't blame God for bad things. I've been studying in the Old Testament and I was just reading about Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt and the plagues. God gave Pharaoh NINE chances to repent and soften his heart before he sent the destructive plague that killed the firstborns. God isn't this cranky, evil being that wants us to suffer. He is merciful and gives us chance after chance to repent and become more like him. Trials are for our benefit. So don't be like Pharaoh and be so hard hearted that it takes the 10th plague for you to listen to God. That's my insights on the day. :)
Wednesday was an absolute riot. I have a new boyfriend named Eddie. He's Egyptian, about 60, and said I'd make a beautiful 25th wife. Hahahaha. Just joking, but it was a pretty good conversation we had. Then we were walking and out of no where I yelled, "Hey you!" And this guy turned around and smiled at me and I heard Sister Teahe yell, "Go, go, go! I'll follow you!" So we ran to him and started talking to him. Then we were talking to this Asian lady and we couldn't figure out what language she was speaking so I just pulled out all of the Asian language pamphlets I had and said, "Pick one!" Hahhaa. We all had a good laugh. We had a lesson with the Makitae and Okotai families and they really liked it. It's great to see their progression and their continuous conversion to the Gospel. 
Thursday was a great day. My favorite compliment ever was given that day! Sister Teahe said, "Sister Stott, your eyes look like potatoes." The girl knows the way to an Idahoan's heart. ;) We had a lesson with our investigator named Paul that turned into a bible bash, and he told us and the member with us that we need to seriously pray about the Book of Mormon. And we all said, "We have! Have you?" And then he stopped bible bashing us. Hahaha. We did a lot of running around on Thursday but it was a pretty slow day as compared to the rest of the week. 
Friday was crazy! We had zone training meeting and it was really good. I actually went to high school with my Zone Leader at Hillcrest, so it's really hard to not call him by his first name sometimes. We had a lesson afterwards with Ivana and it was really nice. She wants to be baptized and we're all just praying and fasting together so she can pick the date which is right for her. We went to go see a potential investigator that wasn't home and we hear, "Are those Sisters? SISTERS!" And that's how we met Mama Fina. She is a member but she is shy and doesn't know anyone in the ward, so she's been driving an hour every Sunday to go to her old ward where she has friends. But we had a message with her and talked for a bit and she's going to start coming to our ward. :) Afterwards we went to go see Maria, Ofa's neighbor that we did service for a few weeks ago. She was on her way out so we went to go talk to Ofa and tell him how it went. We mentioned that we had an appointment and he volunteered to go with us! So we went and they had forgotten about it so they weren't home. Then Ofa asked us to go home teaching with him, so we went and they weren't home. But as we were standing in their yard talking, we witnessed a domestic disturbance. This drunk man was yelling at his wife and smashing her car and it was pretty scary. So I called 000 (Emergency here) and Ofa told us to leave, and he left too. So we were driving and we thought, "What if that was God's way of telling us these people need the Gospel?" So we pulled over, prayed about it, turned around, and went back to find the lady. We found her hiding in the car at the end of the street and we talked for TWO hours! Her husband was actually baptized into the church when he was a kid, but hasn't been back since. She was so grateful we came back to comfort her and she said we could come back and visit them. WHAT A MIRACLE! 
Saturday was great, sounds like a good week, ehh? I think the miracle of the day was our lesson with Albert and Amy, a part member family. They came to general conference and loved it! But they still need the motivation to read scriptures, pray, and come to church regularly. Most people don't lose their testimonies of the Gospel, just their motivation and faith to act.
Sunday was so fantastic! We had a meeting with the auxiliary leaders of the ward, and there was plenty of chastisement involved so hopefully the work on their end will come together with the work on our end. Church was great but after church was even better! President Shum (the Stake President) and President and Sister Back came to Hound dogs so we could show them what it's all about. Ofa came with Sister Teahe and I to go back to see L and P, the couple we met Friday night because they were fighting. We went back and had a lesson with them on the atonement, and they invited us back this next week! What an absolute miracle. I know it's crazy that we witnessed a domestic disturbance between them, but it's a miracle and definitely God's handy work that we were there at that time to meet them and help them come home.
The church is true, the work is the best, and I love yous all.
Sister Stott

Sorry for the lack of picture, all of the computers in our area were shut down for some reason, so we had to travel to another area to use their computers, and they don't have card readers. :( 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

General Conference Weekend!

This week though! Aah, just a beautiful week in Villawood.
Tuesday was really good, even after P-day ended! So Tuesday nights we're supposed to go on visits with the leaders of our ward, but no one showed up... But that's okay, missionaries can figure out how to do missionary work on their own if we have to. ;) We decided to go and see a former investigator named Amy, and when we arrived, we found out she had just gotten married the week before! So she talked to us about the wedding and everything and it was really fun to get to know her, and she invited us back to see her and her husband, who is actually a member! So it was pretty okay that the original plans fell through.
Wednesday was quite an interesting day. To explain the morning I just have a piece of advice to everyone: answer the door with your clothes on, no matter who you think is knocking.... On a different note of the day, we saw a lot of former investigators and less active members and got to know who actually has a desire to learn. We had a lesson with our investigator Lee and she accepted a baptismal date! Although, there is a catch. She'll only be baptized this month if she can still pray to Buddha as well as God... So the baptismal date will probably, definitely, be pushed back a little bit. But that's okay, because she has been taking lessons for years and has never accepted a baptismal date before. Progress! :)
Thursday was full of awkward lessons and we couldn't figure out why. We had a lesson with Ivana, which went really well, and weird at the same time. She's going through a lot of things right now. We also had a lesson with a part member family, and that went well too. But the awkward part of it was the non-members were a lot more excited to have us there than the members. Aah, a twist! And then we tried seeing some potential investigators and I'm really bad at pronouncing African and Arabic names, so they all got a kick out of me trying to pronounce their names. My favourite word in Arabic at the moment translates to, "What?!" So whenever things get awkward I just yell, "WHAT?!" and then we all laugh, and we get a chance to start to conversation over again.
Friday was interesting. We have a new district so it's interesting when in our meetings we have conversations going on in way too many languages: English of course, but also Samoan, Tongan, and French (My companion's native language, so she talks to me and I reply, "What?! I don't speak French!" but in French). Hahaha. It's really funny and confusing. We had two family home evenings on Friday with two part member families and it was a lot of fun. We get a little competitive in object lessons, but it's a good time. :)
Saturday was SO GOOD! It was Sister Teahe's birthday! Wooohooo! And to top it off, it was General Conference! General Conference is the best! So many questions answered! And Lee came, so her questions were answered too! I just loved it so much. After I send this email I think I'll go print 50 pages of talks off of :) After conference we went and saw our investigator Helen, because it was her birthday too! Yayy birthdays! Then we had a lesson with Hong Ly and she is super sweet. She's Cambodian and just an absolute riot.  Then during language study, we had a little birthday celebration full of sugar, pizza, and mustaches. Don't worry, we celebrated very well,  righteously. :)
Sunday was so great! It was General Conference again! Even more questions answered, more revelation received, and more investigators getting answers too! It was fantastic. THREE NEW APOSTLES! And they are such great, humble men. I couldn't be happier to be a member of the church and to have such great leaders acting under the direction of Jesus Christ. The church is true, and it's beautiful.  After conference we all switched around companions and went to see less active members in another ward. I went with Sister Creel and we met this really amazing family. It was nice getting to know them and being able to set up a plan for the leaders in their ward to help them out.
It was a great week. It was so much fun and so full of little miracles. I'm excited to hear all about the scriptures you choose to "ponderize" each week as a servant of the Lord suggested this weekend. :) I know it will bless you and help you to have the Spirit as your constant companion. So please keep me updated on how it works out for you. :)
Sending my love and a traditional mustache picture,

Sister Stott 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"She was NOT speaking French!"

I wish I could express to you how happy I am today, but I'll just let you read my email and hopefully you'll get the gist of it.
Let me tell you a funny story about Tuesday. Sister Eddie is from the Solomon Islands and we share the flat and we were listening to her music in the car. There was a folder called "My Nice," so I asked her, "My nice what?" And she said, "My nice have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!" I realized I've been on my mission for a while after that comment, because I thought it was the funniest thing I've heard in ages. Anyways, we started the morning off doing service at a member's home while they're away for a month. I was in charge of the chicken coop with Sister Teahe. Gathering eggs, feeding the chickens, cleaning the coop, rounding up the rogue chickens, etc. It was so much fun! But let's be real, I'm not much of a rancher. ;)  After we did some service we went and had a lesson with Kathy and a lesson with George. After we saw George we went to Mary's and off to rescues! Busy, busy, busy. Isn't being busy a blessing though?! So much better than being bored out of your mind...
Wednesday we had Bronwyn in the morning then we went over to Sister Cummings' house to get to know her a bit better. Can I tell you how utterly terrifying it is to share a message with the daughter-in-law of a General Authority? It's pretty intimidating... but their family is so great. We had a lesson with Julie then Vika and Sister Feinga went to visit people with us! It was a lot of fun having them get to know our investigators a bit. Then they took us to Hungry Jacks and they got eight ice creams.... Never say you "love" something to a Tongan who likes you, because they will make sure you never run out. But I'm not complaining! Ice cream is gold these days. We went searching with Sister Fenunuti and found out that one of our potential investigators is actually a less active member! Kinda of crazy, now we need to track down some records.
Thursday was mad as. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Craige and he loved it. Then we went and had a lesson with Mike, and he wants to be baptized November 14! Woo! Then we had a lesson with Alicia and set a goal baptismal date of December 5. Then we went to see a less active family and got to know them better. And then we ran into the Ashers, so they took us out to dinner. I love them, they remind me a lot of my parents but reverse the personalities. Does that make sense? Anyways, it's a pleasure to share Thai food with them any day!
Friday was a bit slower. A lot of appointments fell through and a lot of people weren't interested, but that's okay! We had a dinner appointment with the Feingas, but we missed the right train. So we had to take the later train, which meant we didn't have time to see a less active member named Bao that we had never met. But this guy on the train kept staring at me, so when I got off the train and he followed I was a little freaked out. Then he ran up to me and said, "Are you LDS?! I used to be LDS in Fiji!" Guess what, it was Bao! Divine intervention with our planning. Our appointment with the Feingas was great. They have a list of 10 names of people that they are going to invite to learn about the Gospel. And they're going tracting as a family next week! How cool are they? This ward is crazy when it comes to missionary work, I love it. Then we went and saw Helen, and this is probably the happiest I've seen her. Which makes me even more happy!
Saturday was so nasty. The last Saturday of the transfer, before we get our transfer details, we have to deep clean the flat. And apparently, the last 3 transfers the missionaries living there skipped doing it. Oh my lanta, it was insane. I'm not even to describe it to you, just know that it should never take more than 3 hours, and we gave up after 5 1/2 hours... Yea, blegh. Anyways, transfer calls came! Now they're a bit tricky, but I'm stoked. I've been sharing the ward with another set of Sisters, right? Remember the Sister Training Leader from Tahiti I loved going on exchanges with so much? So my area was killing it but their area has really been struggling. So Sister Sekete left completely and now I'm with Sister Teahe in the other half of the ward, and Sister Eddie and Sister Tuifua are taking over my old area. So I got transferred, but didn't even move out of my bedroom. Haha. I'm so excited. We also were able to watch the Women's session of General Conference. It was so good, I think my favorite talk was President Uchtdorf's.
Sunday was great. We went and said goodbye to some investigators and former investigators before church. Church was great as well. We were sitting in Relief Society and this lady said something a little blunt and added, "Pardon my French." And Sister Teahe turned to me and said, "She was NOT speaking French!" Hahaha. Sister Teahe's first language is French, so the expression didn't make sense to her. It was fun to explain. :) After church Ofa Amone's oldest daughter was baptized, so it was great to be able to witness that.
Monday was probably one of my favourite days on this side of the world. We took Sister Sekete to transfers then ran other sisters back and forth to their new areas for the rest of the morning. When we finally made it back to our area, we went straight to work! We rode our bikes and went to see heaps of former investigators to invite them to General Conference. Then we went to the Loughman's and had a Filipino dinner with them, so fun! It was great getting to know them better. Then we went and met a former investigator named Lena! She didn't like the sisters that found her a year ago but they made a note that she has a daughter with Special Needs. So I was super keen to go visit! We introduced ourselves, I told her I studied Special Education at University, and asked if we could come in and play with her. And she let us in! We all threw a ball around and had a great chat for about 45 minutes. It was so much fun and she invited us back without us even asking. It was great! Then we tried talking to this Turkish lady and she didn't speak English, but this 11 year old boy was right there and offered to translate! So he did and she asked us to teach her English, gave us her number, and left. Then we were talking to the little boy for a while in front of his family's shop. His dad came out and gave us Baklava (yummy middle eastern dessert) and talked to us too! And while we were talking, all of these refugees from the middle east came up to us and asked us (through Yusuf and his dad) to teach them English. So we're going to start an English class hopefully. It'll be way fun, but the only things we have in both Arabic and English are the discussions... :) Well, they've got to learn English and the Gospel somehow, so why not together! :)
I hope you were able to see how happy I am through me telling you about my week. God is good, He knows each of us, and he wants us to feel His love! And I definitely felt it this week. :)

Sister Stott

Picture: Sister Teahe and Baklava! :)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Onasa'i ia, alofa atu.

My first week in Villawood I mentioned a family named the Mafoas and how I just adored them. Well, I still do! :) We had Family Home Evening with them on Monday and they are just an absolute riot. But this time instead of leaving them a commitment to read a scripture or something, we committed them to teach the next lesson. Haha. Talk about a crazy commitment, but I'll tell you how it panned out when I tell you about Friday.
Tuesday started off slow, but that's all good. We were on our way to see Julie and Brother T was on the bus too, but he got off a few stops before us. So when we went to get off at Julie's, we saw Brother T's phone still in his seat! So we hopped off the bus and went to his house to give it to him. It was pretty funny because he was telling on the bus we should call him if we need anything. So when he opened the door, I held up his phone and said, "If you didn't want us to call, you could've just not offered!" Haha. We had a lesson with Julie and it went really well. She had a lot of questions that she had been afraid to ask. But we answered them and it was good! She's going to pray for a baptismal date, so we'll see how that goes! Then we went and saw Mary and talked about Family History, which was good. We went and saw Mama Taufa with Sister Laufoli as well. I just love the Laufolis, they're so good to us! Then exchanges started and my companion was Sister Teahe. Oh my lanta, I just love her!
Wednesday was MAD AS! In the morning we set up like 10 appointments, which all fell through. But we did some tracting and found some really keen potential investigators. Then we got a phone call from the Amone's saying they were doing service for their neighbour, and we should come help! So we did and it was hectic! Their yard was crazy. It took us, the Amone's, a bishop, a YSA, and four Elders FOUR HOURS to attack. But it was awesome. It looks amazing! Also, I got to use a bush knife (machete) to attack the overgrown grass. I felt like a mad woman! Elder Katoa was pulling back the grass to make a bundle as  I was wacking so it would make a bundle, right? But he let go right as I went to cut and WACK! I cut the head off of the rake. 0.o My bad... my bad... Anyways, it was a super fun day with my wonderful Tahitian soa.
Thursday... I was pretty sure the world was ending for a little bit. We called Maureen to confirm our appointment with her and her mum Rose, which was odd because we normally don't call to confirm with them. Anyways, Maureen was just leaving the cemetery, because Rose had died earlier in the week... So that was sad. And then the Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on our door right when we got off the phone, and that was really weird. I tried giving them a Book of Mormon but they wouldn't take it... Rude. We went and had a lesson with Craige and that was good. We also had a lesson with Mike. He is awesome but he has so many deep questions that they kind of leave my head spinning. (Also, back in America I had a new niece enter into the world, so that was pretty cool. Yay for Audrey Ella!)
Friday was hectic. Sister Eddie was sick so every appointment we had to switch companions so everyone was seen and someone was with her. So Sister Sekete and I went to Martha's, the Sister Eddie and I went to the Amone's so I could go over the ward list with Ofa. Then we switched again and Sister Teahe and I went to Bishop's. Then Sister Sekete and I went to the Mafoas. It was crazy. But the Mafoas did awesome preparing their lesson and teaching it! I was so proud!
Saturday we went and took flowers to Maureen and checked on her. She is so awesome. She reads in the Book of Mormon whenever she misses her mum. What a beautiful woman! She's so faithful. The Stake had a mini MTC as well, so I got to pretend to be an investigator all day. That was so much fun! The Young Women that were teaching me did really well. I was super proud!
Sunday was crazy! After MCM and Ward Council, I took two of the mini missionaries out tracting. They were so cute! They did such a good job and I was so proud! We even had someone let us in and teach a lesson. And I just let them take the lead and I testified or asked questions when they lost their trains of thought. Then we had church and it was great. Shelley even came! After church we had dinner with the Ashers. Funny story! Jnr Asher served in Melbourne with one of my best friends at SUU. So we had a fun time chatting about that. :) Then we went on hound dogs! Ofa let me make the lists of who everyone visited and take control of the evening. It was a lot of fun, it was like I was a Sister Zone Leader for a day. But we made so much progress in figuring out the less actives in the ward and it was a really successful night!
The work is going awesome. I just love it so much and I'm so grateful to be here. I can't imagine being anywhere else, and I don't want to even try. Now don't think that means I don't miss home, it just means I know where I'm supposed to be. Onasa'i ia, alofa atu. Heaps and heaps.

Sister Danielle Laree Stott

Monday, September 21, 2015

Our Members Are Awesome!

So this week actually wasn't the most exciting week of my Australian life, but it was still most excellent to be a servant of the Lord. Monday after P-day, we went and had Family Home Evening with Simone (a recent convert) and her family. And her daughter just turned eight so we're working on a baptismal date for her! And we gave her her own copy of the Book of Mormon, and she was so excited. She and I had a good little chat and we went through all of the pictures in the front and she wanted me to tell her all of the stories. It was pretty fun to see how excited she was and how much she loves the Book of Mormon! I love it too.
Tuesday was Zone Conference! Oh my lanta, it just always gets me so excited to be a missionary! So many things were said, so many lessons learned, and so many prayers answered. I'm excited to work to increase my faith so that I can help the Lord bring miracles to the Aussie people. After Zone Conference we went and saw Kathy and had a Family History lesson. I'll be honest, Family History was not my cup of tea back in the day, but I am so obsessed with it now! Everyone should be involved in Family History and be learning about their ancestors. We can learn a lot of things from their stories. We also went on rescues with Sister Feinga and Vika. I really, really like them. It's so great to have members involved in the work!
Wednesday was good as well. We started it off right with another Family History lesson with Bronwyn! And this is the first time she has actually showed more interest in a lesson than her cat, so that was nice. We had a lesson with Lin Lin too but she's leaving the country for two weeks, so that's lame. But she promised to bring us Filipino snacks to apologize for missing our weekly lessons. Haha. We really have some of the coolest investigators I have ever met. We had a member lesson with the Feingas as well and they're great. I learned a lot about Tongan culture as well, so a lot of interesting things I've seen all make a lot more sense to me now. Then we went on splits and Sister Laufoli and I went and saw Julie and it was a really great bonding experience for them. Julie is ready to be baptized, she has a great testimony! She just needs to know that people besides the missionaries care about her. And Sister Laufoli is just full of love, so it was a good match up.
Thursday was great. We went and saw Maureen and Rose in the morning. They think we should be teaching more Muslim people rather than people that are already Christian. So they decided that they're going to start inviting Muslims over so we can teach them the lessons in their home. So they're still investigating in  a sense, but they think they're missionaries too. Haha. It's a crack up, but hey, they say that you learn by teaching!  So we'll just give them the lessons before hand so they can help us teach, and let the spirit take care of the rest. We also had a lesson with Mike, and he is soooooo fantastic! At first I thought he was just trying to Bible Bash us, but this was our third lesson and he said, "Why have I been missing this for so long?" So cool! He's prepared, he just needs good friends in the church to make him feel welcome. We have a lot of YSA that want to meet him, it's just getting schedules to match up...
Friday was good. We met Craige! He is really cool and seems interested, so we're going back next week. We also had a lesson with Martha, but it's hard to teach because she doesn't know much English, and there are no materials in her language. :/ So we teach really simply, and it's taken about 5 lessons to get through the Restoration of the church. We also had a lesson with our new investigator, Salima! She is so awesome! We just talked about the Book of Mormon and missionary work, and she wants to put her papers in when she's 19. Hahaha. She also started reading the Book of Mormon before we even left the house. So to say she's anything but golden would be a lie. Unfortunately, she's 15 and she's moving next week, so there are a lot of factors into play. We also went over to Bishop's and had a lesson with him and his family. It's really fun getting to know  them on a personal level. Their family is really young and so he and his wife still remember how important it was to have the Bishop on your side in the mission field, so they're working hard to help! It's awesome, and I'm super grateful for them.
The weekend was pretty low key. We had one lesson on Saturday and one lesson on Sunday with less active members. No one was interested and it was a lot of aimless walking and talking. Haha. But it's all good because Julie and Ofa (Simone's partner) came to church! And that's what matters! So even if the hours surrounding church weren't shining and exciting, seeing them in the chapel made up for it.
The work is going great. It's moving forward and I'm just happy to be a part of it. I know I said it wasn't an exciting week, but looking back, it was pretty fantastic. There doesn't need to be any crazy miracles to make it a good week, just the little tender mercies every day.
Sister Danielle Laree Stott

Pic: EVERYONE deserves the Gospel. ;)   

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Significance of a Pair of Socks

Monday was such a good day. After we emailed we went to a park and played sports and ate food with the rest of the zone. It was a lot of fun and I finally have faces to all the names I've been hearing. After p-day we went and saw Camila, Zaia, and their daughter Ornina. They're amazing! They're from Syria and are super excited to read the Book of Mormon. Ornina is the only one who speaks fluent English, so she had to translate into Arabic for her parents, but they're all so lovely. Then we went to see a less active member, but when we knocked on the door, six Iraqis answered (None of them were Siosifa whom we were looking for)! They're Muslim but they let us in and let us get to know them and it was really fun. They spoke absolutely NO English, so we had a really good chat via a translating application on their phones. haha. The only English they could say was, "American Sister, pretty face." I was pretty flattered, and apparently I blushed a lot because they wanted to take a picture to remember how "my face changed colors." Haha.  I love them.
Tuesday was good as well! We were at the train station and this guy and I were talking about religion then all of the sudden he asked, "So, do you have a boyfriend or anything?" And I said, "No. As missionaries we don't date." And he said, "Oh, well I'm looking for a really nice girl, but not you because you're a missionary." Haha. Then all of the sudden he wasn't interested in religion anymore. Weird how that works... But he had already given me his number so the Elders can be his friend. Then we met Helen! She's from Fiji and she is having a really rough time. She had a baptismal date over a year ago but then she went to Fiji for a few months and the sisters never saw her again. But we found her! And her life kind of stinks, but that's okay! The atonement is real and she can use it! We had a lesson with Lee as well and then another lesson with Mary. Heaps of lessons and it was just a good day! Sister Sekete broke the chain off of her bike when we were biking home so I taught her how to rechain a bike. That was a party. 
Wednesday was mad. We walked an hour to see a potential and he wasn't interested and blew us off! BUT his wife and mother-in-law welcomed us in and we had a really good chat and lesson on faith. They're so awesome and they loved the first vision! So we have a return appointment with them. They're super excited to read the Book of Mormon as well, especially Alma 32. We had a lesson with Lin Lin and then a lesson with Kathy. Both super lovely ladies, just working on keeping commitments. We had splits and I went with Sister Papalii. Oh my gosh, what a riot! I have never laughed so hard in my life. Samoans.... They're just good for your soul.
Thursday started off good! Instead of exercising, I taught Sister Eddie how to ride a bike! That was interesting and I have a nice bruise on my leg from trying to be her training wheels. Haha. I now understand a portion of the patience parents must have... But it was so much fun! We had another lesson with Mike and it was crazy! His whole countenance has changed! he was yearning to know the answers to his questions, and he was searching for the answers in the Book of Mormon! It was so good! We had dinner and a lesson with the Mafoas as well and I just adore them... Speaking of people I adore, I've been getting sick, and Thursday was especially unpleasant, but we had appointments so I didn't have time to be sick. So I felt like crap, and Australian chemists are super confusing, and I don't know any members well enough here for me to feel comfortable talking to them about being sick. I wanted a nap, I wanted my mom, I wanted to be in a country where I understood what medicine did what! So we were walking into the flat and I thought, "Hey, I should check the mail." Even though I was 90% certain no one had written me, and there was a little package from Katrina Stewart! And it had a letter and giraffe socks in it! And I'll tell ya, I could have just cried. God is so aware of us. He is aware of our needs and our struggles. And He always shows us that He cares! And sometimes He shows that love through a beautiful woman from the Wollongong ward you miss and a pair of giraffe socks.
Friday was good. We had Zone Training and it was most excellent. Then we were walking to an appointment afterwards and this guy ran up to me and said, "Sister! I'm dying! I need help." Apparently he's a junkie and wants to be in an addiction recovery program and someone had mentioned our church does a free one! So he was out looking for a member! Kind of cool. We had a lesson with Isabella and she had heaps of questions, which was so good! We also had a lesson with Sister Anastasia and that was so fun. I love getting to know members! She's pretty great. We went home for dinner, and I felt even sicker than I had been the previous day, so we were debating whether or not to stay in for the rest of the night... It was 8pm and we didn't have any set appointments, so it wouldn't have been a big deal, right? Wrong! I had a second breath, and we went out! I wasn't about to have a sick day for an hour. So we went to the train station and we met Courtney! This incredible 17 year old who has been wondering if God is there and was just waiting for a train. The Lord blesses obedience! We have an appointment with her this next week.
Sat-day (Aussies shorten every word)! We had a lesson with Bronwyn in the morning and that was good. We tried seeing heaps of people but no one wanted to be home apparently. But we did have a lesson with Shelley! We also had a lesson with Julie... Apparently people have been calling us a cult and she's been freaking out and she just laid out all of these concerns! So we said, "Have you asked God if Joseph Smith is a true prophet?" And she hadn't, so she knelt down right then and there and asked. Then after her prayer, she was quiet for a few moments, and she looked me in the eyes and said, "All I keep hearing is 'He is a prophet, he is a prophet.' " BEAUTIFUL! She's going to pray more, but she has her answer, now she just needs to act on it.
Sunday was so good! We had meetings in the morning and they were just fantastic. The Bishop here really wants members to get involved in the work! I love it. I gave a talk in sacrament meeting... It went well I think. I talked about faith and how we need to constantly be increasing our faith and acting on it. Tad R Callister said, "Every time we exercise faith, we invite miracles." And the world is in need of some miracles! After church we tried seeing heaps of people but no one was home or interested for the first hour or so. But then we had a lesson with Kathy and we're going to get her started on Family History so that when she is ready to go to the temple, she can take family names! And then we had a lesson with Vera, a less active member from Sweden. She is such a riot. If I'm still here for Christmas, I'm taking over hot chocolate, because we both think it's ridiculous that Christmas is in the summer here. haha.
It was a crazy week! We have so many new investigators and it is so good to see the work moving forward. God is good and he is preparing people! We're going to find them.
Have a beautiful week,

Sister Danielle Laree Stott

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Another Splendid Week Has Come And Gone

I mentioned last Sunday that we met a man named Oscar from Iraq. Well we ran into him again on the street on Monday! And he told us that God blessed him heaps in the past 36 hours since he had met us, and he knew it was because he met us! So he is really excited to take the lessons, he just has to find time amongst his two jobs and university. But he's really awesome, and it was really nice to see him so thankful to God. We also met two Persians, but I don't think we'll have a return appointment, despite their wishes. Generally we don't go back and send the Elders instead when I ask, "What language do you speak?" and their reply is, "Any language you want, sweetie." Yup, those guys will definitely be the Elders' territory...
Tuesday was a dang good day. We had a lunch appointment with a super sweet Tongan family, and I really need to figure out how to dish myself up so that they don't feel it necessary to take my plate back and more than double the servings before I even start. Haha. But it was fun to get to know a family in the ward, and their daughter served in NZ with some of my friends, so that was fun to talk with her about too. :) We had a lesson with our investigator named Alicia and it went well. We talked about the Book of Mormon and why it is so important. And she seems pretty excited to read it. We had a lesson with our investigator Deserae as well and we found out that the Relief Society President in our ward is actually her niece! So that was pretty cool. Tuesday nights we always have rescues, so we went out with Sister F and her daughter again. We went and saw Simone and her kids. They are so fun!
Wednesday was a bit slow to start. We tried seeing heaps of people but the first lesson we taught wasn't until four in the arvo. We saw Kathy and she was so excited to tell us all about how much she liked church this last week. Sister Finanuti took us out on splits that night. I really, really like her. I think she could be my Tongan Katrina. Haha. We went and saw a less active member named Bronwyn.... Bronwyn was baptized last year.... She was also baptized twenty some-odd years ago.... This, ladies and gents, is why you double check church records. When we got home from Bronwyn's, the Assistants had dropped off two sister bikes for us! Woo! In the words of the Best Two Years, "A flood of love is coming, and  [she's] riding on a ten speed bike!"
Thursday... Hahaha. My poor, poor companion has the heart of a five year old. So when we went to see someone and they asked for dating advice and we had to teach an impromptu lesson on the Law of Chastity, Sister Sekete was a bit traumatized... But then we met an Arabic man and it was my turn to be traumatized. He said, "You married?" And I said, "No." And he said, "You want to be?" And grabbed my hand and kissed it. Aaaagh. The COOLEST EXPERIENCE happened after though. We were walking to the train station and we met this lady from Peru. And without even thinking I said, "Hola, mi nombre es Hermana Stott." And we started having a chat in Spanish. And I understood everything we were talking about, and we called the Spanish Elders and introduced them over the phone and they set up an appointment to teach her. And then the Spanish Elders called about fifteen minutes later to say thank you and they asked what I had said to her, and I honestly couldn't say a word of Spanish to them besides, "Hola, mi nombre es Hermana Stott." It was really neat that the Lord allowed me to be able to remember the Spanish I had learned 6 years ago as a Freshman in high school from hanging out with my friend from Mexico for the short time it was necessary.
Friday was good. We had District Training Meeting as usual and it was so good! Also, the Zone Leaders brought the mail and I had a letter from Aaron in Maine! Oh my gosh, it was so good to get that letter! Nothing is more beautiful than hearing that someone you helped enter into the waters of baptism is doing well and staying strong in the faith. I really needed that letter! Especially since as we arrived home from District Training Meeting, Deserae texted us and said we needed to stop teaching her the discussions... And then Julie stood us up... BUT we had a really good lesson with Lin Lin. We also got a new investigator named Mike! He's from South Africa. And after hearing him and Sister Sekete talk about home, I changed my mind. I don't have an African soul. I have a very American soul.... We also had a really good lesson with the Mafoa family. I really, really like them.
Saturday we went and saw Bronwyn again and it was good. She really likes Mormon Messages, so it's a good thing we have heaps of them! We also went and saw Alicia. She wants to get baptized! We set the goal date for September 26, but I think it will end up being a little later. No worries though, because now she has that goal!
Sunday was mad. We had our coordination meeting in the morning, then we had two hours that we needed to walk to see a less active and go tracting and it was POURING rain. I love being a drowned rat with a name badge, it's exciting. :) Church was really good! I love Fast Sunday! My favourite quote of the day was from Ofa. he looked at me and asked, "Sister Stott, is that your natural color?" (Talking about my skin) Hahaha. Apparently Palongis getting a few shades darker in a Springtime week is an uncommon sight around here. For our Hound Dogging it was Australian Father's Day! So all of the Stake Missionaries jammed into a bus like a can of sardines and we went CAROLING! It felt like Christmas! We went and sang songs about Eternal Families to the Stake Leaders and gave them Father's Day Presents. It was heaps of fun, and I'm glad that even though I missed Australian Father's Day with my dad, I can be with him and the rest of my family forever. Also, we had a Tongan feed to break our fast and well... I'll just let that explain my attached picture for me.
Hoorah for Israel!
Sister Danielle Laree Stott

Picture: Sister Stott vs Pig and Accompanied Tongan Feed