Sunday, May 31, 2015

Transfer week so no letter:(

We received these emails from people in Australia this week. Dani is moving areas so she will not have an opportunity to email us.

My name is Sister Berrey.  I live in Pocatello and recently attended a ward in Sydney.  In RS I met two beautiful sister missionaries.  One of these is your vivacious & happy daughter.  She loves her mission & her companion.

Their enthusiasm for the work is contagious!

Dear Mr and Mrs Stott 
your lovely daughter Sister Stott has been serving in the Sutherland Ward Sydney Australia for the past 6 weeks and today she found out that she is going to be transferred to another area and that she also will be training other missionaries, so she asked me to email you  tonight because she will not be able to email you on Monday (tomorrow) as she will be in transit. We are very sad in our ward to see her go, her beautiful smile, gentle nature and amazing commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ captivated all of us, she is a great missionary and will make a difference wherever she goes, we'll miss Sister Stott!
She has also gave me your email because I'll be travelling to Las Vegas and Salt Lake City in August for a holiday, she was hopeful that I could catch up with Mr Stott as she told me that he travels quite a bit to these places,  I'll send more details of my trip soon.
It has been a great joy to have met and work with Sister Stott.
Warmest Regards 
Monica King 
Relief Society President 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sister Palongi

Greetings from the land of bipolar weather... No, not Idaho. Just the Shire. :) 
So Tuesday was kind of insane. We got a call during our studies that one of the recent converts in the ward was in the medical center, so we rushed to another suburb to try to see her! And she had checked herself out. So we rushed to her house! And she was in heaps of pain, so we helped around the house so she didn't have to worry about trying to do a million things. Then we tried to see a few less active members. And we knocked on GG's door (no name will be mentioned due to the story I shall tell). And she started bawling as soon as she saw our name badges! She had a psychiatric crack and was so overwhelmed. She is a hoarder and had just had a kitchen fire. She had been praying for some sort of help and then we knocked on the door. And she doesn't like to answer the door, but she felt prompted to. And it was us! So she told us all of this and then I just started crying too. So we set up a day and time we could come back to help. Then we were riding the train home and this man sneezed and I said, "Bless you!" And we started chatting. We talked about what missionaries do and I invited him to come to church on Sunday. He asked, "Will you be there?" And I said, "Of course!" And he said, "Sweet. Do you have a boyfriend?" And I started giggling and said, "No. I currently don't believe in dating." And he said, "What?! You should?" And I said, "Will you come on Sunday?" And he said, "Maybe" and then winked. Blegh. I'm here to convert, not to flirt! 
Wednesday we went and helped the same recent convert we helped on Tuesday. Then we went and contacted a potential named Guanna. She used to babysit our ward mission leader. Haha. Too cute! She was really sweet but not interested. Then we tried to contact a potential investigator family, but they were packing to go to Tonga. But the mom hugged me and kissed my cheek (everyone does that here) and said, "We'll see you in a month Sister Palongi!" Palongi is what islanders call white people. It's really weird being the whitest person for once. 
Thursday we went and taught Vanessa about the Plan of Salvation! That was.... interesting. She has very interesting views and isn't too keen on changing them. Darn that agency. Haha, just kidding. Agency is the best! 
Friday was great. We had District Training in the morning and then we went to help GG. We helped de-h
oard her kitchen and then had a lesson about how the atonement can help us through anything! It was a really humbling experience to be honest. She is such an incredible woman and she just kept saying, "God sent you two to give me hope." It was a good learning experience for me.
Saturday was interesting. Nothing that I can really email about though. EXCEPT, Josh! Josh is really smart and did his Masters thesis on Joseph Smith. He is currently doing his PhD thesis on LDS missionaries. He investigated the church for a year and knows 100% that the church is true. But being baptized could compromise his PhD process, so he is at a crossroad. But we've ran into him heaps this week, so we convinced him to come to church with us in the morning.
Sunday was great! It was Stake Conference and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Cummings of the Quorum of the Seventy spoke. It was incredible! And Josh came and he loved it too! That night we had a onesie party with the Irelands. It was great. We all put on our onesies and had a great dinner and chat! It was really fun. :) 
The work is going great. I can't believe that I've been gone for 3 months today and in Sutherland for 6 weeks this week. The time is going by too fast and I feel like I can't soak it all in! But I'll keep trying. :) 
Sending my love, prayers, and thoughts,
Sister Danielle Laree Stott

Picture: You know it's windy when you're tracting and it looks like you're wearing pants, not a skirt.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

It's Always an Adventure...

Islanders (Tongans, Samoans, Mauris) have this fear that missionaries don't know how to go grocery shopping. So they make sure to give us heaps of food whenever we visit them. We were visiting the Katoas last Monday and when we left, they gave us SIX full chickens, five containers of garlic sauce, four liters of lemonade, and two loaves of bread. So don't ever worry about me starving, worry about me not fitting on the trains. hahaha.
Tuesday was exciting. We went back to try to teach some of the potential investigators we found the previous week and has quite the adventure with one of them. His wife answered the door and was not excited to see us. She told us if she heard of us talking to her husband again we had better watch out. Apparently the Elders had tracted into them before and had her marked as a do not contact... Wish we had known that. But it's all good! We also had interviews with President and Sister Back that day. They're both really amazing and I loved having some one on one time with them. At the end of my interview with President he said, "Sister Stott, you're a good missionary. You're going to be a good wife." I don't know where that came from, but aren't mission presidents supposed to help you be focused on the work not on marriage? Silly President Back... That night we had dinner with the Liehrs. They are super hilarious! But they have a  16 year old son who has found my Facebook and blog... (I'm watching you Angus). 
Wednesday the weather really stunk. But that's okay! We went and helped a member who just had a baby. She's had two infections since she had her baby so we just helped her around the house so she had less to worry about. She's really awesome and gives us heaps of referrals of people to teach. We went to see a less active couple that night and they spent a good ten minutes trying to figure out my ethnicity. Greek, Italian, Brazilian, Australian, Mauri, Canadian, etc. Then I was in the middle of reading a scripture and the wife goes, "Aah! American!" My accent is weakening, but apparently still there. 
Thursday we went and saw Sister Stammers are usual! Aah, I love that woman! She is trying to get us to convert the whole second floor of her nursing home. Haha. Sister King had us over for dinner that night with a few other people. She made 3 main dishes! And chips! And two desserts! It's a good thing we walk at least 10 kilometers a day... Also, we were at the train station and we started talking to this guy, and he used to be an investigator! But he couldn't find  the chapel when he moved to the shire so he stopped investigating. So we're hopefully going to start teaching him this week!
Friday.... Well.... Apparently I look like an ash tray. Hahaha. We've walked past this old man on a bench smoking quite a few times, but we're always in a hurry when we do! But we were walking back to our flat for lunch and we passed him! And I knew I had to invite him to learn now that we actually had time! So I sat down by him, introduced myself, and invited him to learn about the Restored Gospel. And he blew his smoke into my face, said, "goodbye," and put his cigarette out on me. -.- But apparently if life as a missionary or a teacher doesn't work out, I can be a professional ash tray.... So I went and changed my dress and then we went to contact a referral named Vanessa! When we got there she started talking about mowing her lawn... Apparently she thought we were full time yard work volunteers. But she didn't have a lawn mower, and neither did we. So it was awkward.... But then we taught her the Restoration and it was all good! :)
Saturday morning we, the Elders, and some priesthood members help a family move. It was fun except Elder Duran and I ran into some issues. I was representing my USU Aggies wearing my game day shirt, and he showed up in a Utes shirt.... Eww.... There was a little bit of a turf war going on. Then we got stood up for three different appointments... No worries though! That night though we had a Polynesian Night! So all of the Polynesian sisters in the ward made traditional food and taught us how to dance and do the stick games. It was really fun. 
Sunday well.... AARON ROLLINS GOT BAPTIZED! But it was in Skowhegan. I hope they send me pictures. I love that man so much! As for this side of the world, it was a pretty quiet day. We walked an hour to get stood up for an appointment, and had to walk an hour home. That wasn't too exciting. 
Monday is going great! We went and taught a lesson this morning to a wonderful woman named Debbie. She's a baptist and really wants to learn about what we have to say. SO that was really neat. :) 

Sending my love and my prayers, I hope you never question that!

Sister Danielle Laree Stott

Monday, May 11, 2015

Giraffes can serve missions now.

So.... sometimes Sister Stott is a bit clumsy, right? Apparently switching hemispheres doesn't change that at all. Last Monday we were at the train station waiting for our train for 30 minutes so we could go to another part of our area to do a bit of tracting. Well Sister Albano was talking up a storm to one of the station workers when the train came. So I put one leg on the train and one on the platform, thinking it would work like when you put one leg in the elevator, you know? But it didn't! So the train door started closing, and I was hopping on one leg trying to catch the door but I pulled it out because the door dang near closed on it! And then I sat down on the platform and put my face on the train glass in despair because the next train wasn't for another 30 minutes! But I must have looked pretty pathetic because the train conductor took mercy on us and opened the door so we could get on. The people that saw the whole thing thought it was really funny.... I did not.
Tuesday was pretty great. We went to Kirrawee and saw Jennifer and Gabrielle. Jennifer has been investigating the church for three years, and Gabrielle is her younger sister. Jennifer is in her early 60's and Gabrielle is turning 57 this week. Gabrielle has down syndrome and is pretty much the sweetest. We had a nice visit and when we went to leave Gabrielle grabbed my hands and kissed them, kissed my cheek, and said, "I love you Sister Stott." Yup, I melted like a popsicle. SO SWEET. Then we hopped on a train to Engadine and had a visit and supper with Joanne. I was talking to her son, Hugo, who is about 4 and he leaned in and said, "I got a present for my mum for Mum's Day. She's going to love it. Do you want to know what it is?" And I said, "Sure." And he said, "But it's a secret, you can't tell anyone." SO I said, "Okay." And he said, "Okay, you tell your family but no one else." Haha. Too cute! He got her a necklace, in case you were wondering. Don't tell him I told you! Then we had a lesson with Adrienne and headed home. We were waiting at the train station and this drunk man came up to me and said, "My, you look quite pretty." I thanked him and he said, "I'm going the other way, but I could come home with you. Do you want me to follow you?" I declined then he acted all put out. Rude. Haha.  
Wednesday wasn't overly productive. Sister Albano had a doctor's appointment that took a good chunk of the morning. Then we went and saw a member named Charlie. She changed her name though, so she is getting rebaptized in a few months... So we're teaching her like an investigator. Then we went to visit Kim with Monica. Kim is just returning to activity and Monica is the Relief Society president here, so it was a good visit.
On Thursday everyone and their dog cancelled on us. But we did get to see Lady Margarette Armstrong Jones again! She tried for ten minutes to bribe us to tell her our first names, but we wouldn't. So she grabs me and says, "Just whisper your name in my ear." So I leaned in and whispered, "Sister Stott." And she smacked me! But then she hugged me and started dancing while singing, "Long live America!" I can't decide if she's sane or not.... But she sure does love America!
Friday was most excellent. We had Zone Training and the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders did fantastic. 111 missionaries are leaving the mission by October, so the lesson was on being trunky. hahaha. And then that night we switched companions for our 24 hour STL exchange and I received Sister Sunday. She's from Morgan, UT and finishes her mission in 3 weeks.
 Saturday was probably my favorite day in Australia so far. Sister Sunday worked me to the ground! It was fantastic!  We went and visited Julie, and she still doesn't want to come to church. But she let us teach her a lesson and said she likes our visits. So that was kind of frustrating since she knows what she needs to do, but refuses to. We also went and saw Carol that day and had a lesson with her. Then we went and tried to see heaps of potential investigators and less active members. And then we went tracting! We seriously only stopped moving our legs when we were teaching. We found heaps of potential investigators to teach! It was fantastic. We were walking past a cemetery but above it has a sign for the main road that said, "This way Jannali." And Sister Sunday saw Jannali and said, "I know someone that lives there." But all I saw was the cemetery. So I was really confused and asked her, "the cemetery?" It was really funny and awkward. I hope my awkwardness makes it across the world clearly through emails...
Sunday was great! We left our flat at 7:15am to catch a train and walk to the chapel for Ward Council at 7:50am.... But they cancelled it and told everyone but us. We we sat on the steps of the church and read scriptures for an hour. haha. Church was great and everyone just talked about how great their mums are. Yayy Mother's Day! We did a little bit of tracting and then went to the Ireland's so Sister Albano could Skyp her mum. I just got to hang out with the family for a bit. It was fun.
Today is going great! I got to Skype my family! Yayy! Happy American Mother's Day! Haha. That was pretty awesome. And then Leisa took us to Onesie Land! It's just a store with heaps of onesies. I bought a giraffe one of course. 
It's been a great week and the work is starting to pick up a bit! Thank goodness! Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, know that I'm returning them.

 Sending my love.

Sister Danielle Laree Stott

Monday, May 4, 2015

Goodbyes, Time Travel, Shotgunning Shires, and Boxing Training

Hello! Greetings from "Australier" as my Mainer friends like to call it. I suppose I should fill you in on my life since I haven't written in two weeks and I switched continents and all. I really confused one member in the Skowhegan ward since they asked me, "wait, Australia is in the New Hampshire Manchester Mission?" haha. Dang, those boundaries are weird!

My last week in Maine was amazing. It was hard saying goodbye to everyone that I loved there, but it was nice to know I had a week to do it. We had a big lasagna bake off and Sister Davis and I were the judges... I didn't have the heart to tell the ward members I don't like lasagna. hahaha. But it was super good. A good time was had by all. :) Last Sunday night I had to hug Sister Davis goodbye and drive to Manchester to stay at the mission home. I got there and talked to President Stoker for a bit then I said, "President, I hope you know you broke my heart." And he laughed, and then we both teared up because he realized I wasn't joking. hahaha. And then last Monday morning I hopped on a plane... and then another, and another, and another. And Wednesday morning I finally made it to Australia! Yayyy! I felt like death, and I looked like it too! We landed in the biggest storm Sydney has seen in over a decade. So that was an interesting welcome. They didn't even pull the plane up to the airport. We had to take a bus in from the runway. hahaha. But we went to the mission office and went through a bunch of meetings and I got assigned an area and a companion! My new companion is Sister Albano and she is from the Philippines. She's only been out 2 months longer than me. We are shotgunning the Sutherland Shire. So we both took all of our bags and moved in Wednesday night to our flat in Caringbah. We're reopening the area for Sisters so we have no one to teach and no one knows we're here. hahaha. But we don't have a car, so we have plenty of opportunities to meet people on the street! 
Thursday was less than overly productive. You can't get much done when you don't understand what people are saying, you don't have a car or a GPS, and you have no idea where you are. haha. But we met a member in the nursing home. Her name is Sister Stammers and she's 104! Kinda crazy! That night we were trying to navigate the streets and this man ran up to us and said, "Hi Sisters!" We asked him how he knew we were sister missionaries, and he told us he had grown up in the church and that his name was Mike. He even tried reciting the first article of faith to prove it to us. This was such a huge blessing because his records aren't here seeing as he just arrived a few weeks ago. He gave us his number and said we could stop by and share a message with him. We haven't been able to get ahold of him yet, but hopefully he will answer sometime this week. It was pretty rad.
Friday we had meetings all day. We met our zone and then met our ward mission leader. We FINALLY got information of the area so that was a huge blessing. We don't have a car so we walk a lot. We walked an hour to try to see a less active member and she wouldn't let us in. So that was pretty darn annoying. But we went to Jason and Betheny's house and that was awesome! They're active members and they have the two cutest daughters in the world! Betheny is having a baby boy this week so we went over and helped them get their apartment ready for the new arrival. We had dinner with them too and they gave us a few referrals of people we could maybe teach. Wahoo!
Saturday was Anzac day! So the streets were covered in drunk people and no stores were open. hahaha. But we taught a less active member named Julie. She has some special needs so when taught her the Plan of Salvation using an object lesson. It was pretty fun. We taught another less active member named Carol. She's Samoan and is pretty cool. We talked about the temple and how excited she is to go there after she makes some necessary changes in her life. 
Sunday was an adventure. We caught the train to Kirrawee from Caringbah and tried to find the church house. We only got lost once. haha. The members here are super nice. Islanders love to make sure we are fed! One member gave us stuff to make pizza in the middle of sacrament meeting. hahaha. We also met the Katoa family. They're less active and probably the coolest people I've ever met. Kafi, the dad, is a boxer and told Sister Albano and I that he'd train us.
It's Monday afternoon now and this morning was super cool because we took Mafi up on his offer! We started our boxing training! It was super awesome and Mafi says I'm a little white Mike Tyson. He also wants me to beat up anyone who tries dating me when I get back to the states. hahaha.

Australia is great. The people here are wonderful and I'm learning a lot. I'm really just trying to stay positive and focused on why I'm here. I'm so grateful that I have an opportunity to be on a mission and to represent the Lord! I miss home and I miss Skowhegan, but I know that God has a plan and the shire is part of it. Sending my love and my prayers, I'll write again next week.

Sister Danielle Laree Stott
new address
Sister Danielle Laree Stott
U 21 17/21 Mansfield Ave.
Caringbah, NSW 2229

Tim Tams: Australia's way of apologizing for Vegemite. ;)

"I'm gonna call you America..."

Greetings from the Shire! So not to raise any alarm, but I met royalty last Monday. We were walking home from emailing and saw this little old lady on a bench with her groceries. We asked her if she needed help and she said, "Oh, I'm just waiting for my hip to start working." So we carried her groceries home for her. Her name is Lady Margaret Armstrong Jones, and apparently she is related to the Queen of England. That, or she has Alzheimer's.... I know where my vote is. She was super funny. She couldn't remember my name so she just called me America. When we were leaving she gave me a huge hug and yelled, "God Bless America!" It was pretty great.
Tuesday was interesting. Australia is interesting. I've seen fights break out and then Islander cops bust in out of no where and break up the fight and arrest the drunks. I've been spit on by a crazy old Indian man. It's quite interesting. We met a less active member named Vince and he is a hoot! He offered us a glass of beer but I told him I'd prefer a milkshake. Then we went and taught a lesson to Adrienne, who is just returning to activity. That was fun. She is really sweet and is trying her hardest to be the best person she can be.
Wednesday was good. We met with a recent convert named Joanne and talked about how important the Book of Mormon is and why we need to read it every day! She is pretty great and is preparing to go to the temple in August. Eek! Exciting. We walked a TON that day because no one would let us in. The shortest distance I've walked in a day since I got here has been 10 kilometers. My legs are sore!
Thursday was great. We got to see Sister Stammers again! She is a hoot. Then we walked 40 minutes to see our almost investigator... And she refused to answer her door. So we walked another 40 minutes to our flat to eat dinner before our next appointment. Leisa, the Young Women's President, and I went on splits and went to see Sarah and Emily, a mother and daughter who just joined the church. They were super sweet and it was awesome to get to know them! 
Friday was district training meeting and that was fun. I finally got mail in Australia! Yayy! I kind of cried when I saw letters for the first time in this country! Then we tried to see a less active family, but the wife was sick so the husband wouldn't let us in. But the husband felt bad that he couldn't invite us in for dinner, so he gave us $50 and said to go buy sushi for dinner... But I don't like sushi so I got ice cream. :) 
Saturday was a roller coaster! We tried to see Julie but she wouldn't let us in and said she doesn't want to go to church anymore. And then she wouldn't explain why. Ouch. My heart. Then we went and saw Carol. We talked about how honoring our baptismal covenants help us prepare for the temple and how important it is to go to church every Sunday to partake of the Sacramet. She also made us this bread dip stuff and I now understand how an Elder literally doubled his weight in this mission... Then we met a potential investigator! Her name is Becca. She is this little white woman who thinks she's aboriginal, so we call her Bekwah.
Sunday was great! I met a new lady in church on Sunday. She was visiting from Pocatello, Idaho! Wahooo! Go spuds! Then we held a fireside and watched "Meet the Mormons." A lot of less active members and active members came so hopefully it gave them the missionary spirit and we'll get some referrals out of it. On the way home Leisa drove by the beach so I could see it at night. Then we got out of the car and I put my feet in the sand and felt the ocean breeze. It was pretty cool. :)
We don't have any investigators to teach yet but we're trying our hardest to find some! Australia is great, and the culture shock is starting to finally wear off where I can breathe. It's hard to give 100% when so many things are going on back home and in Maine, but I know that 100% is the only way to serve. So I'm working on it.  
I miss you. Sending my love and my prayers,

Sister Danielle Laree Stott