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! :)