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." 

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