Sunday, January 3, 2016

Don't Mess with Texas!

Well, it's official. I have hit the point of awkward missionary status. Ty Tuesday after I emailed I had to go to the mission office for a meeting which was an hour drive away from where I emailed but there was one problem. I DIDN'T HAVE A COMPANION YET! So I had to drive for an hour, in Sydney traffic, by myself. My anxiety level was up the wall! That's the most alone time I've had in almost a year and it was terrifying. I was so relieved when I got out of the car and there was another sister waiting for me. I'm sure glad my mum is a cutie and is going to be glued to my awkward side when I get back to the States. I'm not about that loner life. 
Anyways, it's been a great week. Sister Swan flew in from the Provo MTC  Wednesday morning. She is from Texas and is wonderful! She is a hard worker and loves the Gospel! She was able to serve a mini mission in Texas before going to the MTC and so she has heaps of great ideas that we can apply to the work here. She also went to Utah State and after a long discussion of "I swear you look familiar" we realized that she used to come to my work and buy food from me when I was there. Haha. It's a small Mormon world out there. Well after the poor thing went through heaps of meetings completely jet lagged we had to drive 3 1/2 hours back to Canberra and she had to fight to stay awake the whole time. Haha. But she survived and is doing great. 
Thursday was great. The Stake is hosting a YSA convention and so the missionaries were the tour guides. Talk about awkward... But it was really fun because I was able to see a lot of the members from Sydney that I'd grown close to and that I wasn't able to say goodbye to when I got rushed down to Canberra. it was good closure for all of us and it was fun to see that those friendships do last even after you leave. After we gave the tours we went and so Rosy with one of our members. It was a great discussion about temples and family history work and I just realized how blessed we are! I love the temple and I'm so grateful that the Priesthood has been restored so we can have those beautiful ordinances on the earth today. After Rosy's we went to Elsie's and had a great discussion with her. We moved her baptismal date to late February just to ensure that she'll be prepared and have a strong testimony. After Elsie's we went to Bishop's home so that he could meet Sister Swan and we could get working with him on the work. Our Bishop is so great. He reminds me a lot of my homeward bishop which is probably why I love working with him so much.  
Friday was really good. We had our District Training Meeting and then we went and did some service and taught a lesson to our new investigator Anna. Then we went and visited our Nana Julie and that was great. I love her! She's such a sweet lady. Then we had a sad evening. Unfortunately a 2 year old in our ward drowned this week, so we spent the evening at his wake helping out behind the scenes and sending our love to the family. I love this family so much and my heart really hurts for them. We'd just spent Christmas with them and it really hit home since baby was born just a week before my niece Addi. How blessed are we to have the Plan of Salvation? The whole family has been a huge inspiration to me this week as they have shared their testimonies with us and as they have held their views up to Heaven. They're a beautiful family and I'm so grateful that I can learn from them at this time. 
Saturday was FULL of miracles! We went to visit our investigator with a baptismal date, Terry, and we found out he's not married to his partner. So we flat out invited them to get married this month and for his partner to consider being baptized in February with Terry, and they both accepted! So now we're planning a wedding! Woo! This has been my dream on my mission! They have two grown kids together but they just never got married, but it's finally going to happen! Then we went and saw a less active sister, stopped in on a member from Texas, and then followed up on a lot of former investigators. It was a great day. :) 
Sunday was so good! Sister Swan was so cute and let me dress her in traditional Polynesian clothing for her first Sunday here. :) Luckily I had an extra Talavala that was her size and she rocked it! We went and introduced her to the Ward Mission Leader after church and it was a grand old Tongan time. 
Life is grand! The church is true. Trials come, but the truth remains the same. The members throughout the world may not be perfect, we missionaries sure aren't, and sometimes there are issues. But the Gospel of Jesus Christ is 100% true and 100% perfect. The atonement is real and I know that will all of my heart. 

I'll see you later this year! Love,
Sister Danielle Laree Stott 

Traditional clothing all the way! :) 

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