An 18 Month Adventure in the Australia Sydney South Mission
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Midlife Crisis Averted
Well first off, let me explain the title of this email. Sometimes you've been on your mission for a year... And sometimes you turn 21 years old... And sometimes these things happen in the same week. So the stress is a bit high. You realize you're going home soon and you realize that dang, you're kind of old. But then you forget yourself, you get to work, and it ends up being a great week. :)
Monday after we emailed was pretty interesting. We had a Zone Sport's Day and I got a black eye. Apparently when it's six against one in dodge ball and I'm the one... the odds are not in my favor. But it was a fun day! We went and saw Sister Howe in the hospital that night. She's the funniest lady ever! She's really sick but she'll be okay. :) She's a trooper!
Tuesday was pretty good. We had this crazy day planned, then when we prayed before we left the flat we thought, "Let's go see Anna instead." So we went to see her and she had a huge beak down right when we walked through the door. So we ran and grabbed a thick shake for her and let her vent. It ended up being a really good thing we came when we did. Then we had a lesson with two members that we're pretty close with since they came to an appointment with us and the people stood us up. It was a pretty good lesson. Then we went and cleaned at the Moananu's house since they moved and had dinner with them. It was a lot of fun. We honestly have the best people in this ward.
Wednesday we went and visited a less active sister from South America with Sister Barron. Hahaha, I LOVE Sister Barron. The less active sister wasn't really telling us her concerns or anything so Sister Barron just looks at her and says, "So you're lazy, is that it?" Hahaha. Then we were walking to the cars and she said, "I'm older than you. I can say that and get away with it." And she's right. She totally got away with it.
Thursday. Aaagh! Part one of my almost midlife crisis. A year ago on Wednesday, I was in Provo thinking, "Wow. My parents cry a lot." hahaha just kidding about that part. But yea, one year mark. Kind of crazy to think about it. We had a CRAZY day planned! SIX member present lessons.... And all of them fell through. But it was still a good day. We went and visited a few sisters that have been struggling and spent some time with them and helped them find the answers they need in the scriptures. We had an awesome lesson with Kate. She really has potential for progression, but being a single mum is hard and she has too much on her plate for anyone. But we bonded some more this week and I have a feeling this next week's lesson will be really good. Then we had a lesson with Dianna and that was great as well. She actually got personal, which is a first for her. She likes to distance herself when she asks questions, but she was honestly seeking answers this time around. People's hearts are being softened! :)
Friday was great. We had a zone training meeting then everything else was a bit slow. Our appointments all stood us up again but that's okay! We went and saw some less active members and another family in the ward that has been having a crazy few months. So it wasn't what we planned, but it turned out pretty good.
Saturday was good. We did some service with Anna and then tried to see a lot of people that didn't want to be seen. Also, I found out I'm not a ninja. We wanted to decorate our Bishop's house but he was sitting on the stinking porch! So when he went in to grab something, I snuck through his neighbor's yard, ran to his window, decorated it, and leaped back to the car! Okay, it was actually pretty ninja, but I think the fact that my blood pressure like tripled due to the stress disqualifies me to be a legit ninja. Other than that it was just meetings so nothing too funny or incredible to tell you about there.
Sunday was beautiful! We had a broadcast from Salt Lake where Elder Cook, President Pearson, President Callister, Sister Esplin, and President Christensen all talked to Australia and New Zealand. It was incredible! Then it was my zone leader's birthday as well, so we had a zone lunch from the Clarks. They are the sweetest! Then Nana Julie had us over for gluten free cheesecake and a message about service. :) Nana Julie is the best! Then we went and had a FHE about prophets with the D family and the Edwards. They are the best! Two of my favorite families in one spot, what could be better? Then we went and saw the Klenkas and Lachlan and they are so sweet! We had a lesson about happiness with them and they had a crunchie ice cream cake for my birthday. Now our lesson was pretty good, but I think the cake encompassed happiness pretty well also. Then we went to Bishop Seumalu's home. I just love their family so much! In Samoan culture (and a lot of other pacific cultures) they give you a key on your 21st birthday. It's such a cool thing to see as you go in and out of member's homes and see all of their keys. Well, the Seumalus gave me a key! Probably the sweetest present I have ever received. It means so much to me. I love the culture here! I'm so grateful to be part of it.
So the missionary work was a bit slow today lesson teaching wise. But it's been a great week loving the members. When I received my mission call, I was asked to send an email to my mission president about what my goals were for my mission. Here's an exert:
"My personal goals for the mission are simple. I want to share the love that my Heavenly Father and my Savior have given me with everyone that I meet. I have been shown so much love through my life, both in my blessings and in my trials. I know that without the love from my Heavenly Father and my Savior I would not be able to make it through this mortal life. And I know that the Gospel has amplified that love and shown me countless ways to become closer to my Father and my Brother and to return a fraction of the love they have given me. Of course I’d love for people to accept the Gospel, and I think that that will come much easier to them once they see the love and comfort this Gospel, God, and Jesus Christ bring. I sincerely want to end every day with absolutely no energy because I spent it all loving and serving my God by serving my brothers and sisters. I believe that through being obedient and by serving with all of my might, I will grow closer to my Savior and my Heavenly Father, help me become a better friend and daughter, and better prepare myself to take my place as a wife and mother in the future."
It was really neat to read that after being in the field for one year. And I still firmly believe in that. My goal out here on a mission is to love everyone. It isn't to teach a million lessons or to be a leader in the mission. My goal is simply to love everyone I meet -- member, nonmember, companion, and stranger. I still have a lot to do if I want to reach that goal, but I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to keep trying every day.
The church is true, the book is blue, I'll see you before I'm 22. ;)
Sister Danielle Laree Stott
Pics: Me and my Nana Julie. Me and the Seumalus and the key they gave me. :)