Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Snakes, Electrocution, and "Wait, what?!"

It has been a week. Not sure what adjective to put in that sentence... Let me tell you about it and we can decide together. 
Last Tuesday was pretty intense. We went out to this sweet little po-dunk part of our area to visit a few families. It was an adventure for sure! First, we were taught how to be domestic and make apple sauce since we did service in the garden after the lesson. So that was pretty calm. Then we went down the street and kissed goodbye to the domestic life! The family we went to visit loves reptiles, so we had pythons and lizards and all sorts of things slithering around us. Such a large contrast in such a short drive... 
Wednesday was fantastic! We went and saw a less active member and let me tell you... I am such an awkward human being. I've served around a lot of different cultures in my defense... But our conversation went a bit like this: Sister D: "Do you like Platypus?" Me: "For eating?" Sister D: "No... for looking at." Me: "Oh... Where's Perry?" Yea.... I just invited myself to eat a strange animal again... It happens. But besides that we had a lovely visit with her. Then we went to see our beloved Amanda! She's doing great and is so ready for her baptism on the 2nd of April! :D But we'll talk more of her in a bit. After that we went and cooked dinner for Bishop and his family since his wife just had a baby. It was really nice and fun. Cooking for members is one of my favorite ways of doing service! 
Thursday was really neat! President and Sister Back came down and had a meeting with our district. It was pretty neat and personal. After the meeting President Mahe went with us to Amanda's and cleaned out her gutters! It was great to talk about the Priesthood and Service as the Elders Quorum President was up on the roof getting work done! Talk about an object lesson!
Friday was great! We taught Amanda her final lesson that she needed to have before her baptism with Elder and Sister Clark. We're been stressing so much over it but she handled it great! Then we did a few things and there was a Multi Faith Samoan Good Friday Evening! It was AWESOME! Except we were the only white people, but we represented the church  well and sang for the High Commissioner of Samoa and some ministers of other churches! :) It was a pretty cool experience for a white kid.
Saturday was great! We had the Primary Easter Activity and Amanda and her kids all came and it was so fun! Then we were doing service for a member and I accidentally electrocuted myself.... I was trimming the hedges and I accidentally cut the cord to an electric chain saw with the electric chain saw..... Don't worry though, it charged me for the rest of the day and I only twitch a little. ;) Hahaha. Then we went tracting with our Bishop! Bishop Seumalu is honestly my hero! He actually went out there and knocked on doors with us for a few hours! Now THAT is a consecrated member. It was pretty cool to be out there with him. We sang again for a whole apartment complex that a less active member lives at which was pretty fun.  
Sunday was Easter! Happy Easter! Church was great. We taught Relief Society but we accidentally based our lesson off of a quote that isn't actually a real quote.... So you know, that's awesome. But it wasn't any legit false doctrine so we're not going to get struck down or anything. :) After church the Edwards had us over which was nice and we finished the night with a visit to our dear Nana Julie. 
MONDAY IS THE BEST DAY! P-days are always pushed back for good purposes! We started off the morning by visiting Rosa and then Anna. I just adore them both! We're going to go to Italy together one day... And by one day I mean the day they buy me a ticket. haha. They're great though! Then we went and did some service for Nana Julie which was good fun. Then came the MIRACLES! We had FHE with Amanda and her family at the Hooper family's home. And right before we started the lesson Peta, Amanda's 10 year old daughter, said, "Umm... I want to get baptized with my mum on Saturday. Is it too late?" NO CHILD! It is never too late! So now we have to smash in 5 lessons in about 72 hours so she can get her interview in and everything, but it's going to be awesome! So please, please, PLEASE pray for Amanda and Peta. A lot of trials are about to happen to them this week to try to stop their baptisms, so we need all the prayers we can get! God loves us so much! The church is true! 
That was my wonderful week! Glad we found an adjective. :) Until next time,
Sister Danielle Laree Stott 

Pictures: 1. My new friend the Python. :) 2. The funniest candy to a missionary. Don't worry though, we did not partake. ;) 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

And When Our Hearts Were Depressed and We Were About to Turn Back...

Well, hello,
The weeks honestly are just flying by. It also didn't hurt that P-day was a day later last week so I honestly just emailed a few days ago, but even without that the weeks go ridiculously fast. 
Wednesday was really nice. We went and visited one of our investigators in the morning and she is doing well. Sometimes it's hard to know whether or not she invites us over because she likes us or our message. But either way, every time we go she tells us how much it means to her and how she knows God loves her because we always come when she needs us. So we'll keep going back. :) After we visited her we went over to a member's house and spent some time with them. It was really neat though because they invited their niece over who is not a member. We shared a message about Easter and it was really nice and low key. It helped everyone involved and it wasn't that hard. It made me happy knowing that member missionary work can be so simple and can touch so many lives in a matter of 45 minutes. We also taught the mutual activity which was fun. So Canberra had better watch out because the Woden Young Women now know how to make stir fry and no bake cookies. Haha :) 
Thursday was really nice. We went and visited Kate. She is so great! She has so much potential but so little support. It's sad but great things are in store for her! Then we went and visited a less active sister. Oh my goodness, little old less active ladies are one of my favorite parts of missionary work. Maybe it's because it reminds me of the crazy things that would come out of my grandma's mouth when we would visit her, maybe it's because they are happy to have visitors and that makes me happy. Either way, it's the best. :) Then that evening we went with Sister Edwards to visit the Dempsters. It was a really great evening with a fun Easter message. I love Sister Edwards and the Dempsters! It was a great day and great to see members of the ward bond with those who are struggling and who aren't yet members. 
Friday was great. We had our meeting in the morning as usual and then we had a very interesting lesson. A member had invited us over for service but when we got there, she was stressed. So she asked us to sing hymns with her and share scriptures about the hymns. It was a really neat and calming experience. Then we went and saw our beloved Amanda! She's doing great! We reviewed the baptismal interview questions and she seems to be really confident and excited for her baptism in a few weeks! Please keep her in your prayers that her desire will continue to grow and that she'll be able to enter into this covenant! :) 
Saturday was great. We went and saw Yvette and she's doing well. Still keen on learning about the gospel but right now it's more of a search for knowledge rather than a spiritual search. But she's progressing, slowly but surely. :) We also went and visited a family that has had a crazy past few months. They're really great and they mean a lot to me, and I'm so grateful that as we prayerfully prepare lessons to share with them, we always hear the mum say, "Sisters, how did you know?!" It's always a testimony builder that the Lord is here working with us. 
Sunday was quite an adventure. We got yelled at by an angry member, our investigators that we were planning on seeing at church disappeared even though we had been talking to them that morning, Sister Teahe left to go back to Tahiti so I basically sat on the pavement and cried for a good 5 minutes,  so yea, it was looking like a pretty rough day. But when "our hearts were depressed and we were able to turn back" (Alma 26:27), we went back to the chapel after we said goodbye to Sister Teahe and talked to Bishop Seumalu. Well, there is a couple in the ward that has been coming for a while, they're just dating but pretty seriously. He starting coming back to church a few months ago when they started dating... but there's a twist. We all, including himself, thought he was just less active and then started coming back. BUT HE WAS NEVER BAPTIZED. So yea, we're going to hopefully start teaching him the lessons this week. MIRACLE. And then after we talked to him, this less active lady from another ward and her nonmember friend just walked into the chapel and we met them and they invited us over.  So it's okay for days to totally stink, because the silver lining is always thicker than the cloud.
Now, if you will remember my first email from the mission field, not the MTC but the beautiful field of Maine, you will remember me talking about the Cook family! I said, "Brother Cook is a member, his wife is a devout Christian, and their four children are baptized but not necessarily active. They are all AWESOME." Well, Sister Davis emailed me and guess who is getting baptized! Sister Cook! :D She's getting baptized next week! I'm so excited my heart could explode! 
Being a missionary is the best thing in the world. Sometimes, a lot of times, the struggle is real and being home would be a lot more enjoyable and a lot less exhausting. But it's about ten minutes after those moments that something happens and I realized how blessed I am to be where I am doing what I am doing. Being a member of the church and how I know Christ because of it is the biggest blessing of my life and so it's an honor to be able to try to help others experience the same. Have a beautiful week, endure to the end!
Sister Danielle Laree Stott

1. Woden and Tuggeranong District. I know my emails disregard any normality amongst missionaries, but if they didn't already, I'm sure this picture would do it.

2. Saying goodbye to Sister Teahe. :'( 

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Day Late, But Possibly Worth It?

Hello, hello, hello,

It's been an interesting week. Last Tuesday we went and saw two of our investigators. One we've been working with for months and one we've been working with just a few days. It's crazy to see how prepared someone can be. The one that we met just a few days before has been grasping our message far better than the one we've been working with for months, and she was one of the last people we thought would be receptive! That's why you don't judge a book by a cover, or their shelf life. 
Wednesday was great. We were able to see Yvette and she is doing really well and is reading the Book of Mormon. We also saw Amanda and taught "PRO" (Pray, read, obey) and she loved it. Everything we do now is "totally pro." Haha. It's great to see how far she has come and the difference in her we've seen since she decided she wanted to change rather than us deciding for her. We also had dinner with a less active sister and it was so much fun! I now how to make a 3 course meal in 20 minutes in a microwave, you'd all best be prepared. 
Thursday was pretty low key, highlight though: We were teaching Diana the 10 commandments and we use hand signs to help people remember them. So for #6: "Thou Shalt Not Kill" we form our hands into guns and put them in our holsters. Haha. And she went on this HUGE rant about how that is just too American and how Australians only kill each other with knives. Haha. It was so funny because myself, Sister Swan, and Sister Edwards (the member that came with us) are all American and the whole knife statistic just made me think of Crocodile Dundee saying, "That's not a knife, THIS is a knife." I got quite the kick out of it. After that, we went back into the spiritual side of missionary life. Amanda, her children, and Yvette all came with us to see a baptism in the stake. They all really liked it and afterwards said, "You know what, you are all invited to my baptism!" It was pretty cool. Watching a baptism usually makes or breaks an investigator's desire to get baptized, so I'm glad it got her excited. 
Friday we had our zone training meeting which was most excellent. You never know how competitive missionaries are until you put Scripture Jeopardy on the board. You also don't know how strange your sense of humor gets on your mission until you put Scripture Jeopardy on the board... Haha. After our training meeting we went and did some service with Amanda and had a lesson with her. I just wish you could know the love I have for her and her children! We mentioned I'd be out of the area for Saturday and she said, "Umm, can I petition that? You're not leaving!" She was relieved when we said it was only for a day, but when transfers actually do come, oh boy. I'm not the one to tell her. 
Saturday I was on exchanges with my dearest Sister Teahe! She goes home next week so it was fun getting to be together as companions one more day. We went and did service which was quite the adventure. It was pretty fun though to be honest. It was 100 degrees plus, we had to pull every piece of grass on a huge property, and there was rotten fruit everywhere. :P But it was a blast because we got to talk about old times as we worked and the three hours flew by. Then we went and taught the Plan of Salvation to some new investigators, taught a lesson to a recent convert family, and did a bit of tracting.  It was such a fun day. I love Tahidaho! :) 
Sunday wasn't overly exciting. Church was great, most of our investigators were sick, and Sister Swan gave a great talk. That was life. I love Sundays though, the Sabbath is a delight! :)
Monday was quite the adventure. It was Canberra day and missionaries work on holidays, so no p-day. :) Sister Makabenta from the Philippines and I were on exchanges. We went and saw our beloved Nana Julie, did some tracting, and saw some miracles. We went and saw some less actives and part member families, and it seems like God is just really helping people with their desires! Out of no where two of the parents of recent converts decided to give up smoking and drinking. I had to have their eleven year old pinch me to make sure it was true. The Wellings had Amanda and her kids over for FHE and it was fantastic! First off, I love the Wellings! What a great family. And Amanda loved FHE so much that she wants to start doing it every week! Member missionary work at its finest.
It's been a great week (well, whole mission) with lots of laughs and lots of spiritual moments. I know that God loves us and wants us to be happy. It's not easy sometimes, it's not easy a lot of times. But it isn't supposed to be easy! It's supposed to be hard. Trials and hard times don't happen to us, but they happen for us. They give us the opportunity to hit our knees, cry unto the Lord, and use the atonement in our lives. If life were easy, there would be no point for the atonement. And I know that Christ did not suffer and die in vain. He did it for you, He did it for me. The atonement is always there, we just have to use it. I'm so grateful for my loving Father in Heaven and my loving Savior. I'm grateful to be in their service especially coming up to Easter. That's my weekly dose of testimony, but before next week check out: Followhim.Mormon.Org 

All of my love,
Sister Danielle Laree Stott

Picture: Since I was called a stereotypical American with the whole gun fiasco, I thought this picture would suit. :) 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

A week of ups, downs, and firsts of the things you'd least expect...

Whelp, I've said it once and I'll say it again, the church is true! Monday after p-day we went and saw Amanda. We haven't been able to catch her for over a month and so we thought that she wasn't keen and that she was avoiding us. Boy were we wrong! We taught the Plan of Salvation and she LOVED it. She accepted to be baptized next month! Miracles happen ladies and gents, and I'll tell you a bit more about them.
Tuesday was great. We went and saw a less active sister and did some service for her. That was pretty fun. We did some gardening and tried experimenting with what we picked.... We were successful for the most part. Then we went and saw another sister in the ward and that was a lot of fun. It was basically a million degrees so people were more than glad to let us in. :) Sister Seumalu had her baby and Sister Howe was still in the hospital, so we spent some time with them as well. 
Wednesday Sister Van Zyl had us back over. It was a really fun appointment and we learned a lot about different African countries. After Sister Van Zyl's we went and saw Rosy that we used to teach a few months ago. She was really excited to see us but still not ready to change. After Rosy's, we went and saw Sister Barron! She is the best! It was such a great appointment and that woman loves missionary work almost as much as we do. Then we went and did some service for a member in another ward and it was really fun. Then Sister Swan shaved Buddy, Nana Julie's dog. Well.... Buddy bit me. So that was interesting. I've never been bit by a dog before. But I only bled a little and I know what he eats and where he goes on his walks, so I don't think I'll die or anything. hahaha.
Thursday was full of service again, which was really actually a lot of fun. Service makes me happy and gives me time to just get down and work and forget the headaches of the world. Thursday night was so fun. We went to the Taisenis again. I just adore them! They had so many questions prepared and they were actually thirsting after answers, which has never happened with them before!
Friday we had our district meeting as usual which was really nice. Then we spent the afternoon in the doctor's office. Please pray for Sister Swan! She's struggling and could really use your prayers. My faith alone isn't sufficient for everything that's going down. haha. But after that, we went and saw Amanda again with Emily! And wow, they hit it off! Amanda is getting really excited for her baptism! She's had a mighty change of heart and it's really cool to be able to witness it. 
Saturday was great. We showed up at Anna's at the right time again and we were able to help her and Rosa when they really needed us. Then we went and did heaps of service, I suppose that's the theme of this week. That evening we had dinner with the Clark family and they invited Amanda over as well. It was a really nice evening and they developed a really nice friendship. Having members involved in missionary work is so important! And I'm so grateful that Woden realizes that. 
Sunday, WHOA. Let me tell you about a sweet girl named Yvette. Remember how we did service a few times for a member from another ward? Well, she is one killer missionary! She works with young indigenous people that come to Canberra for a better shot, and one of them is Yvette! She came to church, then she came back for the missionary fireside! She spent 5 hours with us learning about the church yesterday, and then took a Book of Mormon and Gospel Principles book home because she couldn't get enough. We're going back tonight and hopefully she's as prepared as she seemed to be yesterday! 
I mentioned firsts of things you'd least expect.... Well, I mentioned I got bit by a dog for the first time.... I also ran every day this week. So you know, #miracleshappen. Haha. But really, I've gained a huge testimony of taking care of yourself out on my mission. We all need to take care of our physical well being and our spiritually well being. If you want to feed yourself physically, you'd best be feeding yourself spiritually. And if you exercise your body, you can better exercise your faith. :) There are my words of wisdom for the week. 

Thank you for your prayers,
Sister Danielle Laree Stott

Picture: My beloved Sister Teahe goes back to Tahiti in 2 weeks, so I tried sneaking in her luggage. :)