Monday, May 30, 2016


This week was so good. I can't decide what is best, giving a play by play throughout the week of just giving highlights. I am kind of liking the highlights thing better. Let me know if I need to change back to my old ways. 
Monday and Tuesday we taught heaps! In just those two days we taught nine lessons and did a few hours of service, and if you're not familiar with how slow missionary work is in Australia, especially in the bush, that means we were running like mad. It was fabulous!
Wednesday I hit my 15 month mark. How weird is that? We had the opportunity to take the Boogaards around with us to visit a few people. It was so great having them with us! I love them so much. I think everyone should have some Boogaards in their life! I need to figure out a way to have more than just a few months with them! 
Thursday was so good. We did heaps of service. Serving others brings happiness! We also taught a man named Alan who has a really old Bible that we looked up and it's worth a few thousand dollars. He's pretty cool, and is already in Moroni 7 of the Book of Mormon. That man loves his Heavenly Father! 
Friday we had our combined District Training Meeting and afterwards took the rest of our P-day we skipped on Monday. The whole Zone, including the Boogaards and the Moellers, went on a gorgeous hike to Federal Falls. It was heaps of fun, a bit chilly though. It's winter now so some mornings when I wake up it's -3 degrees Celsius.... Who said Australia was warm? 
Saturday and Sunday were nice. We got our transfer details, I'm in Bathurst still but Sister Kurita is now in Sydney! So we spent the time deep cleaning the flat and saying goodbye to our investigators and members. Also, you are now emailing the Youth Advisor and Sharing Time Teacher for Bathurst.... Perks of being in a branch: You're never bored on Sundays. Haha. 
Yesterday, Monday, was SO LONG. I left at 8am, drove to Sydney, drove to the other side of Sydney, picked up my companion some luggage in another part of Sydney, then drove back to Bathurst. I left at 8am and got back at 5:30pm, all the while driving the car. Luckily when I took Sister Nansen to meet the Boogaards after our appointments, they recognized my exhaustion and lack of food all day, and they made me potatoes and eggs. It's the little things, you know? 
My new companion like I just mentioned is Sister Nansen! She is from Samoa and is just a crack up. I've only been with her for 22 hours and I love her. It'll be a fun few months together! It's so good to be back around a little bit of my beloved Samoan culture. :)

This week I gained a huge testimony on... Testimony. We had a big

testimony meeting during our meeting on Friday where all of the Elders, my companion, and I were able to share our testimonies. It was a really neat experience and I know that we gain our testimonies in the sharing of them. I love bearing my testimony and I pray that I have opportunities to do so every day for the rest of my life. A main focus of my testimony my whole life has been the Priesthood. I'm so grateful for the Restoration of the Priesthood Authority! How blessed are we to have so many worthy men that are able to bear the authority of God in the world today! People are able to receive blessings of healing and guidance. I have been so blessed to have been able to receive so many blessings over the last few years. I know that the challenges that life has thrown my way have been too much for me, but with Priesthood blessings Heavenly Father has given me the strength, encouragement, and guidance to heal and move on. How great is our God? I'm so grateful for the worthy Priesthood holders in my life who have been willing and able to bear the Priesthood and be the Lord's hands in my times of need. 

All my love,
Sister Danielle Laree Stott
 Sister Danielle Laree Stott
2/129 Keppel St
Bathurst, NSW 2795

Pictures: The Original Orange Zone's Last Hike
My Sweet Little Nansen. :) 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Short Emails For Once!

Well this week wasn't as inspirational, which is okay since revelation is sometimes painful. Haha. But it was a good week. We really focused on doing a lot of service this week which I rather enjoyed. Teaching the Gospel through your actions is so much better than teaching it through words. People here seem to forget what you say, but they don't forget what you do for them.
The main highlight of the week is we now have a Senior Missionary Couple in Bathurst! They are named the Boogaards and I seriously love them too much already! They are so humble, hard working, and sweet! They are going to be such a blessing to the branch. We spent some time with them helping them try to figure out Australia but they'll be showing us what to do in a week or so I bet! They're so good, I wish you could meet them.
Another highlight... well kinda... of the week was they hard a ping pong tournament here for the all the branches. I got destroyed because my hand eye coordination is awful, but it was still heaps of fun. 
Oh oh, another highlight! My mom rocks and sent me the General Conference Ensign so I've been studying that all week. The church is so true! I love studying General Conference! I think that it makes a huge difference to start off the day by studying the words of those closest to Christ. 
Sorry for the super short email. Our p-day is really short today because we are going on a hike as a zone on Friday. But after my novel last week maybe a short email is preferable. :) Transfers are on Saturday so I'll either stay or go to my final area. I guess we'll find out! 
Sister Danielle Laree Stott

A member let me pet their horse. :) 

I hope you can tell how bad I am at table tennis by this picture...

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Look, Little Currant Bush!

Well, this week definitely offered me some time for reflection. To start of my letter I'd like to quote a talk by Elder Hugh B. Brown:
"I was living up in Canada. I had purchased a farm. It was run-down. I went out one morning and saw a currant bush. It had grown up over six feet (two meters) high. It was going all to wood. There were no blossoms and no currants... So I got some pruning shears and clipped it back until there was nothing left but stumps. It was just coming daylight, and I thought I saw on top of each of these little stumps what appeared to be a tear... and I thought I heard that currant bush say this: "How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. I was almost as big as the shade tree and the fruit tree that are inside the fence, and now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me because I didn’t make what I should have made. How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.”
... I said, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and someday, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down. Thank you, Mr. Gardener.’”
Years passed and Elder Brown was denied a promotion in the military he was most certainly qualified for because he was a Mormon. He said, "I was so bitter that I threw my cap on the cot. I clenched my fists, and I shook them at heaven. I said, “How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done—that I should have done—that I haven’t done. How could you do this to me?” I was as bitter as gall.
And then I heard a voice, and I recognized the tone of this voice. It was my own voice, and the voice said, “I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do.” I arose from my knees a humble man. And now, almost 50 years later, I look up to Him and say, “Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me.”

Alright, now how does that apply to my week? Well, first let's look at the last 15 months of my mission. I've been working hard to grow to be a tall currant bush in a sense. I've had hard callings, hard areas, and many times, companions who have needed extra love and support. I've been growing and stretching and hardening up, and I was doing a good job at it! But this week I was humbled by the Lord loving me enough to hurt me and cutting me down.
Being hard working and the missionary that's called in to take care of hard situations has been great, and I've been loving it and growing, but probably not in the direction Heavenly Father needed me to....
Now if you want to freak out your Mission President, your mum and dad, your companion, and yourself, just have an anxiety attack that has been building up for 15 months. Haha. It's fabulous.  You cry a lot, you make people worry when you call them, and you pray a lot. It's not a pretty site! But amongst it all, you get something figured out. Once I got calmed down for a few days we went to Orange for a conference. President Moeller, who was a Member of the 70 and is now a counsellor in the Mission Presidency, gave me a blessing. It honestly felt like I was getting a second patriarchal blessing. And all my anxiety left. Since then I've probably had the most fun on my mission. And I figured something out....
Back to the currant bush, maybe Heavenly Father doesn't need me to be the tough sister that pushes herself and everyone around her. Maybe He needs me to be sweet and loving. He definitely put me in the position to be humbled and vulnerable this week, so I feel like I need to switch gears out here. I've already learned that I can do hard things. I learned that years ago and I've proved it on my mission plenty of times. But maybe I need to learn how to be vulnerable, and humble enough to be vulnerable. Maybe I just need to learn to love more. Most of all I think I need to let God help me out more and stop thinking I can fix everything. I don't know, just my thoughts.

So my week was actually really good, anxiety and all included. It definitely gave me a different outlook and helped me teach everyone with a bit more charity in my heart. We conducted exchanges a few hours after everything went down and it was definitely neat to have had such a learning experience before I was asked to teach. I definitely feel better than I have in a long time. I think I've felt better the last 3 days than I have since I came to Australia. So I'm grateful that my mind finally had a freak out, it gave me time to actually breathe and refocus. All is well in Bathurst. I feel better than ever, and I'm ready to change. Isn't the atonement awesome?

Sister Danielle Laree Stott

Picture: My fabulously ridiculous district. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Run! Run! As Fast As You Can!

In Mosiah 4:27 it says, "And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order ; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order."

Well, let me tell you, we've been running like mad and it is definitely the Lord giving us strength because down time is not happening in Bathurst, which is a blessing.
Last week after P-day was quite interesting. Have you ever tried jumping a fence in a dress trying to escape four dogs? Well, I have. It's not the most graceful looking thing in the world... After that though we had a beautiful lesson with J. She's pretty great, just has some obstacles in her way before baptism, but she'll be right!
Tuesday was busy, busy, busy! We literally ran from appointment to appointment! We were so busy trying to see less actives, doing service, and seeing our new investigator Ann. The end of the night we taught a lesson at the university. It was SO weird walking back onto a uni campus. It was a scary, dark, dreary world over there. I don't think I'm' ready to go back to that life... Ever.
Wednesday was busy again! We drove 30 minutes to see a member and she had her non-member son in law there asking for a Book of Mormon! How neat is that?! We saw a few other members and less active members as well and it was really good. We also found a new investigator, L, so that was pretty neat!
Thursday we did our service at the Old Folk's Home. SO MUCH FUN. Old people are ridiculously fantastic. UNO is so hard core when you play against these people! We taught a few lessons, including the Word of Wisdom to J which went a lot better than expected. We held a Book of Mormon study class which was fun too! Also, had our first dinner appointment in Bathurst. It was so weird not eating Polynesian food....
Friday was great! We hadn't had the chance to see too many members this week so we went and saw a few of them. It was kind of a harder day since two of our investigators that were really progressing towards baptism in our minds asked us to never come back. That's always rough, but one day the right missionaries will come and find them again.
Saturday was fun! We did some service for Sister Fisk. Her son was up visiting and oh what a riot! Between him and the grandson you just giggle the whole time you're there. Love them. Another investigator asked us to never come back. We did some planning, and saw Kerrie! So not a super busy day, but it's better than nothing.
Sunday was fun! Church was great. We even taught Primary which was interesting! The got a huge cake for Mother's day. Perks of a branch: One cake feeds everyone AND gives you left overs. After church we went and saw some investigators. We took them cupcakes and shared a fun mother's day message. Sister Kurita got to Skype her family and we finished the night with President Sua's family. :) It was great.
Missionary work is up and down but as long as we keep going it's worth it! I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day.
Sister Danielle Laree Stott

Picture: The Fisks! How cute are they? 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Already P-day?

Hello again!
This week just flew right by! Wednesday after we emailed everybody we went and saw T. She's doing well. Slowly but surely her heart is changing and she's starting to accept the Gospel. It's pretty cool to watch it happen.
Thursday was great! We had our Zone Training Meeting and it was a bit different this time since I had to give one of the training's.... Strange! We also had interviews so President and Sister Back were there. After that we went and saw one of the young families in the branch, which was super fun. We also saw a family we're working with, the daughters are keen but the dad is anti. It makes for an interesting lesson. We also saw Jodie! She has a baptismal date and she is just so sweet. I love the people here.
Friday was great! We were able to visit a few less active sisters and get to know them which is always nice. We also visited a single elderly sister I just adore. We taught a lesson to one of our investigators who seems SO keen! It's awesome! She is ready to learn! And we finished the night practicing English with two 9 year olds from Korea that live with a member. It was a lot of fun.
Saturday was great. We had breakfast with the Branch President and his family and it was so fun. We have a rule to only stay at a member's home for 1 hour and at 55 minutes he kicked us out (in a loving way). I love when members follow the rules!! The rest of the day we really focused on less active members and it was quite the fun day.
Sunday was great! I love Fast Sunday in a branch because you always get to bear your testimony! Also, we have a new Branch Mission Leader. He's pretty young, remembers what it's like to be out serving, and is keen to work! It makes me so happy! Member involvement is what makes this work worth it. We had a good afternoon and evening just trying to follow up on some potentials and less active members. Most people have moved but that's okay! We think we might have taught a lesson to T's boyfriend so we'll see if that's the case... If so, AWESOME! They can get married and we'll baptize them together. ;) In my dreams but miracles happen!
Today has already been so good! My Mission President is so nice and knows how important family is, so he let me Skype home a week early so I could talk to everyone! :) It was so fun catching up, even if I'm incredibly awkward, and I can't believe that was my third time Skyping on my mission. Time flies... Everyone is doing great, which makes me one happy Sister. :)
Life is good. I'm just happy as a clam, and they're pretty dang happy.
Sister Danielle Laree Stott

Pic: Last awkward Skype family picture! :)