I hope you're all having a great week! You'll be happy to know that I have calmed down quite a bit since my last email and my stress levels have dropped too. Thank you for all your prayers and a big, "Thank you" to Brother Walsh for sending me some yummy chocolate in your daughter's package. Seriously, "YOU'RE THE BEST!"
Well, as usual a lot has been happening over the past week. Last Thursday we had Zone conference where we gathered at President and Sister Gillette's home for breakfast. We ate bagels, banana's and yoghurt. Their home is so beautiful and a, "dream home" because it has so much personality to it and oozes with a deep love for their culture. I hope my future home can look like that one day! After breakfast we drove to, "This is the Place" Heritage park! We had our training from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and Sister Bowden and I did our presentation on how to host large group tours. Sometimes it can be a challenge to keep the spirit in large group tours, especially if you have anti-Mormon's in the group. There has recently been a flurry of anti-Mormon's in the area because of the Manti Temple Pageant.
Side note: We took a flagpole tour the day before Zone conference and there were quite a few anti's on the Square. We knew they were about and quietly I prayed that they wouldn't end up in our tour group because I really wanted to have the spirit with me and I wanted to share our experience as part of our training with the sister missionaries the next day. Well, we met six people standing at the flagpole and they were all from New Zealand! Woohoo! Two other ladies who were from Denmark joined our group and there was another group of young people standing next to us, so Sister Bowden checked with them to see if they were waiting for a tour. They said, "Ummmm..., no we'll go to lunch first and then come back!" We started our tour and it was amazing and the spirit was so strong. The kiwis asked about my greenstone necklace that I was wearing, so I bridged their question by connecting it to how the church came to be in NZ and then shared my testimony. It was so cool! After the tour we were walking back to the South Visitor's Centre (SVC) and we saw this same group of young people that had gone to lunch and they were talking to some other sisters. Turns out that they were anti's and I was so grateful that the Lord answered my prayer and had sent them to lunch so we could have a great experience!
Okay back to Zone conference! We had a lot of fun with our training and we compared the sisters to Samuel the Lamanite who was great at declaring the gospel to large groups - read Helaman 16:1. Like Samuel, the sisters declare the gospel message and preach repentance but not always do they have the opportunity to attend the baptisms. Helaman 16:1 goes on to say that the people who were converted went and found Nephi and asked him to baptize them and it is similar to what happens in our mission. We declare the gospel message, the people feel the spirit after we've planted the seed, and we encourage them to make contact with their local missionaries who in turn baptize them. We had eight bullet points that we shared with the sisters to help them better prepare for large group tours and to finish off, the Senior couples had arranged with President and Sister Gillette to dress up as tourists. They had a missionary companionship role play a large group tour with the tourists and for a while some of the sister's were a little confused and then laughter filled the room as they realized what was going on. It was hilarious to see the senior couples dressed up, asking similar questions to what we would be asked every day. Good fun!
After Zone conference we had lunch and then spent two hours exploring the pioneer village. That was heaps of fun. Some of the sisters got to ride on the little train in the village and ended up derailing it temporarily because there were too many of them. Luckily, they were able to fix it for the other half of the mission to enjoy the next day.
With our meetings done and dusted it was nice to be back on the Square or teaching at the Teaching Centre. Yesterday, we were blessed with three new investigators - one from England, Georgia and California. Amazing! A member had referred one of her friends to us after watching the Missionary broadcast. Because our Mission is unique and we are especially busy during the Summer, we didn't get to watch the broadcast on Sunday but I hear we will watch it some time soon.
N.B. Okay, we are getting booted off the computers again but I will try and find another computer to finish emailing.
Love you all,
Yay, your lucky or I'm lucky, - we're both lucky - because there was room in the other library so Part 2 of my email.
My companion and I were asked by the AP's if we could put together a farewell movie for Elder & Sister Palmer who is one of the Senior couples that are leaving. On Saturday we had a mission-wide security training and we told the sisters to come between 1:00 p.m - 3:00 p.m. and we would film them for the movie. In the meantime we attended a District meeting and it was really good. I really love the sisters in our Zone because they are so amazing! After the meeting we concentrated on putting the movie together as it had to be completed to give to the Palmer's the next day. My companion fell sick during the filming so I took her home and planned on finding an exchange so that I could go back to the Square to keep working. While I was at home, I tried studying the Ensign - and just like I would do when I was in High School - l fell asleep on the floor for at least an hour and woke up with a fright because I couldn't believe I stayed in that same position for the whole hour. Haha. Well, I'm grateful that the Lord gave me time to rest and regain my energy because He knew I was tired.
On Sunday morning we attended Sacrament and it was beautiful. Our mission choir was led by Sister Palmer for the last time. She and Elder Palmer will surely be missed. Remember, they were the ones who helped put together our, "Sound of Music" performance. After Sacrament the Polynesian sister missionaries sang, "Aloha Oe" and then put leis on them and the whole mission sang, "God Be with You!" It was very emotional for us all. After Sacrament, we attended, "Music and the Spoken Word" because the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (MOTAB) were home. So happy they are back. I finally met Brother and Sister Chatterton! They are a really sweet couple who thanked me for my missionary efforts and they were accompanied by their son Scott. Sunday was a great day!
Monday morning I went and played Volleyball and then our day started at the Beehive House. One of our sister companionships called to say they were sick so we sort approval for them to go home and rest. Last night we had Teaching Centre time and went on Chat room and took inbound calls which is how we found two of our new investigators. We also took a family through the Visitor's Centre to watch the movie, "God's Plan" and they loved it. Their family were here for a reunion and the children are so cute. The family was part Tongan and part Hispanic and one of their little girls loved playing with the tassels on my belt. She looked up at me and said, "Are you my Aunty?" I wanted to hug her because straight away I thought of my little niece - Princess Hinalei - and it made me miss her!
We are three weeks into this transfer and its hard to think that in a very short time my companion will be going home at the end of this transfer. I love her so much and am grateful for her example. We work so well together and she is so amazing. I can't wait to visit her one day when I go to England.
Today, another companionship passed off and it was incredible. The spirit was so strong and they taught with such sincerity and love. You could really feel the spirit. I love learning from these sisters and feeling of their faith and determination in all that they do.
Well family, "Aloha Oe" 'til next time. Be strong and carry on, carry on, carry on!
Pic 1: Senior couple's role playing
Pic 2: The train the sisters derailed - you can see why!
Pic 3: Me, with some sisters from my Zone. The sister sticking out her tongue is Sister Sloan and she is awesome!
Pic 4: Us with the Palmer's who are leaving and Sister Dean from Aussie with her companion Sister Eggenberger from Switzerland.
Pic 5: Sister Bowden and I with one of the pioneer village people who's brother served in the Wellington New Zealand Mission.