Monday, December 23, 2013

Loving My Red Hot Christmas!

Dear Family!
Guess what; it is Christmas week!! How crazy is that?!? It's so weird to have a hot Christmas! Frankly it just doesn't feel like Christmas; you know? But it's good. It's my favourite time of year, snow or no snow. I hope you guys are enjoying your white Christmas, cause I'm loving my red-hot one! (:
I'm sure you guys are looking forward to your very best Christmas present of all....getting to talk to your favourite sister/daughter. You guys must be so excited! (: Ha ha just kidding I'm excited. So I will be skyping you at about 8:30 am Christmas morning here in I don't know when that is in America; sometime on Christmas Eve evening. But yes, I have Skype account so I guess I will just Skype you guys! So be online okay!? (:

Just me trying to smell my Christmas box you sent me!

Ahhh I loooooovvveee the Christmas pictures you sent me!! Joseph is the cutest thing on the entire planet!!!! Aww he's been crying for me?! Oh my goodness I miss him so much. He is so adorable. Give him a kiss for me! I'm so excited to seehis cute little face.
 Yep sounds like you guys are in full-blown party season right now! The life we lead; oh my goodness. Family, count your blessings, because you are the privileged of the privileged.
Ummm okay so Abby's hair looks GORGEOUS. What did I tell you?!?! You were always meant to be a brunette!

I got some AMAZING news this morning!! So Tony and Nina, the Bosnian family that Sister Littleford and I found in Kentucky, are getting baptized!! (: We got so close to that family. They are the ones that dropped me off to the mission home when I left; and we all cried. I am SO excited to hear that they are getting married and baptized. I promised I would fly out for their sealing, and I'm still planning on it!
So! We had a good week here in Australia! To be completely honest, things have slowed down a bit. Christmas time is hard here in Australia, because everyone believes in family, but not in they don't love having missionaries over around Christmas time. Even the members are a bit busy for us. But hey!! That's okay!! "Let us all press on in the work of the Lord...." Last night we went tracting, but disguised it as carolling, and met some awesome people. So we will go back after Christmas and teach them. And it will be amazing.

So. Revelation. It's my favourite thing ever. And it is so tricky sometimes! The Lord works in His own way and in His own time, and we just have to learn to be patient. Sister Payze and I have been praying for direction and guidance for our area for days and days. Yesterday, as we were closing our planning session and she was praying, the guidance we'd been seeking just came to my mind effortlessly. It was really cool and exactly what we needed.

We are teaching this woman named Ayla right now. She is awesome; she will definitely get baptized but there are a few complications with her partner. BUT! She will get baptized. She knows the gospel is true. I'm pretty much 100% sure we knew each other in the pre-existence. The Lord definitely blessed me with the gift of discernment with her; I always know exactly what her concerns/feelings are,  more than with any other investigator that I've taught. She always says that I can read her better than her own mother. The gift of discernment is a real thing, you guys!

Yeah don't worry; I'm over that stress thing. I was definitely pushing myself too hard, but I've learned that everyone has limits and that is okay. So don't worry! Things are awesome and I am LOVING my mission. It is the best thing I've ever done! Missions aren't easy; but there is nothing better. I've learned so much about myself. Nothing can replace the growth and experience you get from dedicating yourself to the Lord.
I love you all! Can't wait to talk to you on Christmas! Kiss Joseph for me!

Sister Bryce

Monday, December 16, 2013

Just someone please go lay down in the snow for me, please.

Dear Family,
 Okay you guys.. slow down there right this second. Before you start being jealous of my lovely summer weather, let me tell you something terrible. It is going to be 41 C today. That is just over 105 F. Guess what...we don't have air conditioning. Also, it's not just your average 105 degree weather; this is AUSTRALIA. The ozone layer is thinner here than anywhere else in the world. And trust me, you can feel it! The sun literally smacks you in the face like a burning hot frying pan filled with lava drenched with acid and sprinkled bits of Satan's wrath. You don't have to believe me but I'm just being honest here...I am MELTING. But hey like it's great and stuff, no dramas. Just someone please go lay down in the snow for me, please. Ha ha okay that was a little dramatic, but trust me, it is hot. Waikiki is a lake of fire and brimstone. Ha ha just kidding.

Guys Christmas is about CHRIST!!! Not about stuff!!! Go sell all your presents and give the money to a family in need. Do I need to rebuke you guys? Because if there is one thing I can do, it's rebuke! Ahh I'm serious all I want to do is call the whole entire world to repentance. I'm for real though, Satan has taken everything that is good about Christmas and replaced it with "me me me, want want want." Guys. It's not about you. I'm talking to you, my little munchkin siblings. Give more than you get. Because if you don't, someday you will get less than you gave...way less. Everyone. Go repent. Me too I'm going to go repent too. Ahhh I'm so excited to come home and give all of your guys' stuff away!! Ha ha no jk. But for real.

Okay so let me tell you one thing that happened. Well, so, at the beginning of last week Sister Payze and I got PUMPED out of our minds. We talked to this RM Maori guy in our ward that should really be a general authority/motivational speaker, and no joke guys, during the whole conversation with him I could hardly even sit still. All I wanted to do was run out into the street and start preaching all nations. Anyways, he gave us all these really great ideas of how to be better missionaries. But then he said, "expect opposition. Satan does not want you to be better, and he will try to stop you." So we assured him that we wouldn't.

Well guys, guess what. Satan hard out tried to stop us. Do you want to know what happened?! Well guess what. The first lesson we had after that conversation was with a less active. We're sitting there, ready to start teaching, and BAM. Her granddaughter breaks her wrist out on the driveway. Yep, lesson = over. So they took her to the hospital and we went out to our car. Guess what?! Our tires = slashed!!!! Haha ha I'm just joking about the equal sign, I'm being hilarious guys. But no, for real. Someone slashed our tire. I know who it was, too. SATAN. He did it. He came and he slashed our tire. And we just laughed. As IF that would stop us, you know what I'm sayin?! He's just mad because we are winning, so he threw a tantrum for a second. Moral of the story - opposition. It's a real thing.

Like I said. Satan slashed it.

Me and my awesome companion sister Payze

So, on a more serious note. Something that I want to share with you guys. So Saturday night, I realized that I was really stressed, and have been for weeks. I didn't realize until I laid down, tried to relax and couldn't. I had this constant knot of...I don't know, anxiety? my chest that I couldn't really get rid of. It was just from having so much responsibility and trying so hard to get better and be a better missionary all the time. We have to constantly improve, but holy smokes I was stressing myself out. I mean, I woke up at 4:30 in the morning to study. Come on, that's psycho! Yep so I realized that I've been stressed out for weeks and it was making me physically sick. So before I went to sleep Saturday night, I prayed for peace. That feeling was still there though! Even after I had slept a whole night, I woke up with that knot of anxiety. I've probably had it for weeks and haven't realized.
So we went to church. During the opening exercises of Sacrament meeting, I prayed really hard. Honestly I was like, pleading. But still, nothing. And then, the Sacrament started. We always talk about how important the Sacrament is. It's symbolic of the Atonement of the Savior; His body and blood and how it was shed for us individually. The bread represents his body, the death of which overcame physical death. Because of the Resurrection of Christ, all men - good and evil - will rise again. But his blood - represented by the water - was shed as a sacrifice for sin, which gift is conditional on our personal righteousness. So during this meeting, with that in mind, I prayed for the power of the Atonement of Christ to take away the feeling of anxiety that I had. And you would not believe the degree to which that prayer was answered. As I took the sacramental cup, all the tension and stress and anxiety literally just melted away. It was the coolest thing. The Atonement of Christ is real power, and we should all use it more.

You know what? You are RIGHT! It IS cool being on a mission during Christmas time!
That is So. True. Revelation takes work. You have to ask, seek, knock. The scripture doesn't say, "don't say anything, and ye shall receive, sit there, and ye shall find, sit outside on the porch swing, and it shall be opened unto you". I think way too many of us sit in the shade on our porch swings and wait for the Saviour to open the door, get our attention, tell us to come in and point to the steps.
Yeah! I like that! "the wicked sacrifice others to promote themselves." So true. I never thought of it that simply, but Satan's kingdom is built on selfishness and the Lord's is built on selflessness. It's been like that from day one, since the grand council in Heaven. That was, ultimately, the difference between Christ's plan and Lucifers. So the forces of good and evil are divided into, ultimately, two groups - the selfless and the selfish. Which side are we on? Which side do our actions say we are on?
Guys we are SO blessed to belong to this Church. It's so much more than a church; it literally is the Kingdom of God on Earth, and we all have a part in it. What is the three-fold mission of the church? When the Church was restored, a marvellous event happened. Moses, Elijah and Elisha appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple. Three things were restored. Moses brought the keys to the gathering of Israel. Elijah brought the sealing power. Elias brought the preparation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. With that, the three-fold purpose of the church was born - Proclaim the Gospel, Redeem the Dead, and Perfect the Saints. We all have a part in that. Right now, I am proclaiming the gospel. You guys are in the perfecting the saints/redeeming the dead section. Are you doing it? Because this is Christ's Church, therefore it's purpose is His purpose. Perfect yourselves. Do the little things - read your scriptures, say your prayers. DAILY. Go to Church, listen, then APPLY. Redeem the dead. You should all go do baptisms for the dead together. That's my commitment to you. That's what I want you guys to get me for Christmas. You can go a little bit after Christmas, but go. Guys. REPENT!!!

Okay well I have to go. I got your package this week, thank you SO much and don't worry, I haven't opened it. It's driving me crazy though. Ha ha nah just joking. I love you all! Listen to me! For real though. Remember who I represent. D&C 68:4.
Sister Bryce

P.S. On those last two paragraphs you wrote me - yep, yep yep. Amen to everything you said. Ahhh I love the gospel.

Monday, December 9, 2013

One of the Coolest Lessons of my Life!

Dear Family,
Okay guess what. This week was AWESOME. I LOVE my new companion, she's the cutest/shortest person on the planet. She's 4'8''. It's hilarious. We are both so pumped for this transfer, it's ridiculous.
I had a sticky-note list of things I wanted to tell you about, but I left it at the dang it. This week was really good though!

Me and my teensy, weensy, little companion

We did this thing called spiritual tracting, I think I told you guys about it awhile ago. It's the coolest thing ever. Both of us go into our rooms and repent, which is the most important part. We absolutely HAVE to be clean in order to have the Spirit and direction from the Lord. We don't take it lightly, either. We kneel in our Gethsemane and seek forgiveness for all of the little things we've done or haven't done over the past few days, and we come out of it empowered. Quick tangent: if repentance is not a regular part of your life, make it one. Our personal plan of Salvation hinges on the sincerity and regularity of our repentance. And if you don't think you have to repent, go humble yourself and repent for that mindset. Saying you don't need to repent is denying the need for a Savior in your life.
Anyways, back to my story. So we both repented and then prayed specifically for an area to tract. Then a section of that area. Then we prayed and individually listed streets we wanted to visit. We each had one street in common - Marigold Street. Which we went and tracted and found the most GOLDEN Moari guy ever! He was so legit and we are teaching him and his family tomorrow. I am SO pumped!
So here's the coolest thing on the planet. Well, Maori's are descendants of Lehi. More specifically, Haggoth - the guy in the Book of Mormon who built a ship and then sailed away and was never heard of more. Their history and culture is SO closely tied to the Book of Mormon/Bible, and they don't even know it. This LEGIT Moari guy in our ward was telling me some of it. For example, before a Moari speaks at a gathering, they always repeat an ancient saying in Moari. Translated into English, it goes something like this - "Long ago, we came across the sea from a land far away, a narrow strip of land joining to large lands, with water on either side." The Maoris think it's like an imaginary place....but we all know where that is! (:Yes anyways, that's not doctrine so we don't teach it. But it's outrageously awesome.

 I had one of the coolest lessons of my life. So, due to some necessary travel arrangements involving transfers, Sister Chou Lee and I were in a trio with Sister Ensign for one glorious day. It was amazing. Let me tell you about this lesson we had. So we were up in Kwinana, and we were visiting this lady. We went to her house and something came up so we couldn't teach her. Instead, we went across that street to a less active that we had never met. The less active, Quinton, was there, along with his non-member friend. We sat down and started the lesson. We opened with a hymn, and the Spirit - BAM. He was crying before the first verse was over. We continued the lesson and taught the principle of repentance. It was one of the most powerful lessons any of us - Sister Ensign, Sister Chou Lee and I - had ever been in. It's hard to explain but it was ridiculous. We called him to repentance. None of that pansy stuff "um, so anyways, please could you like, repent and stuff. Please, Jesus loves you." NO, NOT IN OUR HOUSE!! At the end of the lesson, "Quinton. WILL YOU repent of your sins?" At this point he was weeping,"Yes." "Will you come to church and worship the Lord Jesus Christ with us on Sunday?" "Yes." "Quinton's friend. Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ, and be baptized by someone holding the Priesthood Authority of God?" "Yes". The friend had no idea what we were even talking about it, but the Spirit in the room was so hardcore that he know he had to say yes. We walked out of that lesson with our minds blown.

Another tangent. God is SO powerful. He rules the universe. He can do anything. And we can tap into his power. We do this through faith, worthiness, and making and keeping covenants with Him. Covenants are SO powerful. Yes, us endowed members have our Temple covenants that we've made. We need to reflect on them often and make sure we are living them. Every member of the church has made a baptismal covenant, to take upon them the name of Christ and to always remember Him. To ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM. We can all do better at that. If we do, we have greater access to the power of God. AND, we can also make personal covenants with God. In the privacy of our room, down on our knees we can make covenants, even daily ones. More than just, "Heavenly Father, please help me to....". No. "Heavenly Father, I WILL do this. Prepare the way for me, and I will do anything in my power to make it happen. Should all the forces of hell combine against me, I'll do it." Trust me, I am speaking from personal experience here - when we make those covenants, and keep them, God's Spirit and power floods our lives. But we HAVE to keep them; those aren't the kind of promises you break. And be prepared, because when Satan will try and stop you. This is a war, and we have to see it that way! We are literally fighting a war that we've all been engaged in since before the foundation of the world. We have to be active; there is no middle ground. There's no Switzerland between heaven and hell, here on earth. The nature of this spiritual conflict is such that there can be no fence sitters - every day, without even knowing it, we make choices that are either for or against the Savior and His plan.

Another thing. Guys, keep the commandments. We have to. Being more obedient to the commandments of God is the answer to pretty much every problem in life. In my study this morning, I was studying how to have the Spirit with me more, and how to have a stronger testimony, and I kept getting all these scriptures saying "keep the commandments. Keep the commandments." And I was like, "I'm already keeping, now what? What's next?" But it kept coming up so I decided to go and study the commandments, just to make sure I hadn't missed anything. (: Well, guess what guys. Keeping the basic commandments is WAY harder and more uncommon than we give it credit for. Just for a refresher, let me list them for you (as taught in Preach My Gospel):

Pray Often
Study the Scriptures
Keep the Sabbath Day Holy
Baptism and Confirmation
Follow the Prophet - (think about it. Think about every general conference address from a prophet you've ever heard. Every prophetic scripture you've ever read. Holy smokes, we have to do ALL of that. Yep.)
Keep the Ten Commandments -
Live the Law of Chastity
Obey the Word of Wisdom
Live the Law of the Tithe
Live the Law of the Fast
Obey and Honor the Law
These are the basics. Lets master them. And in order to master them, we need to know and thoroughly understand them - for example, keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. Studying the Sabbath as a family and figuring out just exactly we are and aren't supposed to do on that day would be a great Family Home Evening, for every single family in the entire universe.
Anyways, I love you guys! Keep being righteous and stuff and START WRITING ME LETTERS!!!

Sister Bryce

Yep I know, I've let myself go. I don't have time for dolling up these days; don't judge me! I just, like, don't care.

Monday, December 2, 2013

New Companion Sister Payze and Thanksgiving Down in Bunbury

Hey guys!!
AHHHH guess what, it's transfers week!! I was so so nervous that I was going to get transferred. But I'm NOT!!! Which I am so happy about. I love this area/ward and I don't feel like I've done what I came here to do.
Sister Chou Lee will be leaving, though. I'll miss her, I've learned a lot from her but I think it will be good. Change is always good on a mission; it's an opportunity to rededicate myself to the work I came here to do. My new companion's name is Sister Payze; I've met her a few times but I don't really know her. I am excited; I'm sure she is awesome and we are going to work SO hard this transfer! We aren't the Sister Training Leaders, which is good. I enjoyed it but honestly I just want to focus on my area. It's really fun being an STL; but I just want to be a soldier.
We had exchanges this week; one in Kwinana and one down in Bunbury. Sister Leiataua from Kwinana came to Waikiki with me; and we had a BLAST. She is such a fun, happy missionary. In Bunbury I went with Sister Kennar and Sister Iosua-fui; both amazing missionaries as well. I love the missionaries in this mission, ESPECIALLY the sisters. They aren't perfect but they are definitely the cream of the crop.
We had Thanksgiving down in Bunbury! It was DELICIOUS. Want to know what we had? (: Sweet potatoes, chicken, rice, spaghetti and oranges. It was very un-traditional but hey, you gotta work with what you got. It was delicious.

Exchanges with Sister Leiataua!

Thanksgiving dinner In Bunbury

Sister Atkinson, a.k.a. my best friend!

So things have been good; we are still on bikes which is fun. Seriously it's not too bad! We get to talk to more people since we aren't confined to the car. The other day I stopped and talked to this cute old lady who was walking down the street; turns out she was blind. We helped her cross the road. She wasn't interested but she was a lovely lady!

Fast Sunday was amazing. My testimony of the power of fasting has been strengthened so much. Everything I fasted for I had before the day was over. Guys, it works! Before my mission I would look at fasting as just going without food and being miserable. It's SO much more than that! It's powerful.
It looks like you guys had a great Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is such a good holiday. Everyone outside of America is missing out. An American woman in our ward invited us missionaries over to her house on Saturday for a late Thanksgiving dinner, and that was delicious. Not as good as home but delicious none the less.

I'm so excited for Christmas!! It's such a good opportunity for missionary work because everyone is nicer. We are going to start using Joy to the World dvds....we are going to give them to members and commit them to give it to a friend; and then follow up with that friend. It will be good; this ward is so amazing that the only way to do missionary work here is through the members. They are so good, but holy smokes, they feed us WAY too much!! Like every single night. Tomorrow night we have two dinner appointments. Nah it's good; we need to work with the members as much as possible.
Oh and for Christmas, I will be skyping you guys on my Christmas morning around 8:30 or 9am. That should  be sometime on Christmas Eve night for you guys. I'll give you the details as it gets closer.
Well I love you guys! Sorry this isn't a very interesting email; next week will be jam-packed full of awesome missionary experiences. Love you!
Sister Bryce

My District

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

First Baptism and Singing at the Top of our Lungs while Biking

Dear Family,
I just want you all to know that I biked for 30 minutes in order to send you this email this morning. So read all of it, okay? Ha yep, Sister Chou Lee and I are officially car-less. The elders that had our car before got in a wreck, and we've been driving it around with a huge dent in it all transfer, and now they are getting it fixed. Seriously, elders man, I'm tellin ya...So for the next two weeks, we will be biking. Which isn't a big deal, biking is fun. But since we are Sister Training Leaders, we are technically supposed to have a car. We have two exchanges this week, one in Kwinana and one back down in South Bunbury, which is a couple of hours away...the Assistants are currently working that out. We may bus down, or they may give us someone else's car. It's in the Lord's hands! But until then, bikes it is. Which is okay. We like to sing while we bike...lately I've been singing the chorus of "Far Far Away on Judea's Plains" at the top of my lungs. "Glory to God, Glory to God..."

The Hallshead sisters, Sister Waith and Sister Faivakimoana
Well, this week was amazing. Wanna know why?! BECAUSE, Taylor R. was baptized on Saturday!! It was so great. The Spirit was so strong and she is just so golden and prepared. Everything went smoothly, minus one thing....we had the first part of the service, the opening exercises, and two talks, and then walked out to have the ordinance. And the entire hall was flooded. The ward member guy that was supposed to turn off the baptismal font, well, didn't. And so that was exciting! We like to spice things up here in Waikiki! Nah it was good. She still got baptized, it was just a little deep is all. (:
Yep, so that was good. Baptisms are always amazing. So are lots of other parts of a mission, such as less-actives coming to church and teaching someone how to pray for the first time. There is honestly nothing more rewarding than serving the Lord.

Taylor's Baptism!
Mission Leadership Council was on Friday. I always enjoy MLC. It's so cool to be a part of the planning and goal-setting and preparation that goes into running a mission. Elder Cook [Anna's boyfriend since age 16] was there as well. So much for me seeing him once or twice on my mission; I've seen him like 12 times.

Oooh my goodness. Rick, Kyle and Kade better enjoy their late-night video game playing while they can, because when I come home, no way jose'...not in my house! Also, I've been thinking. I think we should have new rules. No movies, no tv, no music...guys trust me. It's so fun and holy. Why should we sit in front of a screen and let ourselves be indoctrinated by Satan?

Family, I'm glad to see you are finally getting Christmas underway! I don't want to brag or anything, but we've had our Christmas tree up since October...and it's beautiful. Alright well, hope everything is going good! Remember as you prepare to celebrate Christmas that it isn't about getting stuff. There is way too much getting around Christmas time in our family, and not enough giving. Enjoy it, because next Christmas we are doing things a little bit differently. (:
Sister Bryce

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Topic of Study for the Week is...Pride!

This has been a crazy week! Sister Chou Lee and I went out to Kalgoorlie for exchanges. It was so fun! I was there just a few weeks ago, but it was neat to go out and see those sisters. We trained for 7 hours inland to get there, and holy smokes, you would not BELIEVE how hot Kalgoorlie is! The sun is so harsh, you can feel your skin burning like five seconds after it touches your skin...I've been wearing so much sunscreen these days, it's my best friend!

Exchanges in Kalgoorlie with Sister Vaiula

Sister Waith and Sister Faivakimoana, two of my favourite people

Sister Chou Lee and I have been working really hard! On Saturday we spent all day out on the bikes, visiting people and cleaning up the ward list. On the way we found three new investigators, all who have SO much potential! Two of them, Apollo and Samantha, were talking about Jesus Christ when we stopped to talk to them. It was so cool, they said they knew there must be a reason that they met us at that exact moment. We are teaching them this week and I am SO excited!!
Taylor Rickard is getting baptized this week!! She is just the bomb. It is such a privilege to witness the Lord's preparation in the lives of the people we teach. She has been so prepared by the Lord to accept the gospel; it's incredible. She is amazing and we are SO excited!!
Sister Chou Lee told me I was sleep talking the other night. I was setting up a teaching appointment. "Is five o'clock on Wednesday okay?" Ha ha man missionaries are so nerdy and hilarious!
Soo...Australia is very hot. Like, very, very, VERY hot. It's gotten up to 38 Celsius this week....I don't know how hot that is in Fahrenheit, but it's REALLY HOT. And the scary part is, whenever I mention how hot it is the Australians around me laugh and say, "oh this is nothing. You just wait." I'm scared.
So the topic of study for this week is........drum roll.......PRIDE!!! We all have it, and we all think everyone else has it more!! I have an idea!! Lets all read "Beware of Pride" by Ezra Taft Benson!! Seriously though, it's amazing. When you read it, and President Benson mentions one of the....symptoms?....of pride, someone's name and face is going to pop into your head. And you're going to think, "oh yeah, they are so prideful, that's who he's talking about." DON'T DO THAT. He's not talking to them, he's  talking to YOU. All of you. Everyone in the whole world. Minus the kids at Pathway, they're perfect. But everyone else! Oh except for Joseph; he's also perfect.

A real Australian hat in the real Australian Outback
I have learned a million things on my mission. One of the biggest, is the power of the Priesthood. It is REAL power. It is the power we use to fight against Satan's power, which is also very real.
I had a really cool experience this week that I would like to share. So, my back has been really hurting since I got on my mission. Just the muscles are so sore and tight and knotted. It's gotten really bad over the past few weeks, and every morning when I wake up it KILLS. So one night, I was laying in bed, trying to fall asleep. I suddenly had a horrible feeling and I was terrified. I know evil is real, and I didn't see anything but I definitely felt it. We are serving in an area with a lot of Maori's, and Maori's are very spiritual - they are descendants of Lehi. Weird things happen around them. So I just had this terrible feeling. I said a prayer, and asked for angels to be around me, to protect me. Immediately the feeling was gone, and I felt so much peace and warmth and safety. I was just laying there on my stomach, enjoying the peace I felt, and suddenly I felt this warm, tingling feeling, start at the middle of my back at my spine, and it spread all across my back. I don't know how long it lasted, but I fell asleep before it stopped.
The next morning, when I woke up, my back didn't hurt. Like at all. It hasn't hurt since. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but I do know that the Lord is very aware of us, and that He knows what we need without us even asking.
I am loving my mission so much! I have had so many incredible experiences. I know that this Work is the Lord's Work. He is much more involved in it than we realize.
I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Sister Bryce

SO....there is this Restaurant. It's called Nando's, and it's Portuguese, and it's delicious. It's my favourite restaurant and I'm SO sad we don't have it! The sauce is the best!

Exchanges in Murdoch and Leschenault (Bunbury)

Helloooo! How's it going?!?! Man you guys must miss me so much...who makes all the funny jokes, now that I'm gone?? Who makes the dance parties? It's okay guys just hang in there and I'll be back before you know it. (: Seriously though, it is going by SO fast!! The weeks feel like seconds!!
We had an awesome week. We had two sets of exchanges, one in Murdoch and one down in Leschenault in Bunbury. On Wednesday I went down to Murdoch with Sister Tanaka from Japan, and Sister Vinck from Australia went up to Waikiki to work with Sister Chou Lee.
It was seriously SO fun. I LOVE SISTER TANAKA. She has only been out for 8 weeks and so she's still learning English, but she is hilarious and we get along really well. I've sort of taken her under my wing, because she knows me from last transfer so she feels more comfortable with me than most other missionaries. She can also understand me better since I'm American, so I call her every now and then just to see how she's doing. I LOVE being a Sister Training Leader. It is so fun to get to know the other sisters and to have the opportunity to serve them. I have learned so much about love and service in this calling.

Tracting with Sister Tanaka
Then on Friday night, we went down to Leschenault in Bunbury Zone and exchanged with Sister Kim from Korea and Sister Atkinson from Arizona all day Saturday. IT WAS SO FUN. Okay Sister Atkinson is the BOMB. We get a long so well... she's EASILY one of my favourite sisters in this mission, which is saying a lot because the sisters of the APM are amazing! She's hilarious and she makes me feel like I'm back at college because she's totally someone I would have been friends with. We had such a good time...exchanges are the best. They are so fun and such a learning experience.
We had an AWESOME lesson this week. So Taylor is our investigator that is getting baptized on the 23rd - we went down to teach her, and had the opportunity to teach her older sister Courtney and Courtney's boyfriend as well. It was such a neat lesson. We taught the Restoration, and after we quoted Joseph Smith's account of the First Vision, they felt the Spirit so strongly. You could see it; they like, shivered and went, "whoa!" because it was the first time they had ever felt the Spirit. It was so cool. As missionaries we become so accustomed to feeling the Spirit that we forget how awesome it really is. 
We've got another crazy week coming up. We are going out to Kalgoorlie for exchanges. We go on tons of exchanges since we are the Sister Training Leaders for both Rockingham Zone and Bunbury Zone; almost half of the Sisters in the mission are in our care. It's awesome; like I said, I love it. I do miss the time we could spend working in our area, but I realize that the sisters are just as much our responsibility as the people we teach.

This is Sister Atkinson and I having a wall-sit contest...she kicked my trash.

Sister Chou I don't know why, but my companions are always the BEST. Like seriously, I've been so lucky. I haven't had a companion that I haven't adored and gotten along with amazingly. Sister Chou Lee is the most chill person on the planet; she is just so real. She has such a sincere love for other missionaries. One of my favourite things about her is that she actually TELLS you how you can improve! With most missionaries, when you model something all they say is, "Oh that was awesome! You did great!" and that's it. They don't correct you. Sister Chou Lee, though, will point out - nicely and  in a matter-of-fact sort of way - the things that you can do better. I LOVE IT. I have gotten SO much better at teaching because of it. Seriously it's my favourite thing and something that I am definitely going to do with my future have to do it with love, but when you do it helps SO much!
Alright Family, keep on keepin on and remember to read your scriptures, say your prayers and go to church! Eternity hangs in the balance!

Sister Bryce

P.S. I hate to bring it up....but if you guys are planning on sending me a Christmas package, you may want to start thinking about it. (: My request is more Trio bars, makeup [Abby, you know what I wear. The kind of foundation I like in the lightest color they sell, black mascara (the orange kind, NOT water proof...etc.)].

My INCREDIBLE companion, Sister Chou Lee. She is the most senior sister missionary in the mission; she goes home in two transfers and has taught me SO much. I'm so lucky to serve with her!

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Okay I LOVE my new area and my companion. Seriously they are both amazing. The ward here is incredible; it's entirely Polynesian and so gung ho on missionary work. We are definitely going to see miracles happen in Waikiki this transfer!

Sister Chou Lee and I have really been working on laying a good foundation with the ward. We have been meeting with a lot of the members and offering our service; we decided that our strategy for finding this transfer is going to be through the members. We are starting to really get to know them already and it's been awesome; they haven't had sisters here in years so the ward is excited about us being here.

We set a baptismal date yesterday with T-----, a friend of one of the young women in the ward. Her friend T----- has been so awesome to have introduced her to the gospel. She will be baptized on November 23, and we are going to start teaching her mom as well! We are planning to have study with T---- so that she can help us teach her mom, which I think will be so good. She's golden!
Honestly this week has been so good. We are working on being exactly obedient and completely consecrating ourselves to this work. I have definitely seen a difference in the last few days as I've strengthened my resolve to be a sacred missionary. The Lord will see our willingness to work and will bless us with miracles this transfer; I have no doubt of that. We've already begun to see it.

THANK YOU THANK YOU for the package!! I got it at transfers; it is the best. Those Trio bars seriously save my life. When we got to transfers Elder Cook came and told me I had a package, and it was pretty hilarious when I pulled out pictures of him and he was standing there looking over my shoulder. Our companions had a good laugh about it. Don't worry, Dad, we are totally focused and our relationship is old news here in the APM. We both have earned a reputation as obedient and hard-working, so that goes a long way. I got to see Elder Cook teach at Mission Leadership Council. He is an INCREDIBLE teacher. One of the best I've seen, honestly - I was so impressed. I can definitely see why President is having him be a Zone Leader, train a new missionary, and serve on a leadership council with his girlfriend all at the same time.


I forgot to tell you guys, guess what I ate?! A fish eye. Not a little one; like the size of a quarter. We were at a Samoan family's house and I had to prove myself. It tasted pretty much like a disgusting version of the rest of the fish, but hey, I ate it and gained myself some palangi respect.

Hey Dad, if you haven't already done it I have the scripture I want on my plaque. D&C 123:13-15. If you can fit verses 16 and 17 on too then that would be awesome but if not, no worries. Or if it's possible, verse 13 and then just skipping to 17 would be ideal! If it's possible.

Ah Sister Chou Lee is seriously the bomb. She is SUCH a powerful teacher; I am so excited to improve my teaching skills this transfer! I definitely have a long way to go; serving with such an awesome missionary has definitely humbled me. Not that I was prideful; I wasn't but lack of pride and humility are not one and the same. Ha ha the Lord definitely wants me to be more humble. At church yesterday I was praying for revelation on how I can be a better missionary - I prayed for the Lord to show me through the scriptures what I needed to do, and then I flipped them open randomly to a scripture on humility. I read it, and was like, "ah yeah, I'm pretty humble, no worries." And then I flipped them open again, and it was another scripture on humility. Haha ha so yeah, then I got the point. The Lord definitely has a sense of humor! (: I did learn a lot though, and I studied humility in my next personal study. I learned something - I always thought that pride was thinking you were better than others. That is definitely pride, but the real definition of pride is trusting yourself more than you trust God. I think we do that subconsciously a lot more than we think.

Okay family, well I have to go but I love you all! Thanks again for the package! Tell Jared I say hi and make sure he remembers I'm still older. Give Joseph a big kiss for me!

I am really going to miss Sister Lee-lo! It was so sad seeing her at MLC and not being companions. She's seriously the bomb.
Last P-Day in Busselton!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Opening a new area in Rockingham Zone

This was an incredibly fast week! Oh my goodness where does the time go?! I hit my 6-month mark this week. CRAZY. It's going by WAY too fast.

So we got our transfer calls this morning! Sister Lee-lo and I are both leaving Busselton. She is going to be a Sister Training Leader in Southern River Zone, serving in the Thornlie ward (with Elder Cook). I am going to be opening a new area in the Rockingham Zone, and will also be a Sister Training Leader for that zone and possibly for Bunbury as well. My new companion is Sister Chou-Lee. SHE IS AMAZING. Okay if I could have personally chosen my next companion, it probably would have been her! She is such, SUCH a good missionary! She's been out for over a year and she seriously knows her stuff...we went on exchanges two weeks ago and it was incredible. Seriously this next transfer is going to be AMAZING!!! Ah I am so excited!!! I know that I have so much to learn from Sister Chou-lee. I'm going to grow a lot this transfer.

One thing that is really cool...before we got our transfer calls, Sister Lee-Lo had a dream she was companions with Sister Arnold - who is her new companion. And about a week or so ago, I had a dream that we got our transfer calls and we were both leaving and both still Sister Training Leaders...and bam. Happened. Revelatory dreams people.

I am so sad to leave Sister Lee-Lo, we have gotten really really close. She is amazing and I know we will be friends for life. She is going to come to Utah after the mission and stay with me and I'm going to go to her wedding in New Zealand in a few years. (:

Okay so this week we went out to Kalgoorlie!! We drove up to Perth with the A.P.s Tuesday night and spent the night in Perth with Sister Beckstrand and Sister Kennar, whom I adore. Actually I adore all the sisters in this mission. The next morning, we hopped on a train at seven a.m. and trained seven hours to Kalgoorlie. It was so cool, we got to see a lot of the Australian Outback. It's definitely the bush. It is very beautiful and unique to every other area in the world, I think.
On the way to Kalgoorlie!
I know it's really dark...but this is me sitting on the train listening to someone bash America and not turning around and arguing with them about. Family, I have grown so much. You would not believe my new-found ability to keep my mouth shut when people start talking politics. It's superhuman.

Training to Kalgoorlie.

This was our reaction when we got off the train from Kalgoorlie and the Elders weren't there to pick us up. (:
Kalgoorlie was amazing. It has kind of a St. George-y look - a lot of red dirt. The sun is very harsh. I was with Sister Atkinson, who is amazing! She is seriously so funny, and a wonderful missionary. We taught a great lesson to two African men, which was really neat. Exchanges are always fun, it's so good to get to know other sisters and to see other people's teaching styles. I always learn so much.
While we were in Kalgoorlie we stopped by this massive gold mine. Holy smokes. It's amazing the lengths mankind will go to to get a little bit of shiny rock. Seriously, how many schools and hospitals and churches could have been built with all that labor?! It was really neat to see though.

Sister Atkinson

Sister Atkinson

Us standing in a massive dirt scooper at the Gold Mine.
Exchanges in Kalgoorlie with Sister Atkinson, Sister Lee-lo, me and Sister Donaldson.

I am definitely sad to leave Busselton. It's paradise. Its always scary to leave an area, especially when your companion is leaving as well. What about our investigators?! Elders are getting doubled in. We are leaving the salvation of our investigators in the hands of 19 year old boys?! Nah they'll be awesome I'm sure. It's really the Lord's hands that they are in.

Tracting in the Bush.
Our last Sunday at our little Busselton Chapel/old Catholic Nunnery
I'm definitely going to miss making pancakes with Sister Lee-Lo!
Yeah the MLX's have been great!! We've gotten to work a lot more closely with the members. We won't be able to see much of the long-term results since we are both leaving, but it is definitely working. The branch is becoming more involved in missionary work. I'm sure the Elders will keep it up. We have two set baptismal dates coming up, so I am anxious to hear what happens with them.
Well family, it's been real. Sorry this was brief; we have a lot to do before transfers. I love you all! Keep choosing the right and stop getting injured!

I am really going to miss Sister Lee-Lo. I hope we get to serve together again. It happens!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Loved General Conference!

Wow those pictures you sent are beautiful!! It's so weird that you are going into Fall there, yet it is springtime here...crazy. Fall in Utah is definitely the best.

Beautiful Australia. (:
So this was a wonderful week, of course! We went on exchanges with the sisters in Kwinana, Sister Chou-lee and Sister Kim. It was amazing. They are stellar missionaries and I learned a lot! How to make sushi, among other things. (:

Exchanges with Sister Kim from Adelaide/Korea and Sister Chou-lee from Sydney!

We did something that we call spiritual tracting. Ah it's so legit. So what we do, is we all go into separate rooms and hard-out repent. Then we come back together and pray over a map for a specific area to tract in. When we all have the area, we each individually write down the names of 5 streets. Afterwards, we compare, and the streets that have been selected the most we go and tract. Seriously, it was unreal....we found 6 new investigators just on one street. It was so neat. Miracles always happen on exchanges! 

Dinner with the district.
General Conference was AMAZING!!! I agree with you Dad, it is hard to decide which talk was my favorite. I really really loved Elder Maynes' talk; that was amazing. I loved the part where he said - I'm not exactly sure how he worded it - you don't get in good physical shape by watching basketball on tv, and you don't get in good spiritual shape by just watching conference on tv, either. It's SO true! And I have been so guilty of that in the past! I've always loved watching General Conference, but just watching it isn't enough. You have to apply it! David M. McConkie's talk was amazing as well. Ah they were all amazing. I love conference. I especially love the hard-core talks where they call us to repentance. Like when Elder Bednar called those who aren't paying their tithing to repentance...ah I love it.

Yes it is very possible/probable that Sister Lee-Lo and I will be split up. Which is so sad because she is amazing and we have a great companionship. No contention whatsoever. It's the of the saddest parts of my mission is splitting up with companions that I love. And so far I've only had lovable companions! I'm gonna keep it that way.

My little mission family - My mom (trainer) and my dad (District Leader). How cute are we?!
OH MY GOODNESS. When we were up in Kwinana we saw the most MASSIVE SPIDER. IT WAS THE SIZE OF A SMALL CHILD. Hahaha no just kidding it wasn't that big, it was the size of....okay it was like the size of my pinky finger in diameter. Yes just let that sink in for a second. Family it was huge. And Sister Chou-lee was the man and destroyed it. I shudder to think what would happen if I found one of those on my own, with no one brave around me to kill it. Snakes I can do. Serial killers I can do. But spiders; not my thing.

SO we were supposed to have a baptism this week..but he got anti-ed and dropped us. He had a spiritual experience! He KNEW it was true! How sad is that? Ah it was heart-wrenching and one of the hardest parts of my mission so far...we just WISH people could know what we know! If they had the perspective that we had, everyone would get baptized! But they don't, and the world is confusing. Satan is cunning. Ahh it's just hard because you get so emotionally invested in your investigators' conversion.
This week we are going to Kalgoorlie!! We are SO excited! It's going to be so fun! The sisters out there are very isolated, so we are going to do our best to cheer them up and make some miracles happen. It's going to be amazing. I hate to leave our investigators for four days, but I realize that as a Sister Training Leader, the sisters in our zones our part of our responsibility just as much as our investigators are. So it will be good. I always learn so much from exchanges.

Okay can I just say for a second, President Lindsay is AMAZING. Seriously he is an incredible mission president. He handles this mission so deftly; with the perfect balance of love, discipline and authority. It's amazing to see and exactly what this mission/every mission needs. We've gotten to work more closely with him as a part of our calling and that has been one of my favorite parts.

Well family, I'm glad you are enjoying the fall and stuff, don't forget to write me and stuff. You can carve my face into a pumpkin if you want. (: I love you all!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Got to Go to the Temple

I'm sure General Conference was amazing! I haven't actually watched it yet, Australia doesn't get it until this weekend. So we will be watching it October 12 and 13 and we are STOKED.

This week was AMAZING!!! One of the best parts was, we got to go to the TEMPLE!!! It was seriously SO GOOD. Going to the Temple is one of the things that I miss the most! It was amazing. The Australia Perth Temple is so beautiful.

We are starting into week 5 of the transfer. CRAZY. This transfer has absolutely FLOWN by, and Sister Lee-lo and I both consider it one of our very best transfers so far. It's been so neat to be able to go on exchanges with other sisters in the mission. We haven't had as much time in our own area as we used to, but the Lord has definitely blessed us and made up the difference. We have found some awesome families to teach and we are really excited. (:

Well mi familia, I'm afraid this is a really lame letter this week...because I just emailed you like 3 days ago and not much has happened! Oh I know. President Lindsay is having us do this new key indicator called MLX - Member Lessons Extreme. We have to be in and out in less than twenty minutes, share a message from Preach My Gospel, share two scriptures, not eat, extend an invitation, and ask for referrals. It's hardcore and it has been AWESOME!! We've done a few and it's been great, we've gotten to know the members more and gained more trust. It has been really neat. It is so important to coordinate missionary efforts with the members. Because we are ALL missionaries! Family you really should do some missionary things. There has got to be at least ONE non-member in Highland, I just know it. I don't know where, but seriously there has to be at least one. (:

Remember my health kick? Well it is still happening. Oh ye of little faith. Sister Faivakimoana lent us her juicer, and we juice. That's right, we juice. Fruits and vegetables. It is seriously the best thing ever! I don't know how much juicers are, but I am seriously considering buying one when she wants hers back. And for SURE when I get home.

Lets see....Sister Lee-lo is amazing. We have friendship bracelets. She is my best Polynesian. I seriously always get the best companions!

BFFs ...

Things got a little crazy after planning one night ...

We love cooking. We don't really have recipes so we just experiment. Maybe you should send me a cookbook. Mhmmm. Yep that would be muy bueno. BUT, it has to have recipes that can be made in less than an hour.

Well family, I hope that everything is going wonderful and that you are counting your blessings! I love you all!