Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Teaching, Tracting, and Tasty Frog Legs

My companions are so great, we are having such a great time together. Sister Thulasidass is actually a Temple Square missionary, and she goes back to Salt Lake in two weeks. Sister Littleford and I are so sad. You guys should go visit her!

Things are going great! We had 3 investigators at church on Sunday. S[------]'s baptism is on Saturday and we are so excited! I think I sent a picture of me with her last time; she is from Micronesia and her granddaughter is just the cutest. She's three and she has the curliest little hair; it's adorable.

We are teaching several families from Nepal and Burma. Some of them speak English so they translate for the rest. They are so humble and so prepared! Question: do we have a Book of Mormon in Burmese, Chin or Nepali? Everyone says no but come on. We're Mormons. Translating Book of Mormons is what we DO. Like, from day one! We HAVE to have them in at least one of those languages, right?

What a blessing it is to have the gift of the Holy Ghost, and to be able to discern between good and evil. We are So. Lucky. People keep trying to convert us by inviting us to their church, but every time I leave with a stronger testimony and assurance of the truthfulness of the Gospel. We don't realize how blessed we are.

We LOVE the little Burmese kids! I will send you a picture of me with them. THEY ARE THE CUTEST. One of them, S[---], came to Church on Sunday to translate for her sweet Grandma, who is one of our investigators. They are just so wonderful and so much fun!

One of the YSA's here, Camille, is just an angel. She comes with us to our lessons sometimes! She is getting ready to go on a mission and we are so excited for her. It is absolutely CRUCIAL to have the support and help of the members. We can't do it without them, because once our investigators are baptized we hand them over to the ward family. Fellowshipping is SO important!

Oh yes - I have eaten frog legs. Fact. This is the South, people. Integration. Gotta get the full cultural experience, even if that means eating the friends of my childhood. Haha, oh I crack myself up.
I hope everyone is doing awesome! I am doing GREAT. I love it here and it is already going by way to fast. I can't believe I've been out on my mission for over a month! Time flies. Anyways, I love you all! Keep me posted!

Fog legs people. Frog legs.

The car that is my salvation: the Iron Camel. (Taylor; you're welcome)

A tire swing in one the member's back yards. And WHAT a backyard it is! So picturesque. Family, lets move to Kentucky.

Out in front of a member's super cute house.

Me and Sister Littleford tracting in all of our Sister Missionary Swag

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Serving in Bowling Green Kentucky

So I am officially a missionary in the Tennessee Nashville Mission! I LOVE IT here. It is so beautiful and holy smokes, everyone is so southern. It's the greatest!

I am actually serving in Kentucky, in a little city called Bowling Green. It is absolutely beautiful; you would not believe how perfect the country side is. Like a fairy tale. Just miles and miles of rolling green hills and picket fences and big red barns and little white farmhouses. It's AWESOME. I didn't even know places like this existed! It is so green; you don't really realize Utah is a desert until you get out here. It is so amazing.

So, my companions. Are. Awesome. Sister Littleford and Sister Thulasidass. Sister Littleford is from Cedar City and she is just the sweetest thing; we hit it right off. I love her and we are going to be friends forever. 

Now get this - Sister Thulasidass is from India. INDIA. ASK ME HOW HAPPY I AM. She was living in Chennai while I was serving there at Pathway. How crazy is that?!?! Answer, NOT a coincidence. It is so awesome. Sometimes I talk Tamil to her and it's just hilarious. She knows how to make all of the delicious dishes I've been wanting to have since I left Tamil Nadu. My life is complete! I am going to have to visit her when I go back to India. 

So let me tell you about the Work! Right now we are teaching a woman named S------; she is from Micronesia and is just the sweetest thing. They met her a few days before I came, and my first lesson in the field was her second lesson. She is GOLDEN. She is getting baptized on June 1st and we are so excited! She came to church yesterday and we had a marvelous Relief Society lesson on the blessing of the Temple. S------ didn't completely understand what it was, but the Spirit was very strong and it touched her heart. She was crying and saying how bad she wanted to be sealed in the Temple. She is so awesome and I am so excited for her!

The people here are very religious. There are a lot of baptists. We are teaching a Pentecostal preacher and his wife; well, trying anyways. They are wonderful people and I think they are trying to convert us. Ha ha it is hilarious. He told us that he wanted to set up a night of the week to do Bible study with us, and I said yeah that would be awesome! But we're going to have to arrange a time for Book of Mormon study as well. Ha ha he got all nervous. He is afraid of the Book of Mormon, but we will work with him. Hopefully he will read it; if not, we'll just ask him for a referral and be on our way! There will be no Bible bashing in this companionship. No matter how badly I want to. (:

Yesterday (Sunday) morning we went to Hillvue Heights Baptist Church. It was an interesting experience, to say the least. People looked at us funny, but the Pastor was overjoyed to have some Mormons in the audience. It gave him a prime opportunity to throw in some subtle jabs at us. I just smiled at him and every time he said something, I smiled bigger. They really are wonderful people trying to find Jesus, they are just looking in the wrong place. Which is why we are here!

That is awesome that Rex got a job [at Subway]! Tell him to make me a sandwich. WHICH REMINDS ME. Guess what Kentucky has? Besides Olive Garden (that's right, Olive Garden)? KRISPIE KREME. Tender mercies, people. The Lord blesses His missionaries.

I love the way people talk here. We went over to a house yesterday and the wife offered us some "fried green maters". Tomatoes. Green Tomatoes. And they call us 'honey' and 'child' and say things like 'ya'll and 'I reckon' and 'he done told me...' It's so great. I love the South. The people here are so humble and God-fearing and it's just awesome.

Well, I hope everyone is doing well! It sounds like things at home are great. I will try and write a letter and send it home. It's awesome the way things are moving forward with Pathway, Definitely keep me posted on that. And I need more pictures! Can you send me the ones you took when you dropped me off at the MTC? And some of Joseph's sweet awesome haircut that I gave him so skillfully? Anyways, I love you all! Keep the Faith

The Bowling Green, Kentucky District!

Some AWESOME ladies in the ward that had us over for dinner - they are the real southern deal!

Me and Sister Littleford

Friday, May 10, 2013

Heading to Nashville!

So, let me give you the down-low. I received my temporary reassignment today! And I am going to.....NASHVILLE TENNESEE. ASK ME HOW EXCITED I AM. THIS EXCITED: [-------universe----------]!!! I am seriously SO stoked! They normally reassign Australian missionaries to a west coast mission, in California or Washington. So when I got my reassignment in the mail today, I glanced at it, saw Nashville, and was like "No. Not possible". I didn't even want to believe it because it was that cool. So I marched over to the Travel Office, handed the guy the paper and said, "Hi, could you please tell me what this says?" And he was like "yep, looks like you've been temporarily reassigned to Nashville. You leave Monday morning." AND THEN I did a victory dance (just kidding, not allowed), and was pretty much just super super excited. So yeah, I guess what I'm trying to say is my life rocks.

Anyways, I have some other amazing news. Yesterday I got a package. I went to pick it up, and guess what it was? That's right, Krispie Kreme donuts. It was like Christmas. But then guess who it was from? Elder Cook! How nice is that?!?! The point I am trying to make is that my life might very possibly be perfect.

So here is the situation with my district: I don't have one. My district and my dear sweet companion Sister Whipple all flew out to Guam Monday morning.

They left at 3 am, so I woke up without a companion and went straight to the Information desk to get myself a new one. They put me in a class specifically for visa-waiters that have already finished the 2-week program, which is great and all, except I am the only sister. So I have no companion! I am solo. The 9 Elders in my class have to escort me everywhere, which I feel bad about but yeah, those are the rules. They seem fine with it, one of them is in the military and has gotten the idea in his head that they are my body guards. I just don't know how I get myself into these situations.

I am still LOVING the MTC. This is seriously such an amazing place! I have learned so much. It's amazing how evident that hand of the Lord is in my life. The timing of my mission call, the timing of my visa, my reassignment - there is a reason for all of it, I can feel it. I don't know what the Lord's plan for me is, but I know there definitely is one. I'm just so grateful for the opportunity to serve, wherever and whenever that may be.

Thanks so much for the packages mom! They save my life.

OH YEAH I have some news. I am a grandma!!! Yep, the sisters that I trained are now training my brand-new roommates. It's so great. I'm so proud.

President and Sister Nally, the MTC President and Wife, were mission presidents in Perth. (!) They sat down with me for lunch and told me all about it! They are seriously so nice. Then we had this big Mission Conference, and President Nally went through and called the names of all the missions that people are going to, and every one stood up when their mission was called. He called Perth, Australia, and I stood up all by myself and it was pretty sad and pretty funny. And he said, "oh yes, Sister Bryce, our Perth missionary". And I felt pretty cool because he remembered my name.

Alright well, I love you all! I think the next time I email you might be from Nashville! I'll keep you posted. (:

Saturday, May 4, 2013

No Australian Visa Yet

So, if you didn't get the idea from my last letter, the MTC is BOMB. So cool. And Rexy, thank you for writing me. You are currently in first place in the Anna's Favorite Sibling contest. And really that's saying something because Joseph has Down Syndrome.

District 66 B is definitely the coolest district in the MTC. We are all sooo smooth. Ha ha no just kidding, but really our Elders have some serious spiritual swag. We've all gotten so close and I am heartbroken because guess what?? They are all flying out for Guam on MONDAY. So sad. I am supposed to go Monday as well, but my Visa hasn't come yet. They will keep me here for a week and then temporarily reassign me. I'm glad I have more time here, I kind of knew that I wouldn't be leaving on Monday, I don't think I have learned everything at the MTC that I am supposed to learn. I will be getting my temporary reassignment on Thursday. Be jealous people, I will be serving in not one but TWO of the Lord's missions. BAM.

This week has been great and FAST, but mostly just great. I love the MTC. I've said it before and I'll say it again! It's sooo goooood. It's like a spiritual dance party all the time. I have had some incredible experiences, and I want you all to know that this Work is REAL. The things that you've been taught your entire life are the difference between spiritual life and death. It is such a blessing and privilege to be a missionary. Nothing is more fulfilling than spending all of your time serving the Lord and others, to be involved in the rescue. Also, I have an announcement. I have found the secret to a happy life. If you want your life to be a happy one, then make it about EVERYONE ELSE. Service to others, in all of its forms, brings temporal and eternal joy. ESPECIALLY the kind of service that involves bringing souls to God. Fact.

In my mind, there are two kinds of missionaries. One understands their purpose, and one does not. Our purpose is to Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance,  Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. A missionary who understands that and the importance of it will be successful. I'm going to be one of those.

Thanks so much for the packages Mom! My roommates and I LOVED them. So delicious. Sorry this letter is kind of short, I gotta go do some representative-of-Jesus-Christ stuff. I'm sure you understand. (: Anyways, love you all!