Sunday, August 25, 2013

Spilling a Bag on the Train

Hey how ya goin'? That's hello in Australian! So I had a wonderful week!! It went by SO fast!

Last P-day was amazing. We went out to some caves by the ocean as a district, it was so much fun! My district is hilarious. The caves were sweet and the view of the ocean was STUNNING. I will send some pictures. I've been wanting to go there ever since Taylor sent me pictures of it back in December! It's gorgeous. Afterwards some of the Polynesian Elders in our district found a spring and we used leaves to drink the water. It was incredibly delicious.

My darling Sister Lee-lo and I!
Those are some nice pictures, Joseph looks humongous! That boy needs to slow down his growing! What are you feeding him?!

Okay so about my week. It was awesome!! AMAZ-ING. We went up to Warwick (Just outside of Perth) for a follow-up training for all the new missionaries. I am definitely a loose interpretation of a 'new missionary'. It was great though; we had to teach the Restoration as a companionship in front of everyone in less than four minutes. It was crazy and way fun! I love trainings, they are the BOMB.
After that we had exchanges with the Sisters from Hallshead. They came down and stayed with us from Thursday to Saturday. It was a blast. The four of us - Sister Faivakimoana, Sister Tanner, Sister Lee-lo and I - got along SO well. It was pretty much incredible. (:

The beautiful Sister Tanner and I. (:

Sister Lee-lo and I are still working hard down here in Busselton, which is the best area in the whole world. We're going to make it the next Zion. We're gonna be translated. Ha ha no it really is awesome though; there are a lot of people to teach! Probably like a million. So what if we have to chase them down the street in the rain? YOSO - you only serve once.

On the train!
Oh something really hilarious happened to us this week! So we took the train from Hallshead to Warwick for our follow up training, along with two other Elders. It was about an hour-long ride. At each stop, the doors would open for about seriously, like 10 seconds. You have to really move if you want to get off at your stop. Well anyways, just as we reached at our stop, Elder Leir went to hand Sister Lee-lo her bag and accidentally grabbed it up-side down. It spilled EVERYWHERE - pamphlets went flying. We were scrambling to pick it up and the Elders got off, and the doors shut before we could get off. Oh my goodness we were dying. It was so hilarious. The timing was just so terrible! So then we had to switch trains and yeah it was just so funny. I did give this lady that saw the whole thing a Plan of Salvation pamphlet, so who knows, maybe it was supposed to happen. Anyways, we were laughing for like 20 minutes. #yoso (editors note: "you only serve once")

We are ninjas at baking.

Yes I am sure the Highland 10th Ward thinks Elder Cook and I meeting is hilarious. He is an awesome missionary; everyone tells me what a great teacher and leader he is. He is very well-respected in the mission.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Two Baptisms Coming Up

Yes this has been an awesome week! It is absolutely INSANE how fast time goes by. Seriously it's crazy; my 4-month mark is this week. I can't even believe it! It's going to be over before I know it! That is so sad.

I love the pictures you guys send me. Rex is so buff. Has he had a Priesthood blessing for his leg? Cause I'm telling you, those things work! Rick and Rex look so so handsome making those sandwiches.

Things are going wonderfully down here in Busselton! I LOVE it here. It is the cutest little town; set right on the beach. It is absolutely beautiful. The branch here is awesome! It's very small. It feels like a family. I will probably serve here for a little while and I can imagine that I am going to get very attached.

Overlooking the Indian Ocean, this time from the other side.
We have two baptisms coming up; A---- and N----. A----- is so so sweet; she is from Indonesia and makes us food all the time. She has been investigating for about a year, and has been taught by many missionaries. She is ready to commit. It's really weird; I remember Elder Cook writing and telling me about her, and here I am teaching her. They never could get her to church; but she came yesterday! (:

I SAW SOME KANGAROOS!!!! They are so so SO cute. Actually no they aren't that cute but they are really awesome! They are hilarious when they jump. There are tons of them here in Busselton. They just chill. I'll get some good pictures of some and show you. I really like them.
I drove a few times this week; it was the weirdest thing of my life and I am not exaggerating when I say we almost died. Ha ha no really, it was crazy. They drive on the other side of the road here, so everything is flipped - you shift with your left hand and indicate with your right. It's ridiculous how many times I turned the windshield wipers on trying to blinker. Sister Lee-lo was a trooper; she always informed me with a laugh when I was on the wrong side of the road. Hopefully we don't die; but it is a distinct possibility so pray for us. (:

Overlooking Indian Ocean

Oooh what's the Divya video? Which Divya; what year is she? Three of the girls at Pathway while I was there were named Divya. Yes I would LOVE to see those clips when you are done! When you are in India, give my regards to Dr. Prasad, Chandra and Sudha Subramaniam.
Sounds like John is being awesome. Lets face it; we always knew he was studlier than the rest of us.

We love tracting!
Yes! The Gospel IS true! We are SOOO lucky! We don't realize how lucky we are. I have been very blessed; I have now lived in respective Mormon, Christian, Pagan and Athiest societies, and it has given me a unique perspective; particularly on the aspect of religion. We are the one percent of the one percent of the one percent. The blessings we have been given are absolutely innumerable. First of all; a fair chance at salvation. That in itself is MORE than enough, but there are countless other blessing that accompany it - strong family ties, community, a sense of identity, relative prosperity, eternal perspective, etc. The majority of us live and die without really grasping the magnitude of the responsibility of the position we have been born into. To whom much is given, much is required. And we have been given far more than anyone else on the planet can even dream of. The ideas and truths that we take for granted - such as life after death and eternal families - are completely foreign to the majority of Australians. The Lord has promised us his angels to be round about us and to bear us up (D&C 84:88). He fulfills that promise. I have literally felt the undeniable presence of angels here on my mission. The veil is much more thin than we realize. It is an incredible blessing to be a part of this great work.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

18 New Investigators!

I have had an AMAZING week!! Seriously, it has been so awesome.

This week, Sister Lee-lo and I decided that we needed to build up our Teaching Pool, because it was pretty much non-existent. So we went to TOWN on Busselton. We seriously worked so, so hard, and it paid off because we found 18 new investigators!! And they are SOLID!! We also set a baptismal date with one of our investigators, Annie, on September 4th. We are so stoked.


In District Meeting on Tuesday, we set a goal as a district to find 20 new investigators (there are four sets of Elders in the district, plus us). It was a pretty high goal as far as this area goes. But we all worked so, so hard, and as a district we found 39 new investigators - which is absolutely unheard of for this area. It has been so great. The statistic is about 1 out of every 18 investigators gets baptized, so that means Sister Lee-lo and I should at least be able to get one of our new investigators from this week to progress to baptism! But HOPEFULLY, we will get 9 or 10. (:

No seriously though, I love it here. I love Australia. It is much different than the Bible belt, but there is certainly a lot of work to be done. It's kind of nice because here, if people aren't interested then they will just tell you straight up. In Kentucky, people would beat around the bush and avoid us rather than hurt our feelings, which is the worst because it just wastes our time. We would so much rather have them just reject us upfront. Rejection isn't even bad. It's hilarious actually.

We did a lot of tracting this week, which is always fun. It's not the most effective way to find people, but since we don't have any referrals we have to find them ourselves. I really do enjoy tracting.
Yes I'm sure everyone thought that picture of Elder Cook and I was hilarious. It is hilarious. I promise, it wasn't as awkward as it looks!

We are working hard and are focused, and the Lord has blessed our district with a very successful week that has earned us the attention of the President. The mission will see that we are working hard and they'll forget about the drama. This is an awesome mission.

Okay well the MISSION HOME wasn't cold, it's my flat that's cold!! It's frigid!! It's a hollow block of ice that we are expected to live in! Ha ha no it's not that bad. I do wish I brought my thermal pjs though. Those things are smoooth.

There are plenty of fun things to do as a family other than watch a movie. You could act out a Book of Mormon story. You could write letters to Sister Bryce. You could have a dance party. You could rewatch General Conference. The possibilities are endless!

Sister Lee-lo and I are trying to eat really healthy. We eat lots of fruit and vegetables! That's pretty much all we buy. But then someone gives us chocolate and our resolve just caves. It's good though, because when we are healthy then we can be better missionaries. We can bike farther faster and we have more energy! Which is absolutely necessary.

Well, I love you guys! We are driving up to Bunbury for P-Day today; that will be fun. Things are going awesome down here! Next week's letter will be more interesting, I promise. I love you all!

Our recent converts Chipmunk and Dora are very hilarious.(:

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Loving Australia!

Well, here I am in Western Australia! I LOVE it here. It is so awesome. Everyone talks like Hugh Jackman, it's amazing. I keep being reminded that I am the one with the accent, though. They call it my American 'twang'. I got up and bore my testimony on Sunday and a little girl in the congregation goes, "YES! An American!!" It was funny. Apparently they haven't had too many American sisters down here.

Sister Bryce is finally in Perth!

So President and Sister Lindsay are AWESOME! They are loving but firm, which is exactly what this mission needs. They do things a little differently here than in Nashville, which will take some getting used to but I am loving it. (:
President and Sister Bruce Lindsay and Sister Bryce

My companion. Don't even get me started. I always get the BEST companions. Her name is Sister Lee-Lo and she is from New Zealand. She is so, so, SO cute. We get along just famously and it is going to be an amazing couple(?) of transfers!! You can expect miracles from Busselton!

Sister Lee-Lo and Sister Bryce

Yes so I am serving in Busselton, which is one of the southern most areas in the mission. It is what we call 'country'. The fact that Elder Cook is serving as a zone leader in the northern-most zone is surely just a coincidence. (: He actually served here in Busselton, and opened the flat that I am now living in. He told me all about this area and some of the people here, so I already sort-of know it. He wrote his name on the wall, which is just strange to me and I try to avoid it because my mind just doesn't get it. He did leave a few spiders here though, which I am not okay with.

Speaking of Elder Cook, remember how I wasn't ever going to see him on my mission? Well, FALSE. I saw him my FIRST DAY. It was the strangest handshake of my life and I'm not even going to try to explain it. Yes, the entire mission knows about the situation. I hope these Elders don't think I am missing the sneaky little grins they give each other when I am introduced to them, but give me a transfer and they will no longer know me as Elder Cook's girlfriend. THAT'S for sure. (: I will be "her majesty, the magnificent Sister Bryce". Ha ha just kidding, but no really. Sister Lee-Lo and I are going to show these Elders how it's done.

The picture that needs no explanation.

So, let me tell you about Australia! Well, it is definitely not the Bible belt! In fact, I'm not sure if there are two missions more religiously different than the two I have served in.. In Kentucky, EVERYONE is religious. They may not like Mormons but they LOVE Jesus. Here, it's opposite. No one is religious, they've never heard of Mormons and they don't need God. Rather, they don't THINK they need God. Which is why Sister Lee-Lo and I are going to be so happy and spiritual that they will think their lives are pale, empty and lifeless compared to ours. Which they are.

I LOVE IT HERE. It's beautiful, the people are very nice - sometimes the men are a little fresh, but that's nothing that a cold glare can't handle - and they may not like religion but they do like us. I haven't seen a Kangaroo yet, but I will. Supposedly there are a ton in Busselton.

Really, the only thing that I don't like about this place is, no central heating. NO CENTRAL HEATING. WE HAVE TO USE SPACE HEATERS TO SURVIVE. Guys. I am living in Antarctica. Why, WHY didn't anyone ever tell me that central heating was an American thing?!?! Why didn't they ever tell me that everyone outside of the U.S. likes to be cold and miserable??? I seriously had no idea. I have been decieved. Ha ha no, just kidding. I am being really dramatic. But seriously, just think about that. No central heating. When you are walking around your nice, warm, perfectly regulated house, think about poor Sister Bryce shivering in front of a space heater. Ha ha oh man, it's a good thing they didn't call me to Russia.

Real missionaries ride bikes!
Alright, I love you guys! Keep me posted on everything that is going on! Remember who you are and remember who your favorite Sister Missionary is!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Letter from Mission President

2 August 2013

Dear Brother and Sister Bryce,
We are happy to inform you that your daughter, Sister Anna Lyn Bryce, arrived here in the Australia Perth Mission, and we thank you for sending her to us.  We are glad to have her here, and have confidence that she is going to be a fine missionary.
Her companion, Sister Lee-Lo, is a strong and faithful missionary who will play a vital role in the adjustments and training process your daughter will go through.  We encourage you to continue to pray for her success and happiness and to write letters of encouragement and support.
It is our privilege to have her serve with us.  It is a great trust that you and Heavenly Father have placed in us to assist her in realizing her full potential as a servant of God.  We will assist in every opportunity to help her to grow in the gospel, to bless others and to invite all to come unto Christ.  She will truly be an instrument in the hands of the Lord.
Should you change address or contact details during the term of your daughter’s mission please notify the mission office promptly.  We would also be grateful if you would advise us of your email address if available.
May the Lord bless you to experience the joy and satisfaction that comes from having a daughter serving in this sacred responsibility.
President and Sister Lindsay
Australia Perth Mission