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." ......family. 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 Lee...man 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 companions...you 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!