Tuesday, April 22, 2014

HAPPY EASTER!!!!!!! I, for the record, had the BEST EASTER OF MY LIFE.

Dear Family,
HAPPY EASTER!!!!!!!!! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. I, for the record, had the BEST EASTER OF MY LIFE. Wanna know why? (: Because for the first time, I finally realized what Easter is all about. What an incredible gift the Atonement of Christ is to us. I have been struck this weekend by how all-encompassing, yet personal the Atonement really is. It means so much for all of us as a whole and so much for each of us as an individual. Because of what happened Easter Sunday 2000 years ago, every one of us will live again in the flesh. But not only that, each of us can live again spiritually, now. What I mean by that is that the Atonement of Christ has the power to heal even the most wounded soul. And the beautiful thing about it is, we don't have to wait! We can have that healing now. It is always available to us, we just need to reach out for Christ's outstretched hand, as did Peter when he "saw the wind boisterous"[Matthew 14]. The miracles that Christ performed during His earthly ministry - healing the sick, causing the blind to see and the lame to walk, are outward physical representations of what Christ can do for each of us spiritually.
So, my week was great! I have a wonderful companion. I seriously have been SO blessed when it comes to companions. I love serving with New Zealanders; they are so awesome.
This week we found a BEAUTIFUL family to teach. They have the most darling 9 year old girl with Down's Syndrome; she is just so precious and we hit it right off. She wanted to know all of my cousins names ha ha. We will be teaching the whole family next week; they are so lovely. They are going to make the cutest mormon family ever. It's interesting; one thing most of my companions have said is that they meet more children/people with Down's Syndrome with me than at any other point in their mission...the Lord really does place people in your path. It always brightens my day when we meet them.
Speaking of children with Down's Syndrome, how's the Joemaester doing? Does he still realize that I am his favorite sister? Did he remember Taylor when he came home? Oh he is so adorable. Everyone please give him some big kisses for me.
So things are good! My shoulder has been acting up again, but no dramas cause I just went to the physio. She TORE into it trying to make the muscles around it relax, because they are SO tight! So I'm really sore but I'm sure it will probably be better in the long run...Sister Tupuna and I have started eating SO good. Time to get healthy I guess.
Well mi familia, I hope everything is going well on your end! I am just loving my life one day at a time. (: It's been good, the Lord has definitely been blessing me far more than I deserve. We see miracles everyday, and you can bet your buttons that they are going to continue! I will keep ya'll posted. (:
Sister Bryce

Buses, that's how we roll.

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's exercising your agency to endure adversity WELL that brings spiritual power

Dear Family,
Sister Tupuna and I dove right into it when we got here. The area book and the flat were a MESS....holy smokes, there were suits in the closet that belong to elders that probably have grandchildren. We went through the whole flat and threw out almost everything. After that we completely dismantled the Area Book and put it back together...there is SO much work here! And my companion is SO awesome...like seriously, she's so cool and has me laughing all the time. She's already been a huge support to me and I am stoked to work with her.

We were horrified when we saw the weekly goals of the previous missionaries. They were SO low. They were really good missionaries, but most of the mission is under the impression that this is a difficult area, and so the attitude of the missionaries and ultimatly the goals reflect that. Sister Tupuna and I have come into this area with the attitude that it is golden, and it's relfected that...it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. We smashed most of the weekly goals in a single day.

We've only met a few of the members, but they are SO awesome. It's a dominantly white ward, which is a HUGE change from Polynesian Rockingham ward, which was like little New Zealand. The Bishop is so gun here...ah we are STOKED. The members are really keen to make things happen here, which is good because SO ARE WE!

General Conference was awesome....Like wow. All of the talks. Just wow. They were so good and spoke RIGHT to me...there is something really awesome about getting rebuked by an apostle. They have so much authority and throw it down like nobody's business. I'm so excited for the talks to come out in the Ensign so I can get re-rebuked.

We had a cool miracle the other day. We were biking (that's right, we are on bikes. This is a biking area. Except not for long, we are getting a car because President just loves us), trying to find this part-member family's house, and we ended up on the COMPLETELY wrong street. Like, not even close. My navigation skills are hopeless. We were about to turn, and then I looked to the left and saw a house, and had a thought, "hm, maybe you should go tract that house Sister Bryce". I've had enough experience with the Spirit now to know that when those thoughts come, you need to act on them and not hesitate. So we went, and met this young mom named Emma who is GOLDEN! She is so keen to learn. We are going over to see here this week with a member and it is going to be amazing.

Yep so, things are good. I've learned a lot over the past few weeks. Enduring adversity alone doesn't make you stronger; it's exercising your agency to endure adversity WELL that brings spiritual power. You can't just suffer through things miserably and expect to come out a better person. Challenges are like a springboard...you can either fall off it and crash, or hit it running and jump higher than you've ever been before. Oh snap. Check out that analogy. (:
Anyways, mi familia, I have received a shocking lack of letters from you as of late. Don't worry, repentance is real. You can always change...tomorrow is a new day. (:

I love you all! Keep the Faith!
Sister Bryce

I will be leaving Rockingham and going north of the river, closer to Perth. My new area is called Greenwood...

Dear Family,
I had an awesome week! We got transfer calls last night. I will be leaving Rockingham and going north of the river, closer to Perth. My new area is called Greenwood...I don't know anything about it but I'm sure it's awesome. My new companion is a sister that I have met a few times, she's suuuuppper nice and I am SO excited to have a chance to serve with her. My dear daughter will be staying in Rockingham to carry on the legend as Sister Training Leader. I couldn't be more proud. (:

I love Sister Leakehe so much; I am going to miss her! She's such a good friend. She's helped me get through a lot and will always be one of my closest friends. She's always got my back. For example, I was pretty sick this week.. there was one day when I was so weak I couldn't hardly get out of bed. I was in the back bedroom sleeping and Sister Leakehe was in the living room studying. I was soo thirsty, but I couldn't physically get out of bed and I was too weak to do more than whisper, so I knew I wouldn't be able to call her loud enough for her to hear. I said a prayer that she would come in the room. Not a minute later she walked in and asked how I was feeling. It was crazy, I think I was a little delirious, because after that I got a little carried away and started praying for all sorts of unrealistic things.

Te Matare Tawhitopau, one of our investigators. That's a Maori name for ya!

I'm really going to miss Rockingham; I've been here for 6 months and in a lot of ways it's become home to me. I opened this area! This is my hood! I've gotten really close - missionary style - with a lot of people here. I am definitely definitely definitely going to come back and visit this ward someday.
It is always exciting to go into a new area. Sister Tupuna and I will be doubled into the area so that's gonna be awesome. It's a new adventure. I love new adventures. And north of the river...that's crazy. There are two sides of the Australia Perth Mission. North side and South side, divided by the Swan river. I've always been in the south, but now....north. You guys might not realize but that's a big deal in my opinion.

Sister Payze - now Rosanna (she's finished) came to visit me! I love her!

We had a really awesome miracle with Aaron, who is getting baptized a week from Saturday. We went through the baptismal questions with him, and he was good on all of them accept for, "Do you believe that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God?" He was like, "um I don't even know who that is. How am I supposed to believe he is a prophet with out even meeting him or anything? How do you know he's not just faking it?" etc. He was VERY sceptical. But then, guess what? The next lesson we had with him, we showed a 3 minute Mormon message where Thomas S. Monson talks about the Plan of Salvation and Jesus Christ. Afterwards, Aaron was really quiet. We asked him how he felt, and he said he felt "a burning feeling" in his heart. The same feeling, in fact, that he feels when he reads the Book of Mormon. BECAUSE, President Monson is a prophet JUST LIKE Nephi and Alma were! He made that connection no problem. So we asked him, "Aaron, do you believe that Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's prophet on the earth today?" And he said yes. BAM. Just like that. We never in a million years would have been able to convince Aaron the President Monson was a prophet, but the Spirit did it in less than three minutes. That is the power of the Spirit in conversion.
I am SO excited for General Conference this weekend! We have this Golden investigator named Gary that is so excited to come and hear the prophet speak. Guys. Thomas S. Monson is LITERALLY a prophet of God. God's mouthpiece on the earth today. Just think for a second about how cool that is.
Well family, I'm afraid we have to go clean our flat now. I promise it's not that messy...I've gotten way cleaner on my mission. Guess what Abby, I even do my own laundry now. (: I love you all! Keep plugging along and doing the things that lead to happiness. Prayer, scripture study, all three hours of Church (ALL THREE), and keeping God's commandments. I love you!
Sister Bryce

Our investigator Mandy put on a Thanksgiving dinner for us, in honor of me being an American. (:

Monday, February 24, 2014


Dear Family,
Oh. My goodness. This week was SO crazy awesome. Seriously...wow.
We got our transfer calls today!! Sister Leakehe and I will be staying in Rockingham. AHhhhh I'm so glad....we figured that was going to happen but a small part of me was nervous. We are doing so well here. I'm crossing my fingers for two more transfers here, that's unlikely but hey. Miracles happen! (:
So. This week... Monday was P-day, which was awesome. That evening we had a dinner appointment with a member family, the Tini's. We got to the appointment and they were running a little bit late, so we were like, "hey, no worries, we'll just go tract!" We REALLY wanted to find a new person to teach. Our teaching pool is pretty solid but the bigger the better! So we said a prayer. We walked up to their neighbour's house and knocked on the door....nothing. But at the NEXT house we found this AWESOME Christian guy that we have an appointment with tomorrow! It was just cool because we were like, "hey, we've got ten of the Lord's minutes....lets use them." And He blessed us with a new investigator. Which is awesome!!

The ocean at Rockingham Foreshore.

We had a lesson with this person by the name of K...., and it was one of the most spiritually-guided lessons I've ever had. Sister Leakehe and I went into it planning on teaching the Restoration, but the Spirit was like, "Nope. Plan of Salvation." So we went with it...and the Spirit was like BAM- smacked her in the face and she was hard out crying. It was so cool. You know you are teaching by the Spirit when you start saying things you've never said or even thought of before...Sister Leakehe was throwing out analogies like no body's business and I was just so proud. It was sweet AS!!

Seriously, this companionship is amazing. I know I've said that about all my companionships, but it's true. I've been ridiculously blessed when it comes to companions. I've never been so unified with a companion as I have with this one, which is crazy because I've had some CRAZY unified companionships. But Sister Leakehe and I are literally of one mind. We are always thinking the same thing. In lessons, I'll be thinking about asking a certain inspired question, and then she'll ask it, and vice versa.. it's weird and super cool. She was telling me last night that she's never, ever been so...on the same wave-length with another person before. I was like, Me neither! With one exception.

Sisters of the Rockingham Zone

We have been teaching this Awesome young man by the name of A..... We went by to see him and he came out VERY reluctantly....he was so cold. "nope, don't believe in God." "Religion is just a power trip." "Never prayed in my life and don't plan on starting now"...that kind of thing. Alcohol, cigarettes, tattoos, swear words....you name it! We were like, Oh snap! We started talking to him, asking him inspired questions and trying to understand where he was coming from. We taught him VERY simply about God...he didn't buy it, but by the end of the lesson he agreed to let us come back. 
Fast forward, 3 weeks later. Aaron is praying and reading the Book of Mormon every day. He believes in God and tells us almost every time we see him about some new way that he has seen God's hand in his life. He's quit drinking and is working on quitting smoking as well. He comes to church and he's accepted the invitation to be baptized on April 5, 2014. You would. Not. Believe. the change that has occurred in him; it's ridiculous. He STUDIES every pamphlet we give him. We'll read a scripture in a lesson and he's say, "Oh yeah, that scripture was referenced in the Restoration Pamphlet as well"....it's In.Sane. We tell him every day...God must love him SO much, to reach out to him the way that He has. And he recognizes it, which is the best part!

We have been so blessed this transfer...we've seen so many miracles... you would not believe. But when we up our game, Satan does as well... and he's manifested himself this week in a way that I thought was only in movies and campfire stories. He's scared. And he showed us, "yeah, your in Rockingham, huh? Well guess what. I'm here too." But he can't win and he knows it. And he doesn't stand a CHANCE against the power of the Priesthood and the power of faith...I've gained a living testimony of that this week. You men of the Priesthood - Honor the power that you hold. Study it and treasure it - it is real power. Sorry - quick tangent. This is directed towards no one in particular, just priesthood holders in general....I've been blessed to see the Priesthood in action this week so I've been thinking about it a lot. The Priesthood. So often we underestimate the Priesthood. It is the LITERAL power of God!! By it the worlds were created and by it the planets are kept in their sphere - it's the power that controls the universe,and God in His infinite mercy allows worthy and righteous men to hold it. Can you believe that? It's crazy. But here's the thing...we've got the authority. We've definitely got the authority. But the POWER of the Priesthood is contingent upon personal faith and righteousness. It is the authority AND especially the power of the Priesthood that can cast out devils, heal the sick and administer comfort to the afflicted. Seriously you guys, I've seen it. I've seen it. I've seen miracles. I've seen unclean spirits cast out and the sick healed. DEVELOP that kind of faith and righteousness. You have the authority of the Priesthood. Do you have the power?

SEFILI WAS BAPTIZED THIS WEEK!!!!!!!! AHHHH seriously it was AMAZING!!! It was the most beautiful baptismal service!!!! She bore her testimony afterwards and wow...just wow. She is SO converted to Jesus Christ, it's incredible....seriously she is such an example to me and to all the young women of the ward. It has been such a pleasure to teach her.

Sefili Marster's Baptism! February 22, 2014

T...-getting baptized this Saturday!
T... is getting baptized this Saturday!! Because our ward and ward mission leader are so awesome, everything is pretty much set...Sister Leakehe and I are just in awe. God has just poured out His Spirit on us and on the Rockingham ward this transfer. My testimony has like, QUADRUPLED. We both have a feeling that this coming transfer is going to be even MORE amazing!! We are SOOOO EXCITED and we are going to be INSANELY obedient and diligent so we can be deserving of the blessings that the Lord in his goodness has given us. Well, I love you all!! Yaaayy I'm excited for the package! Thanks guys. That's TEN bricks for your mansion in Heaven!!

Love,  Sister Bryce

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tongan Dishes that Consist of Chicken and Coconut Cream Wrapped in Leaves!

Dear family,
AHHHHHHHHH Have I ever told you guys how much I am enjoying myself???? Being a missionary is SOOO cool!! I will never get over it.

We had an AWESOME week. Seriously, we are SO blessed. Sister Leakehe and I have seen miracle after miracle!! Of course there are trials and hard days, but to be honest the 'hard' days just aren't that hard. There is an underlying current of peace and contentment on a mission, I have found...it comes from living righteously, trusting in God and knowing that you are where you should be. It's the bomb dot com. I just cracked my back and the guy next to me was like..."ahhhh!"....I really should stop doing that huh...on the bright side, I stopped biting my nails! (: again.

Yesterday we had dinner with a part-member family... the husband/dad is a really nice white guy and his wife is straight Tongan. For some reason they love us, which is great! They made us this delicious tongan dish that consisted of chicken and coconut cream wrapped in leaves. It was sooo good. It was hilarious though, because my companion is technically Tongan...like, both her parents were born ON the island, but she has this thing against Tongan food and she was even more scared to eat it than I was. It was delicious though and we both enjoyed it very much. The members are so nice to feed us all the time...literally, like, all the time.

We went up to the mission office in Perth this week for Sister Leakehe's Follow Up Training. We modelled teaching the Restoration in 4 minutes....She SMASHED it! She is WAY way way better than I was at my follow up training. I'm so proud of her! (: I've worked so hard to train her well, but I can't take any credit because she's just naturally the bomb.

The Perth Temple

My Badge and CTR ring at the Temple.

I love Sister Leakehe SO much!

SEFILI IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!! AHHHH we are so excited!! She is seriously AMAZING. She had her Baptismal Interview yesterday and just blew the elder that interviewed her away....she's amazing. She wants to go on a mission and everything. It's SO cool!! She is going to make such a solid member. My goodness I am so attached. You get so attached to the people you teach.

Mandy, who is getting baptized in March, is doing So awesome. She has had so many answers to her prayers, which is just incredible because 3 weeks ago she didn't even believe in God. She is always telling us about the little ways she is seeing God's hand in her life....through things as simple as us showing up randomly without an appointment when she's having a bad day, or getting a call from a friend after she's said a prayer...she told us the other day she was walking, and she saw the sun behind a cloud with sun rays streaming out, and she just knew in her heart that God was really there, and that that sunset was meant for her. So incredible. We could all do well to notice the little things a little bit more. God is in the details of our lives. As my old mission president used to say, "God micromanages our lives".

Well, I love you all. Sounds like Hurricane is awesome, I like that place.Yayyy! More babies!! I love babies!! They should definitely keep having them so that I have lots to hold when I get home!

Love, Sister Bryce

Look mom! I took a picture of the city for you!

Sister Leakehe and I with Leti, a lovely Tongan member that we loved to take tracting with us.

Our district, bless their hearts.  

We dry our clothes the old-fashioned way...on the line! Yes, I am wearing a lava lava. A Samoan investigator gave it to me and it changed my life...SO easy.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sister Leakehe was screaming for a good 5 minutes!

Dear Family,
Pulgogi, yum. There is a hilarious Korean Elder in our district, Elder Shin, and when I told him I had a recipe for Pulgogi he freaked out, "Can you give me?! Can you give me?!" It was hilarious. He's so funny. Yep looks like things are good. Joseph is adorable, as always. Since when does he have big boy teeth? Does he talk?

I try to take more pictures but I just can't be bothered...I'm not usually driving around looking at scenery and stuff. I'm driving around saving SOULS! We just live in a little suburban town. Not much to take pictures of, other than houses. We can't see the city from where we are, it's a good hour drive away. Besides, I used to care about taking pictures a lot at the beginning of my mission, so I took tons, but then I lost that camera card, and it made me realize it just isn't that important. They are temporary and they are in my head. 

I'm much more concerned about what my mission makes of me and the people around me than I am about how glamorous it looks to the people at home. But yes, I'll make more of an effort..
Well, so, we had an AMAZING week! Seriously, SO many miracles. We met a 17 -year - old girl named Tema, and set a baptismal date with her for the 1st of March. She has already experienced the blessings of prayer! She told us that a few days after we set the date with her, her mom told her that they would be moving back to New Zealand on the 28 of February. Tema was really upset because that would mean she couldn't get baptized on the first of March. So, she went and prayed and asked Heavenly Father to change her mom's mind and make her stay. The next day, her mother got a job offer here in Rockingham, so they will be staying. (: The power of prayers is SO REAL!!! It's so amazing to have that reminder that we are labouring with the Lord in this work. The Lord truly answers sincere prayers.

Then, we also met an incredible woman named Mandy a couple of weeks ago. She is SO awesome! The Lord has really prepared her. She is looking to make changes in her life and we know that we were sent to her. We committed her for baptism on the 15 of March, and she is SO excited. She was just crying and telling us how much it would mean to her to have a second chance. At the end of our last lesson with her she gave us a box of chocolates and a thank you note. She is so sweet!! It's so amazing how we were led to her at this point in her life.

We've been working so hard with the members and it has been SO GOOD!!! We've been bringing members to our lessons like nobody's business, and it's made such a difference in our lessons and in the attitude of the ward towards missionary work. There is an excitement in this ward that we haven't seen for a long time.

Last night we had a Pacific Area Leadership broadcast. It was AMAZING!! The pacific area includes Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. Elder Pearson talked about a "deepening conversion unto Christ". I LOVE that!! we all need to work on being more converted to Christ, and having a closer relationship with our father in heaven.

I've been working so hard to be a more consecrated missionary and I have seen SUCH a difference in the work because of it. I didn't tell Sister Leakehe about Elder Cook, so she hasn't known this whole time up until two days ago. It's been so good, not having it constantly brought up all the time. Eventually I had to tell her because people (other missionaries) kept saying things about it and I realized that it was starting to look to her like I had some Elder/Sister romance thing going on, and I didn't want to set that example. Because yeah, I DO have an elder/sister romance thing going on, but it most certainly did not begin in the mission field! Her reaction was hilarious when I told her though. She was screaming for a good 5 minutes and I just laughed. I let her ask all the questions she wanted for a day, but then I told her that starting in the morning, he didn't exist. It's hard but I want to stay focused.

Here's some scenery...a pond next to the park where we committed Tema to baptism


Things have been AWESOME!!! I am LOVING my mission!! It is seriously the BEST. Everyone should go on a mission. I love you guys! [btw there are 3 Elder Cooks in this mission]


Sister Bryce

Monday, February 3, 2014

I adore my companion. I adore my area. I adore my members.

Dear Family,
Hello!! Sounds like you guys are doing awesome! I love the pictures you sent me. It looks like it is freezing there, holy smokes! The weather has been pretty nice here, all things considered. Only 34C (95 degrees) today! There's a nice breeze off the ocean so that's amazing.
Well, I only wrote you guys like three days ago, so...things are good! I adore my companion. I adore my area. I adore my members. It's great.
We've begun a Book of Mormon Reading Challenge as a mission. We are reading the Book of Mormon by the first week of March, before President Hamuela of the Pacific Area Presidency comes and tours our mission. That means 15 pages a day! It has been AWESOME!!!! Seriously, I love the BoM and I love it when my life gets slammed by it. There is so much power in that Book. You guys should read it as a family! Start from the very beginning; the introduction and don't forget the testimonies of the witnesses. It's legit.
So apparently, according to my companion, I was sleep-talking again last night. I sat up and said, "Where'd they go?" And she was like, "who...?" Me: "I swear there was someone here". And then she said I smiled and laid back down. And then a minute later, really empathically I was like "Let's teach with power and authority." I don't know you guys, but I bet I was having a vision. Ha ha jk.
Yesterday was Fast Sunday. We always have SO many miracles on Fast Sunday! We had 8 investigators at church, which was awesome because it was a really really good Fast and Testimony meeting; the Spirit was so strong. I get so much out of Sacrament Meeting these days; it's my favourite hour of the week I think. And that's saying something because I love my study time. And lunch. (:
We had an awesome lesson with our recent convert Ernie. He was telling us how he felt when he received the Holy Ghost. He had an AMAZING experience. The feeling he had was incredible. I remember watching him stand up in Sacrament Meeting after he was confirmed and he just looked kind of stunned. It was clear he had had a powerful experience. It is SO cool to see the Holy Ghost working on people like that!! Ah it's amazing; I love the Gospel.
Sister Leakehe and I are on a diet...sort of. It is practically impossible to be on a diet when you are serving in a Polynesian ward. We get fed Every. Single. Night. Sometimes we have two dinner appointments on a single evening. It's good though; great for missionary work! It's super hilarious/sad, because the Elders get fed like...once a week. Maybe. Everyone loves feeding us for some reason. I have gotten so close to this ward; I love it so much! By the time I am done here, I will have served 6 months in this ward. And I'm so glad. There's no where else I'd rather spend a third of my mission. Time goes by SO fast!!
Well family, I love you all. Have an amazing week!

Sister Bryce

I didn't know what else to send so I took pictures of my study desk

Thursday, January 30, 2014

That's One Brick for your Mansion in Heaven

Dear Family,
It sounds like things are going great! Thank you so much for the long, beautiful email, I just knew you guys would come through! That's one brick for your mansion in Heaven.
Yep being a trainer has been awesome; but only because I have the best trainee the world has ever seen.

Rex is filling out his application to BYU? What the...he's not old enough yet! Ahh that's so weird! Yes I'm sure Taylor will want to hang out with Rex when he goes home. Elder Cook is an incredible missionary so he can help Rex study up for the mish. Rick can too but he's obviously too busy dating....and Taylor won't have that problem. (: Abby. Make sure he doesn't have that problem. Ha ha just kidding everyone! Relax. Emerald is in Drivers E.D.? What the? Ha ha quick, everyone off the roads!! Remember Nemold, no instagraming while driving. Rules are rules.

Oh you guys are going on a cruise in May for Pre-missionary-Rex? Cool, that will be fun! That Pre-missionary-Rick cruise we went on was way fun. I'm sure you guys are going to have a grand old time. Ha ha Abby, John and Joe don't get to go? What are they going to do instead, other than write me letters and read their scriptures of course? So um....what are your guys' ideas for the celebration of Post-Anna's-Mission? Brainstorm and send me the list and I'll ponder about it. General Conference tickets all around, am I right?!

So, things have been amazing here in Western Australia! Wow, can you believe I'm in Australia? You realize you guys are upside-down right now, right? Yes things have been awesome. The reason I didn't email on Monday is because it was a public holiday, so P-day was moved to Thursday and we got to go to the Temple! It was this morning. It was seriously so amazing. I love going to the Temple. You really gain an appreciation for it when you aren't allowed to go whenever you want. It's was awesome and I gained a lot of revelation for our area.

Let me tell you about this week! Where do I even start? Sister Leakehe and I have a miracle at LEAST once a day. At least, sometimes/usually more. We've found some incredible new people to teach, via the members, tracting, and talking to everyone. It's been so good. One night we had about ten minutes before we needed to go in, and we really REALLY wanted to find one more new investigator. So we said a prayer and asked the Lord to guide us to where He wanted us to go. As I was praying, Sister Leakehe had a house on the other side of town near our flat pop into her head. So, we got into the car and drove there! The NICEST African lady lives there, and now we are teaching her. Inspiration, people.

It's been really neat being a trainer. I didn't realize just how much Sister Leakehe imitates what I do until she started to tell me things. Like, for example, last night she told me that she always listens to the way I talk to people on the phone and then tries to do the same thing. I was like, "Holy smokes. If she's paying that much attention to something that small, what else is she picking up on?!" Being a trainer is such a responsibility. You have to be careful about the sort of legacy you pass on.
Well family, I wish I had more time to email you but unfortunately I am in a rush! I love you all, be good!
Sister Bryce

p-day lunch with the district!
Me with Sister Wyatt; a sister that I love. She is Neil L. Andersen's niece, cool huh!

Some of the sisters at Zone Conference

Monday, January 20, 2014

It's Not Enough to Serve with your Might and Strength, You have to Serve with your Heart and Mind as Well

Dear Family,
Ahhhh I can't believe Joseph is ten! That's crazy! So wait. He asked the teacher when mom was coming to bring treats to his class? Can he talk now? Because this is news to me! My very favourite picture of all the ones you sent me is the one where Joseph is handing a treat to his classmate with down's syndrome. That's the sweetest thing I've ever seen in my entire life. Ahhhh why is he so cute?!
As far as pictures of Kangaroos go, I had some on the camera card that I lost in Busselton. There are a million Kangaroos down around Bunbury; but unfortunately they don't use waltz around Perth. We're a little too close to the city. But I will keep my eyes peeled, I'm sure I'll be out in country again at some point! I keep meaning to take pictures of scenery but I just forget...I feel like I don't even have time to take pictures of anything. Every Monday morning I take pictures in the car on the way to emails so I can send some...I know I'm a slacker. (: I guess I just don't care as much as I used to.

Okay so I had AN INCREDIBLE week!! Seriously it was AMAZING. We had so many miracles!
So my trainee is Sister Leakehe, from New Zealand. She is Tongan and SUCH a sweetheart. I'm so proud. (: She is fresh from the MTC as of four days ago. She is such a greenie and I love it! Being a trainer is definitely new, but in a good way. I didn't realize how far I had come; how much I've learned since I started just a few short months ago. It's crazy. She is seriously awesome though; WAY better than I was when I first started! We've had so much fun together and so many amazing experiences already.

On Saturday, we got out on the bikes all day. It was SO hot, but it was so good! We were able to follow up with a lot of people, and to teach some investigators and less actives. By about four in the afternoon, neither of us wanted to say it, but we were dying. We were so thirsty. We'd just been tracting, and we asked this one lady for water and she slammed the door in our faces...which was sad and also hilarious. So we were riding, and I got an impression to stop at a random house and knock on the door. We did, and this nice couple opened the door, took one look at us and said, "oh my goodness, come in out of this heat, here let's get you some water!" Oh it was sooo nice! They weren't interested in the message, but their kindness was exactly what we needed. When we left we were just like, "wow". The Lord is really watching out for us! It was a tender mercy, to know that He cares not only about the work we do but also about our temporal welfare. It was a wonderful experience for my companion to have as well. I don't like seeing my daughter suffer. (:
After that, we had planned to go and visit this less active, but turns out I was SO sunburned on my neck - which doesn't even make sense because dad, I swear I put on SO much sunscreen! But yes I was fried. We went back and got the car, and the thought suddenly came to us to go visit this former investigator that Sister Chou Lee and I dropped almost 3 months ago. It was so random and I NEVER would have thought to go back and see her, but we did! And had a magnificent lesson! The Spirit was SO strong, it just slammed her. She told us that the past few weeks have been really hard for her; she's done a lot of praying. When she saw us walking up to her door, she knew that the Lord had sent us to her.
I am loving being a trainer! It is a huge responsibility, but I am doing my best and learning a lot as well. It really makes you step up your game and toe the line! But it's awesome. I've learned so much already!
One thing that I learned this week/over the process of my mission: It's not enough to serve with your might and strength, you have to serve with your heart and mind as well. That may not mean much to you, but it has a lot of meaning for me. When we stand before God, we will be judged not only for our works, but for our DESIRES as well. Which means we have control over what we want, because if we didn't God wouldn't judge us for it. It starts in your head, with what you spend your time thinking about, and your heart follows. For a completely random, hypothetical, unrelated third party example, if all you ever think about is your boyfriend, then that's all you'll want. But if you spend your time focusing on what the Lord wants, what His will is, then that will become your will as well! Trust me, it works. I know. "As a man thinketh, so is he." Proverbs something.
Well, I love you guys! Have an AMAZING week and I will be expecting a long beautiful email next Monday. (:
Sister Bryce

Reunited with Sister Lee-Lo at transfers. (: I miss her so much!

Our district leader decorated our door for transfers! So nice.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Ernie Got Baptized! It's 120 Degrees Fahrenheit And It's Fiery!

Dear Family,
Well hello! It's that time again....Transfers! I will be staying in Waikiki, which I am really excited about because I LOVE this ward. My new companion is....I have no idea, because I will be training a new missionary. I am super excited and we are going to smash it here in Rockingham, my unknown companion and I.

So...........! Ernie Hodges was baptized on Saturday! It was AMAZING. The Spirit was so strong. The service was beautiful, simple and sweet, just like baptisms are supposed to be. It was a moment of perfection for my companion and I. It is so incredible to see how far he has come and how much he has progressed in the gospel since we began teaching him.

It is soooo hot. It was 44C yesterday(We saw on the news that it got up to 120 degrees in Perth). I don't know how much that is in Fahrenheit, but it's fiery. And guys; our flat has no air conditioning. It is so hot we can hardly sleep; we pulled our mattresses out into the living room where all the windows are so we could have a breeze. Ahhh Australia is so hot! I love it but it is HOT.

We started teaching Sefili, one of the friends of the young women in our ward. She is AWESOME! We committed her to baptism in February. It has been so awesome teaching her, she's golden. She is going to FSY this week with her member friend (FSY = EFY), so that's pretty much every missionary's dream. (: I am so excited to work with her.

Yeah, things are going great! Don't worry dad, I always wear my sunglasses when I drive. It's too bright not to; I'd be blinded! Plus, my contacts have UV ray protection, so that's a bonus. (: And also I wear sunscreen like no body's business. A tan is the last thing on my mind right now.

Yeah seriously; nine months is NOTHING! Seriously. I have six transfers left, and every returned missionary knows how short a transfer is. It is crazy how fast it has gone by. But I intend to make the most of the time that I do have left. It is going to be an incredible nine months.
Well, I love you guys! Sorry this letter is so short; I will have more to say next week, just you wait!

Sister Bryce

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Do Your Missionary Work!

Dear Family,

So yesterday was an AMAZING day. I have come to have so much appreciation for the Sabbath and the Sacrament since coming on my mission. And for fasting, as well! We saw so many miracles yesterday as a result of fasting. There is an investigator that we are teaching who's partner is the less active son of a family in our ward. The less-active son has been causing his sweet girlfriend and his family a lot of heartache as a result of the choices he is making. We prayed for them ALL week and fasted for them on Sunday; for the whole family but particularly for the son, that his heart might be softened. That prayer was answered SO incredibly. When the family walked up to church on Sunday, Ayla (his partner who we are teaching) told us that Bronson had started to change and had - for the first time in literally years and years - promised to come to church next week with his family. We were just AMAZED. It's such a simple thing; but you have no idea the change that would have had to take place in his heart for him to agree to that. It was so humbling to see how the Lord had answered our prayers and the prayers of his family. This is truly His work, and he knows His children.

We also fasted for our ward and our area, that we might be instruments in the Lord's hands to help inspire the members to do missionary work. We have this new message that we came up with to share with the active members; it's LEGIT!! Let me tell you about it because I am really proud of it! 

Okay. So what we do is we sit down with the member family, and we start with a song to invite the Spirit, and then invite the head of the household to offer a prayer. Then we share a story from the Book of Mormon, and we ask them to listen and find what their role is in the story. So we begin in Alma chapter 8. Of course, Alma is us - the missionaries. He goes to the city of Ammonihah and works SO hard. Alma 8:10 - he labors much in the Spirit. He prays and he pleads with the Lord to soften the hearts of the people. He gives it his very best effort, but they don't listen to him. They reject him.
So he leaves! He heads to another city, to continue his mission. But an angel of the Lord stops him in his tracks, and tells him to return and give the people of Ammonihah another shot. God leads Alma to Amulek. Amulek is a believer; he already has a testimony of the things that Alma is to teach. Alma and Amulek team up, and go out and begin to preach the gospel to the people of the city. Alma starts preaching to the people. And they reject him! Alma 9:2."Who art thou?" "Who are you, Alma, to come in to our city and tell us that what we are doing is wrong? We don't even know you. You aren't even from here. And you expect us to believe everything you say, just because you say that YOU know it's true?" In short, they reject him again. And then AMULEK gets up to speak! Alma 10:4. Amulek is a well respected citizen of Ammonihah. He has friends and family there; people know him. He stands up and he says "Look, guys. I know that Alma is a prophet of God. I've seen an ANGEL, that TOLD me he was a prophet of God. I know that the things that he is telling you are true. You can trust him. The things he has shared with me have blessed me, my wife, my children, and all of my family." Amulek testifies of the truth of Alma's words and his calling as a servant of the Lord. And what happens? Alma 10:12. "And now, when Amulek had spoken these words, the people began to be astonished." The following chapters are some of the most beautiful doctrinal teachings contained in holy scripture, because the people of Ammonihah - the same people that rejected Alma - allowed themselves to be taught by both Alma and Amulek. And in the beginning of Alma chapter 14, " And it came to pass after he had made an end of speaking unto the people many of them did believe on his words, and began to repent, and to search the scriptures." They listened! The same people that kicked Alma out of their city and didn't want anything to do with him believed on the words that Alma and Amulek spoke together. Together, they were a powerful witness of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So, at this point, we ask the members what role they play. And of course, they know! "Amulek!" And we tell them, "We need you. We need Amulek. We CANNOT labor here in Ammonihah without you. We can work and pray and plead and labor in the Spirit as Alma did - and we do! - but without Amulek we will never be as powerful as we can when we have YOUR testimony and YOUR witness."

We did this with a family last night, who had 4 RM sons there as well. It was AMAZING. They loved it. As soon as we finished, they started committing themselves to do missionary work! Right there we set up a cottage evening at their home in two weeks, and they are going to invite their friends and family, and we will share a message with them. It was seriously so cool! The Spirit was so strong. Missionary Work is SO much more powerful and effective when missionaries and members are united in their efforts to bring others unto Christ.

Smoothies from Maccas aka McDonalds

Good old fashioned Australian fish n' chips!

Me and my cute, tiny companion

Well I love you guys! Keep being good and doing what you should, and DO YOUR MISSIONARY WORK!!!

Sister Bryce

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Dear Family,
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Wow, 2013 was an amazing year, wasn't it? By far the most rewarding of my life. By FAR. And 2014 is going to be even better. I'm starting out this new year with a renewed sense of dedication and commitment to the Lord. And miracles are going to happen, I can feel it!

So how was everyone's Christmas? Mine was AMAZING. Seriously; the ward members were SO good to us. We had a Christmas dinner at the home of a member family from New Zealand, and oh my goodness, it was the most amazing food I've ever seen. Seriously, it rivaled the food on the Holland America Cruise line. It was THAT good. (: Honey baked ham, pork, chicken, oysters, muscles, crab, lobster, and the most delicious variety of salads and appetizers....it was heaven. We were so spoiled! And on TOP of all that, the family even gave us Christmas presents!! It was SOOO nice! They are so good to us. We are teaching their son-in-law, who is getting baptized on the 11th of January, and so they have been taking extra good care of us to show their gratitude. They are amazing. One of my favorite parts of a mission are the relationships you create with the members of the ward you serve in.

Everyone took such good care of us. We got so many presents and boxes of chocolate from the members and other missionaries! It was so unexpected, and that was the best part. We were just so grateful, because they didn't have to do it, but they did out of the kindness of their hearts and love for us. That is how gift-giving should be. Presents are not nearly as fun if you feel you are entitled to them.

So we are teaching Bro. Hodges, who is the son-in-law of the family I mentioned. He is married to a member, and they have 5 young children. It has been so neat to teach him and to watch his knowledge and faith grow. It is such a blessing to be able to teach him, because this is the crucial first step in their family becoming eternal. It is so cool to be a part of that. Honestly, that's the best part of a mission, when you can see the way that the Lord is using you to fulfill His Work. We don't always get to see the fruits of our efforts, but when we do it's incredible.

Which reminds me. I know I mentioned last week that the family Sister Littleford and I found in Kentucky and got so close to is getting baptized. They are getting baptized this Saturday!! I am SO happy because I love them so much. I still remember the night we found them. Sister Littleford and I were driving down a street at about 8:00 o'clock at night, and drove past a man who was taking some stuff into his house. We got to the end of the street. We would have kept going; it had been a particularly trying day. But something made us stop, turn around and go back. It wasn't a voice or anything like that, just something so small that told us we needed to. A feeling. So we did, and went and talked to that man we had passed. It was Tony, and we started teaching him and his family. And now they are getting baptized! I am SO happy! What an incredible blessing. That family will always have a special place in my heart.

Well, I hope you guys are doing well! It was AWESOME to get to Skype you all on Christmas. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and begin this new year with a renewed commitment to follow the Savior, as I have done. I promise that as you make that commitment to Him - and follow through on it - that you will be blessed beyond measure, and that this year will hold much more happiness than the last.

I love you!
Sister Bryce

Christmas Dinner at Nandos

Christmas Dessert

Chocolate the members gave me!

P.S. thanks for the package!! I LOVED it! So I've been thinking a little bit on the question you guys asked me over Skype, about what I want you to send me. Here's some ideas:

-white strips (yes, I LOVE them)
-pictures of the family
-wallet sized pictures of the family, and of the religious drawings I did.
-pistachios - honestly, genius. that made my whole week. I don't know how they got through customs but by all means, send them again!
-girly things like makeup and lotion and nail polish
- church stuff. I know I said that over Skype and wasn't very clear. I don't mean books, as much as I would love to read them, I need to stick to the approved mission library. Sister Payze's sister sent her some random church stuff, like little pocket sized paintings of the saviour by greg olsen. A temple recommend cover. A framed photo of the temple. I love that kind of stuff. Honestly, just walk into Deseret book and I'm sure I'd love pretty much everything in there.