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 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.