Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 18 - Culture Night

Pumpkin Pie!!

Kia Ora! Talofa lava!

This week went by so fast. Like every week. They are just going faster and faster... So basically I'll be home like next month. Jokes, but really I can't believe it's been four months! It didn't feel that long. Well, first and foremost, I got a flippin awesome package from my favorite sister in law (I'm giving Megan the credit because I'm sure Gabe doesn't deserve it). But It got here much too early so now I have to wait like a month to open all the presents inside for Christmas. Anyway, shout out to them for being true fam. On Saturday we had a branch activity, it was supposed to be "sounds of Polynesia" night but we're pretty whorey out here so it ended up being a potluck of food from the most random countries (America included, thanks to my mean pumpkin pie making skills), and random cultural dances. The Scottish elder wore his kilt (gag) and there was a Highland fling, Samoan siva, and a Maori kapa haka. So that was prettyyyyy cool. And we had like six investigators there so that too was prettyyyy cool.

In other news, we are smashing our goals, Sister Asiata was even sick a little bit this week, but the Lord provided a way for us to make up time lost and still exceed our goals. So I'm feeling very #blessed. Transfers is next week and I feel like I'll be going to South Auckland. Sister Pagofie had a dream I am going there, so now it's pretty much doctrine that I am. Pray for me and my rapidly changing figure. Every one who goes there gets legitimately FAT. Oh well, mission blessings.

My ponderize scripture this week is Moroni 8:16. I have definitely been trying to work on my boldness, and this is perfect. I hope you are all still ponderizing and feasting upon the word:)
Have a marvelous week, I love you all.

Alofa atu,
Sister Machen

Making Pie
My "rolling pin" (a roll of plastic wrap)

Look Ma, I made pie!

Me and Sister Asiata with our Favorite Future Missionary - Louisa

Our Favorite Little Samoan - Johnson

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Week 17 - Another Week Down


This week went by so fast I don't even remember what happened! I guess the most fresh thing in my mind right now is getting yelled at by a big Samoan dad, from one of my favorite families, actually. So that was discouraging. But I had an awesome study this morning about how those who reject the Lord's servants and the gospel will receive their deserved reward. So I know he will eventually realize his wrongs and be justly dealt with. :)

Other than that we had a wedding and we all got fed soooo much. I'm feeling it for sure... gotta get out earlier in the morning. Church was good this week, I really love the members. They are so faithful! If the people in the wards back home had the amount of heart these saints do, the work would go so much faster. But I have really gained an appreciation for the tender mercies in life! People being nice, free food, and extra five minutes to sleep. My challenge to you guys this week is to count your blessings every day! We all have our struggles but it's nothing compared to what the Savior went through. We have it easy. Sorry for the short letter this week, but everything is great out in the promised land!

Love you all heaps,
Sister Machen

P.S. Here is my Samoan family, the Sioli's :)))

Friday, November 13, 2015

Week 16 - Go All-Blacks!!

Kia Ora!

Many miracles this week! We set two girls for baptism that come from a part member family so we're also trying to reactivate the rest of them. So hooray for that and for baptisms coming!! Then it just seemed like everything fell into place perfectly yesterday so we were able to not only reach all of our goals but exceed them. We found a potential investigator on Friday at the sports nights we've started up. The next day we visited her and she became a new investigator, and the next day she rocked up to church! So that was crazy and awesome and we ended up having FOUR investigators at church which is a record in this branch haha. Sacrament meeting was so full and there were hardly any empty chairs, it had me almost tearing up. So proud of our little branch. Then one of our Young Women gave a talk in church and she did SO well!! And she gave a shout out to me and my last comp for helping her stay strong in the church and always giving her challenges to become more Christlike lol. Tender mercies.

This weekend was "Guy Fawkes" so basically fourth of July for no particular reason. Everyone just set off fireworks for like three days so that was cool. And there're no rules here in NZ about fireworks apparently. I don't know if you guys in America heard anything about rugby, but last weekend the All Blacks won the world cup for the second time in a row so everyone has been hard out celebrating all week and drinking like there's no tomorrow. So that was interesting. We got a few invitations to take a night off and have a few, haha.

This week I have been studying a lot about families and our personal conversion. It has just hit me more than ever about how important the basic everyday things are. "If you read the Book of Mormon everyday you will never go less active." - Elder Bednar. So do it people!!! I love these people and I love even more seeing them change for the better. The gospel is for everyone!

Alofa atu,
Sister Machen

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 15 - JANDALS

Waitara Missionaries

Kia Ora,

Not much to write about this week because we are just working on finding, finding, finding. We have been tracting heaps because we just have to fill our time and there is no city center or anything in our area; it's just basically a large neighborhood. SO we knock on doors and the white people are rude, the Maori's smell like smoke, and the Samoans invite us in to eat. It's pretty standard. Oh and the occasional Asian doesn't speak English. My comp is finding it hard to transition to this mission because our area is SOOOOO slow compared to the city. I just have to say love the people, love the people lol. But we are walking tons more because everything is so close and there're always people out walking. Our area is tiny, it's like the size of the neighborhood between High Ridge and Helen of Troy above Redd Road. It's just a tiny little square and there's only a fish n chips shop and a subway and that's it... We go out to Waitara for single sisters and stuff cause that's where the rest of our branch lives, but that's the elders area so we don't really proselyte there. Everyone in this tiny neighborhood already knows us so they already think they know what we're trying to "sell." Which makes it hard to say anything...

Today I bought sandals yay!!!!!! It's warm enough for them now and we can wear any shoes we want as long as there is a back strap, so my toes can finally breathe! But the funny thing is that they call flip flops "jandals" here. At first I though it was a joke but nope. It's actually in the dictionary. Halloween here is not big at all. I think there were like 20 kids total trick or treating in Bell Block... So we went over to an investigator's house and just ate all their candy that nobody came for, haha. Oh that reminds me, I think I've pretty much stabilized my weight now, we run every morning (more like slow jog and do jumping jacks on the corner) and with the walking it keeps us at a good weight, I guess. Also I'm eating less haha. Not starving though!

Anyway the work is great, the people are wonderful, and the gospel is the key to happiness!

Alofa Atu,
Sister Machen