Thursday, December 31, 2015

Week 23 - NZHM HAKA

Kia Ora,

Well this week was the worst week in the mission, work wise... But Christmas was fantastic. Three meals later I was in some serious pain, though. I think I ate the most food I have ever eaten in my life. After all of our meals, we worked Christmas lights and could barely walk around, we were so full. #missionblessings 

We had our Mission Christmas Conference this week, though, and that was so sweet! Got to see all my old companions and everyone in the mission! The coolest part about it, though, is that we learned a haka all together and performed it for a legit camera crew. We filmed it like four times to get it right and even had the flying camera drones zooming in on our faces. So pretty legit. But that will eventually be on youtube, FB, and the internet in general, so when you watch it, don't judge me, I'm really into my Maori culture now. Yes my face is supposed to be like that... You frown to scare the enemy. But I'm front and center in a red skirt, can't miss me, I'm famous! jk. But that was sweet and like four elders ripped their pants hahaha. 

Skyping was awesome of course, and it's confirmed, I have a terrible kiwi accent. 
Also, sisters in my mission get lice all the time so shout out to Maddie Westman; I'm cracking up at your predicament cause I spent my whole first two transfers picking nits!! I never got them though, don't worry, mom. 

Well that's about it, but as the new year is approaching resolutions are coming up. 
What will you do this year to come unto Christ each and every day? It's a perfect time to think of a gift you can give to the Savior! But I know that we don't have to wait for a new year to become a new person, we can become changed and new and better every single day through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I invite you all to do so!! 

Love you heaps, This gospel changes lives!
Sister Machen

Wednesday, December 23, 2015



I have so much to talk about this week but so little time!

Christmas lights at the temple are like the highlight of my life. We worked again last night and were able to take an investigator on Friday. But last night I had the craziest experience! Well maybe not craziest, but a mission miracle for me at least. So I was at the end of the Visitors Center tour talking with people trying to get their info so more crazy missionaries could go knock on their door, and I was talking to this one lady who was alone. She said that she really felt something watching the videos (EVERYONE GO WATCH THE SAVIOR IS BORN VIDEOS ON MORMON.ORG) and she felt like they were telling her something. So I tried getting her info and stuff and she was like "yeah let me just find my friend and I'll come back and give you the card." Here's me like, yeah right you're not coming back" and then she left.  About 20 minutes later she comes back in asking for the "girl from Texas" and she is crying at this point. So I go over and she asks to talk to me privately.. long story short, she's in trouble and she walked to the temple (it's in the middle of farms and way far from civilization) and she didn't know why. So we got her all sorted out and talked to her and stuff and then I ask her where she lives. Here it is: SHE'S IN MY AREA. The chances of that are like less than 2% seriously. There are thousands of people that come to the lights every year and she's the first one I've met over four days that's actually in my proselyting area. So basically I was shocked and she was so happy that I would be coming over to see her. Seriously, Christmas miracles. The Lord works in wonderful ways, people.

It was my comp's bday so I went all out and made her our candy bar cake that everyone loves-success. She's awesome and so dang cute. We got home really late last night from temple lights but every single light we hit on the way home was green, even a red one turned green right in time and at that point my comp was dying laughing, "I can't beleeb it!" Never a dull moment with a filippino.

I hope every one has a very Merry Christmas! Shout out to the Savior for being born and saving us all and making life worth living. He is everything!! I love the gospel and I know it's true!

Afo atu,
Sister Machen

PS. Really, go watch the videos, they are life changing. And share them on FB ppl.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Week 21 - Christmas Temple LIGHTS!!


Well I'm an aunt. That's flippin crazy. That baby was just up in heaven. THATS SO EXCITING!!! So congrats to Gabe and Megan, you get a pass for not writing me this week.

The only thing I really have to talk about is the temple lights!! They started on Saturday and we got to be there on opening night as well as last night. So we didn't get home until 11:30 both nights and we have 9 am church but we still have to wake up early so basically I was dead this morning. And I have no voice. We talked with sooo any people just trying to get them inside the visitors center so they could feel the spirit even more and we could get referrals. But I met so many different people and so many people came that just saw lights and showed up. But lots of people we tried to talk to blew us off and dodged us (white people) haha but this one Columbian family were SO friendly. I tried my super bad Spanish on them and they loved it! Just count yourself lucky if you served Spanish speaking; those people are awesome. Maybe i just think so cause I grew up  around that but really hispanics can be so humble! Anyway, it was a really great few nights and hopefully we will be back there with investigators! We have one good one, Brooke, who is really keen!! One of those that I felt like I knew her from somewhere the first time I met her. So exciting!

The gospel is true. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and I'm so grateful for Him, especially as we celebrate His birth! #ASaviorIsBorn

Sister Machen

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 20 - Welcome to the DANGER ZONE!

Hey fam,

My new area is awesome. I'm in Hamilton East ward, in Glenview stake, it's a huge ward, the highest baptizing ward in the mission and probably in New Zealand... Hope I don't stuff it up. And we have a MEAL ROSTER!!!! What a blessing and a curse. But the first night I got here we had MCM and the Ward Mission Leader shakes my hand and says, "welcome to the danger zone." Not even lying, he was so serious hahaha. He's way in to it and serious about the work. That meeting was one I'll never forget, but obviously his crazy antics work because they have so much success.
My new comp is SO CUTE. She's from the Philippines and learning English (so i have to basically teach everyone) and she gets excited about the littlest things. She is from a pretty poor area that gets hit with typhoons a lot so she didn't come with much and I told her everything I have is hers to use. My eyes just keep getting more and more open to how fortunate I am. Her favorite word is, "Oh no!" So at any little problem she'll say it and i just crack up laughing. But she's great at giving me driving directions to everywhere we need to be! Our area is huge and we have so many investigators that have been taught all the lessons but just won't take that next step to be baptized. So that's our focus right now. But I'm shocked at how fast it all goes here! The people actually see us as missionaries with a purpose rather than just friends or cute girls, so that's nice to do real missionary work haha. I bore my testimony in my new ward slash introduced myself and man it's just huge. Way different than a branch. Wishing I was back in my branch haha.
Leaving my first area was way sad but I was ready I think for the faster paced work and to see a different area/culture. And because I'm in Hamilton, we get to go to the Visitors center for Christmas firesides if we bring investigators and we get to walk around the temple talking with everyone for temple lights!!! I'm so stoked for that.
The only thing that is kind of a struggle is getting to know everyone and taking over the area. Sister Urgel's last comp was her trainer and is a really, really outgoing and talkative person so she kind of did everything and led the companionship. Sister Urgel is really trying to help out but the language barrier and newness is going to take some getting used to. Other than that it's been a fantastic week!
Read your scriptures. Pray everyday. The church is true.

Sister Machen

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Week 19 - Transfer News!

Kia Ora!

Dang, what a week. I'm bouncing up and down right now, so excited. This week was a bit of a rollercoaster because transfers are here and I felt like I was going for sure and then all this stuff came up so I felt like I was staying and it was just a lot of back and forth. But we stayed focused and really had a great week of missionary work. We found this awesome Maori family. They have had missionaries in their house before but we're the first ones that came and could answer all their questions without batting an eye. So they came to church!! We had 6 investigators at church and I was just so pumped. Then we had this Maori guy, Herewini Jones, do two firesides this weekend talking about whakapapa, or geneology, and it was so cool. He connected all the Polynesian Islands back to the Lamanities and then everything back to the House of Israel. I was mindblown and it could have been easy to shrug it off and say he was a crazy guy, but you couldn't deny the Spirit that was in our little chapel. It was crazy awesome. So this family came to that as well and afterwards brother Jones basically set the mom for baptism and committed her to read the Book of Mormon. Just blew my mind and did my work for me haha. All around, church was one of my best Sundays. At the end of the combined meeting for third hour, the branch president randomly asked me to bear my testimony. So I go up and pretty much burst into tears. Okay not that bad, but after four months of not crying it had to come out eventually, especially knowing I was getting transferred. So I looked out and saw this tiny little branch and saw all these wonderfully faithful members and I literally felt the Savior's love for all of them. Crazy powerful. I'm definitely going to miss these people!

So transfers.... I'm getting put with a cute little Filipino in the Hamillton Zone! So, it's right next to the temple and to President Rudd... But I'm so stoked cause that means I'll be by the temple for Christmas and they do awesome lights and it'll be so awesome to use the visitors center for investigators! Other than that the only interesting thing about the week was this poor lady going off about how bad she felt for me being from the states... She said it was a terrible, awful place and shuddered..? Yeah, I was quite confused.

But hope everyone had a great week and enjoyed thanksgiving, I totally forgot about that holiday... But I'm thankful for you all and for the wonderful gospel in my life. Most of all I think I am thankful for the Savior! He is everything. The way the truth and the life.... haha our favorite quote. But really so grateful for His atoning sacrifice! Utilize the Atonement everyday! Love you HEAPS.

Alofa atu,
Sister Machen