Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 31 - Dad's Birthday

Kia Ora!

It's been a great week. Truly. We went out to the Visitors Centre twice this week with investigators and that was awesome. The spirit is so strong there! We are just super excited for Nikki's baptism this Saturday, so that's pretty much all I can think about at the moment... But HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! Still so young. We've just been super busy, the Uni here started back up today so there have been people all over the place, too many for us to handle honestly. But we found a couple solid new investigators this week and are excited to start teaching them.... We made fajitas for lunch one day this week and they were AMAZING. But joke's on us because the same day for dinner a member made us fajitas. Crazy because no one ever makes us Mexican food. Also, the exercise thing in the morning has been terrible cause we have been so tired. So the truth of the matter is that I am soooo out of shape and the fat life is a reality. So depressing. But as in all things, the Lord will provide a way for us to be fit! One day... Hopefully soon. 
Not much else, Sister Taylor and I are together for a long transfer, she gets 8 more weeks of me! Lucky her... :) Something that has really stood out to me lately is the simple fact that Heavenly Father loves us. There is no denying it as you look around you at the beautiful world, the blessings of great family and friends, and most of all, the opportunity to have a perfect gospel in our lives. It truly is wonderful! May we all be a little more grateful this week.

Love you all HEAPS.
Sister Machen


The Hamilton New Zealand Temple... right before a crazy summer storm!

Us with Isaiah... getting baptized in two weeks!!

In my happy place with homemade fajitas. I <3 Sister Taylor.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Week 30 - Swimming in Miracles


This week was sooo busy but so awesome. yet again. On Tuesday night we drove three hours to the Coromandel peninsula (look up pics), basically one of the most gorgeous places I have ever seen. And probably ever will see. But we double covered with the sisters up there and they cover the entire peninsula, it's crazy. Their area is enormous and they drive so far to get to people's homes. The actually have two different apartments that they go back and forth to. Anyway, to get there you drive on this super windy and narrow road with a cliff face to your right and a drop off into the sea on your left with no side rails or anything. So my comp was ooing and ahhing the whole time while I was trying to stay on the road and not die. Pretty fun.

They even had mirrors for super sharp turns so you could see if anyone was coming the other way. But we survived obviously, and it was the prettiest drive ever.  So basically when you see stuff like that, you cannot deny Heavenly Father's love for us. And no we didn't actually swim, sadly. Never been so tempted in my life.

Other news, we had sooo many people at church yesterday. It was actually stressful trying to make sure everyone was being looked after and getting to the right classes. A good problem to have of course. We got there earlier and investigator after investigator just kept coming into the chapel and I just sat there sooo full of gratitude to be a part of this work. Seeing people actually act and find joy in the things we invite them to do! Great sabbath. And especially this one Chinese family, the ones who called us angels from america haha. they came and loved it and want to join! So next lesson we'll invite them to be baptized!!!

The only downside of the week I can think of is that my companion loathes role plays... but I love them slash think they help sooo much. So making her do them was partly a struggle and partly hilarious this week.
Anyway, keeping enduring...

Kia Kaha,
Sister Machen

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 29 - Valentine's Dayyyyy

I LOVE Jesus Christ (ft. my new skirt - thx Mom!)

Hi peeps.

Valentine's day is not even huge over here. But i still told everyone i loved them. So basically, it was a normal day anyway. This week we went on two exchanges, one with the Tongan sisters that cover all of Hamilton and don't have a car (so just a struggle) and one down in Te Awamutu. On the first one we basically just tried to cover as much ground as possible in the car so we almost visited their whole ward between the two of us but it was so fun! Then the next day we double covered the other sisters area and they had done awesome planning so we were in houses all day and doing work. So I honestly think I learn more from these exchanges than anyone and my comp just increases in her hatred for me hahhaa. JK but I did make her walk a lot and yeah we were both just super exhausted this week.

But we definitely saw miracles! We set our 14 year old investigator for baptism finally! He is actually understanding what we teach cause he mentions stuff in his closing prayers, so that's way awesome. And he really enjoyed church and the Young men were sooo welcoming. I felt like a new mom dropping her kid off at school for the first time peeking to see if the other kids were being nice haha.

Something cool- We had dinner with our family history specialist in the ward and I mentioned that I have my great great grandfather's missionary journal from when he served here in NZ. She totally freaked out and got so excited and made me ring the church history specialists in Hamilton and they ended up coming over and picking it up so they could make copies. AND they said they would try and find the family of the little girl (my great great aunt Violet) my great great grandfather adopted while he was here, so maybe I could meet them and teach them if they're not members! So that was super super cool and I reckon that's part of the reason I got called to New Zealand.

Man the church is true. The gospel has been restored. We have a living prophet today. Those are things we take for granted and people need to know! Hope every one has a great week and tries a little harder to share the gospel this week.

Sister Machen

Choc Bears from LA

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 28 - This Week

 In Hamilton Gardens

Hello hello,

Well this week was great. Really great. We did so much! We had 5 investigators at church and they all loved it!!! Sister Taylor bore her testimony in Spanish for our Columbian family and the rest of the ward just looked so confused haha. But it was awesome, my comp is a star. But crazy because the Columbians kind of dropped us on Thursday, right before our lesson with them we got a text saying they found the Pentecostal church and felt at home there. I am not fond of that church. Truly. So my comp cried cause that's the first time she got dropped and I tried my best to console her (comforting people is not my thing). And then I gave her a really awesome pep talk and said we have to go back there and talk to them. So we called up Brother Potter, who speaks Spanish, and went back and basically the whole thing was that this other Columbian,  who was actually baptized a year ago and is now super anti, had befriended one of the sisters and led her to her church. But the rest of the family still wanted us to come over. So problem solved and with the help of a super spiritual lesson the whole family came to church and brought the Pentecostal friend with them hahaha. So good.

We had zone conference this week=stellar. And exchanges again. So much fun!
I think the biggest thing I'm trying to learn right now is to let myself be content and happy with my work. I like to go big or go home, be the best I can be at something. But I have to realize that some things are out of my control and that the Lord really is pleased with the work I am doing. So even though I know there is always room for improvement, I've been trying to give credit for good things where credit is due.

Anyway, it's been a great week. I'm never leaving New Zealand. The church is true. My comp is the BEST. And the Savior loves us all more than we can comprehend.

Sister Machen

PS. RIP Daisy the dog. Truly a beloved pet. Tbh I actually cried reading dad's obituary...  she'll be waiting at the gates of the celestial kingdom hahaha.

KFC rocks in NZ fyi!!