Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 48 - RAIN RAIN & More RAIN

What a crazy week!

Our marshmallow of a car was getting fixed so we got to pull out the bikes and dust off our walking shoes. So pretty much it takes an hour to walk from our house to the main road. Such a waste of time. Then winter decided to come in full force and just pour on us all week. So we made the most of it and danced in the rain a bit. And then my companion got sick haha. But we still had a week full of miracles!! We actually found some new investigators and the biggest miracle of all was this part member family we have been working with finally came to church! They are so golden, already married and everything haha. We had an awesome lesson about the plan of salvation with them on Saturday and the spirit was so strong. They have three boys (one set of twins) and they are CRAZY. Truly. But somehow everyone was quiet and paying attention when we testified of eternal families. It was beautiful. I love the gospel.

Funny quote from Sister Suk, "You know what's good when you're married? You will always have someone to watch over you when you take out the recycling." That's just a peek into the entertaining life being comps with this Korean.

Well I hope my family had fun at Lake Powell without me. Must have, since you're all too tired to write me!!! I forgive you I guess. Maybe.

Have a great week! Much love,
Sister Machen

Ps. heres a video of the torrential rain and how soaked we were.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Week 47 - Bye RUDDS!

Huria Marae

Well this week was good and hard and sad and happy.

We had a last zone conference with the Rudds on Friday and said bye to them. I am so appreciative of everything they have taught me and helped me to become. They are so special! We sang "God be with you 'til we meet again" and of course everyone was just bawling like idiots. But I'm grateful I'll be able to annoy them all the time cause they just live in Sandy haha! We had the conference on the Huria Marae in my area and we went through the whole ceremony of being welcomed onto the marae and doing the hongi with all the old men and women, where we press our foreheads and noses together and like stare into each other's eyes. It's slightly creepy and very awkward, but it represents God giving Adam the breath of life and it's really cool!

We lost our one progressing investigator cause she is moving and so we were all gutted and sad but then were able to have a really solid lesson with a new part member family and that lifted our spirits. Sometimes the Lord takes away something good but He always prepares something better!

We were asked to speak in Sacrament meeting yesterday about the Book of Mormon and so that was really good for me to study more and I realized how essential it is for us to be reading from the Book of Mormon DAILY. Yes the Bible is great and the Ensigns and everything are wonderful, but the Book of Mormon is the most important. After I spoke, our Bishop quickly got up and expressed his prompting to exhort us all to read it everyday, and if we are not already doing it, we need to start now. It was slightly scary but so powerful! It's truly the only way we can withstand the temptations and deceptions we face everyday.

I know the Lord has prepared the means for us to have success and be happy each and every day, and those things are found in His word. Hopefully, you are all reading it everyday, I know it's true. I love this gospel. And I love you all!

Sister Machen

Huria Marae

Huria Marae Outside

Inside Huria Marae with Sis. Suk

Sis Machen and Sis Suk


Week 46 - Change, Change, Chaaaaange


We had a great week! It's always a great week when you take the time to reflect on the miracles and blessings you have seen and received. We had a zone meeting all about INVITING, it was a good reminder to me to leave people with an invitation to act every time we talk with them. Otherwise they won't do anything! Also, with President Rudd leaving, a lot of things changed in the mission, most of his protocols were taken away giving us a lot more freedom... Scary though haha. Anyway, so after getting all fired up at zone meeting we went out and visited this part member family. We started right away and asked their daughter if she would like to receive the lessons, she said yes and we sat down and taught her about the gospel of Jesus Christ and Invited her to be baptized... drum roll... she said YES! It was such a cool experience because her parents have been less active for years but they just came back all of a sudden to full activity by themselves (they said, "no one but me can save me.") and they want SO bad to be sealed. So at the end of the lesson her dad shared his testimony and his great desire to be sealed as a family. The spirit was so strong. This is why we do missionary work- so families can be together forever.

Another cool experience we had was yesterday we had the opportunity to go to a tangi! My first one. That's the Maori style funeral at the Marae. Anyway it was really cool and interesting to see how different cultures do things. At the tangi, there was a Christian pastor and he said a few words before our member who was conducting the meeting shared some thoughts. The stuff the pastor said was somewhat good and true but I noticed how plain and precious truths of the plan of salvation are, mainly that because Christ was resurrected, we will all live again. And that death is not a punishment for a person's unrighteous deeds but a part of the wonderful plan that enables us to progress through eternity. I'm so grateful for the restored gospel, the wonderful knowledge we have of the true character of our Heavenly Father and His plan for us.

Well that's about it, I'm loving the culture and the miracles that we see everyday. You don't have to be a missionary to see miracles everyday! I invite you all to discover what the Lord is asking of you at this moment, and DO IT. I love this gospel and I know it's true!

Sister Machen

PS. Yes my mission is approved to wear PANTS but I refuse to wear pants. The pant options are all hideous. I think I'll live with a few mosquito bites.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 45 - Harvesting!

Well transfers came and went and Sister Suk and I stayed together in Otumoetai! I'm really glad, I love her! We actually had a great week this week.

Remember the lady that came to the baptism last Saturday? Well she is now set to be baptized the beginning of July! Miracles happen. Truly. She is awesome just working with her to stop smoking. But she is so prepared. Her sister asked her, "hey are you still keen on getting baptized?" (missionaries wait, holding their breath), "yep." That's it; she is just ready and accepts everything we teach her so easily. The Lord rewards hard work!

Yesterday was one of the most spiritual testimony meetings I have ever been in. Everyone who got up had simple but pure testimonies. They all testified of the Savior, and it didn't turn into story time! I felt an abundance of the spirit testifying that Heavenly Father knows each of His children individually and has a personal relationship with each of them. It is so great to see our brothers and sisters growing in faith and strength in the gospel and I am so grateful for this wonderful ward family. One thing that stuck out to me while I was studying was in 3 Nephi 18:7, when we take the sacrament we are not doing it for anyone but ourselves. It is a precious ordinance that is for US every single week. It allows us to testify to our Heavenly Father of our personal commitment and is so special!

Anyway, I learn more than I can even write but I hope you all delighted in your Sabbath this week and felt the spirit.

I love you all!
Sister Machen

Woke up at 5:30 to say bye to my fav Tongan Sis Havea! 

"the BOM dropper district"

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Week 44 - It's almost JUNE!

Well well, what a week.

We had exchanges this week and I stayed in my area with Sister Havea. I just love her! She actually goes home tomorrow so it was her last exchange EVER. I was so honored. But we did work and miracles happen on exchanges. I testify. People who are never home, or always busy, were home and INVITED US IN. We had a really cool lesson with a girl named Courtney. She's a single mom of two girls and had been taught the restoration like a year ago but didn't think much of it. We shared that God is our loving Heavenly Father and He hears our prayers. She felt the spirit way strong and by the end of the lesson she was asking us how to pray and telling us she was really excited to try it. Such a simple truth that we often over look. We are literally children of God!

The elders had a baptism on Saturday for a lady that had been coming to church for like 9 years but had never been baptized! Crazy. I was reminded how important baptism is, it truly is the gate to all the other blessings! Also, Alex and Sarah, the awesome Brazilian couple from my last area got baptized!!  President Rudd called me saying they had written a letter requesting for me to come back for the baptism but he said it was too far... SAD. But I am sooo happy for them!!

Lastly, I have learned a lot about my weaknesses this week. It seems the longer I'm out here, the longer my list of weaknesses gets. It's a beautiful paradox. I am grateful to know that we can change those weaknesses into strengths through our Savior Jesus Christ, and we can change the moment we decide to. See 2 Cor 12:9-10.

Transfers are this Thursday but we won't know anything for another day. I'll be staying here though that's for sure! This work is the greatest work ever. There are people prepared, and we all have the responsibility to find them:)

Sister Machen

Beaches in the winter are still cool.

Week 43 - I just wrote! (5/22/16)

Kiaora Kiaora.

I feel like I was just writing you people. So there's nothing to say...
Just kidding!

This week we were just pretty run down, working hard and not really seeing anything happen. But we went to one of our dinner appointments with a member and about two minutes after we walked in they introduced us to their 17 year old daughter and said, "she's not baptized" and basically said they wanted her to be. But it was crazy cause I though this family was fully active and whatnot but after talking with them they had been inactive for 15 years and barely came back to church about 3 months ago and so 2 of their daughters are not members. Coolest member referral ever. Doesn't sound that cool writing it, but it was. Sister Suk and I started screaming the second we got into the car hahahaha.

Seriously the struggle has been real trying to find anyone that wants to listen to us.
Another cool thing is this Tongan man that has been investigating for ages has finally started to study the Book of Mormon. He wouldn't even let us give him one about 4 months ago and now he is studying it full on everyday and knows way more than his member wife! Miracles of fasting on that one.

That's about it but I truly am grateful for fasting because that is how we have received the blessings we've seen lately. "Put the Lord first and all other things fall into place or drop out of your lives."
Its true!

Lots of love,
Sister Machen

Week 42 - Quick One (5/15/16)


This week was an improvement! But the solid investigator we picked up dropped us like three days later haaaaa. Joy. Just gotta get out and keep searching out the elect! We talked to an anti-Christ guy that said the spirit was telling him to smoke and Satan is his savior. I laughed and walked away as he shouted lovely words at us. We were FINALLY able to catch up with some investigators and basically cleaned their whole house, I love service, truly.

This week I have truly seen how important charity is and how much I lack it. So thats the ongoing endeavor, to develop charity and patience! People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care. The work is hard but still so rewarding!

Hope your week is mean.

Sister Machen

(Not) Actually Swimming!

Party at the Beach

My New BFF

Week 41 - Mother's Day Skype

No letter today.

Sister Suk and Sister Machen 5-5-2016


Week 40 - Hi Mom


First I think skyping on Sunday for you will be better cause our Sundays here are so busy and I don't want to intrude on the members too long. But I'm still not sure what time, probably around 4 your time (right after our studies on Monday). But I will probably email you right beforehand anyway!

But yay for the Book of Mormon! I love that thing. The area is super slow and picked over by missionaries but I love sister Suk! She's so funny. I just hope we can find some actual investigators soon!

Anyway I will TALK TO YOU NEXT WEEK!!!

Love you heaps,