Sunday, July 24, 2016

Week 52 - Family History is COOL!

Kia Ora!

So this week was a super cool eye opener about how awesome family history is. So, as some may know, great-great grandpa Parley Waters served a mission here in 1894, and my dream of a mother sent his missionary journal with me to this promised land. I read some of it at the beginning of my mission but just kind of got busy. But I pulled it out again and am nearly finished reading. HE IS SO COOL. I recognize lots of places he served and even names of people he taught. And all of his service so far has been in my mission. I shared that story with some less active members and ward leaders at a scripture study this week and they were so excited! The Maori culture is all about family and knowing where you come from and everything, so having a journal from way back then is like gold. It has been such a blessing and so special to connect with my family in that way. I'm also so grateful that I don't have to walk 16 miles a day, beg for dinner at the first house I see, bathe in the river, or drink from a swamp. Missionaries today have a pampered life. Truly.

Other than that the work is moving slowly but surely. Alma 26:22 has come to mean a lot to me. As we exercise faith, repent, pray always, and serve, the Lord blesses us with greater knowledge and miracles.
I love you all! The church is true and I'm so grateful for my family's legacy of faith.

Ka kite ano,
Sister Machen

Chopped down a banana tree!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Week 51 - One Year Down!

Hey family!

So first that's so crazy about missionaries in Russia!!!! Satan is working to harden peoples hearts more than ever, but the gospel will win in the end.

My new companion is Sister Mitchell from St. George Utah. Brand new, fresh out of the MTC and already so good at being a missionary! I love her soooo so much!! She's much blonder, much skinner, and talks much more like an American than me, but all that will change in time haha. Jk cause we are now dedicated to running every morning. The past week has been great, we have had really awesome lessons with a few people and just been reminded of why we are here. Sister Mitchell asked me how long I have been out and that's when I realized I hit my year mark on Saturday (what the heck) and time doesn't seem real. As we have gone around introducing my new comp to the members, I have felt such a great love for them and appreciation for them. This area is not as busy as others but the members really make it amazing!

So I've been told to share more about investigators, the one part member family that we are working with and has great prospects is Jemma and Junior with their three boys. Junior is a member from his childhood and Jemma is so onto it! They are so busy so it's been rough trying to teach actual lessons and they have only come to church once but they are the best we have at the moment and once we can get them progressing faster they will be such a great addition to the ward! Other than that we have Gabby, who is a 17 year old super busy, athletic, high schooler that is NEVER home. So pretty much it's a struggle setting up appointments and teaching her but once we do, she will be so ready for baptism!

This work is the greatest thing ever. We are ALL a part of it. A scripture that is awesome is Alma 31:34-35, every soul is precious!

Ka Kite Ano and Arohanui,
Sister Machen

Bye Sister Suk!

Hello Sister Mitchell!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Week 50 - President and Sister Cummings

Korean Ice Cream!

Kia Ora,

Well this will be short, but we got to meet our new president this past week! He is so AWESOME. They are from Sydney, Australia and brought their son along. I felt so much love from them both and the spirit confirmed the divinity of his calling. He's the man for the job right now. They both were so nice. I'm sure there will be changes to the mission in the way of rules and things, but President just exhorted us all to be obedient. "Being worthy when the opportunity arises is what a good life is all about." We need to show the Lord that He can trust us when He needs us. Maybe He will place a prepared investigator in our path or allow the priesthood to work through a worthy priesthood holder at a time of need. But I am grateful for their worthiness to serve and the excitement they have brought to this mission! Hope you all have a great week!

Much Aroha,
Sister Machen

Crazy Sisters

Week 49 - Happy 4th!

Another week gone by. Of course I'm decked out in red, white, and blue today in honor of America, but sadly no one here seems to care. And fireworks are banned. so sad. Anyway we get to meet our new mission president this thursday for one hour haha, should be interesting! We went on exchanges and I got to go to the area across the bay where people are nearly lining up to be baptized (not really but it seemed like it). It's crazy how much you can learned/be reminded of in just 24 hours. But mostly I learned there is a balance between being focused and enjoying yourself as you do the Lord's work. I don't think you could ever work TOO hard, but just understanding that there needs to be great enthusiasm and joy paired with the hard work. Don't worry I'm very happy!

We went to yet another funeral "tangi" on the Marae and did the nose touching "hongi." I don't think I'll ever get used to pressing my nose against an old man's. And then there're those cheeky fellas that kiss you on the cheek and basically I just want to die. But it's all a beautiful culture when done properly...

Then yesterday we had a baby blessing in church and I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the plan of salvation. As one spirit left this world and one spirit entered, it hit me how short and precious this life is, and how pivotal. Our decisions DO determine our destiny. I love this gospel and I love the confidence it gives me that we can be families forever. Even though it just annoys me that you're all fit and tan in the pictures you sent, I still love you hooligans.

Have a great week!
Sister Machen