Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Week 57 - new transfer, same place

Kia Ora.

Well I have been blessed to stay here in Tauranga for another six weeks, just as I anticipated. My new companion is Sister Kendall!!! She's from Australia but she's part Samoan. I was soooo excited when I heard because we served in Hamilton together and she was just companions with my baby, Sister Taylor! So I knew we were gonna get along great and have heaps of fun and I was right! Seriously, I love her. The first night she was here we chased a guy down in the rain at 8:57 at night just to find out he was really urgently looking for Pokemons... It was awesome but sadly he was not interested.

This past week has been crazy, I was with some other sisters for like three days in their area (which is pumping) but I missed my area so much! I really love the people that I serve and I know that I am where I am for a mighty purpose. We got to experience a full on Tangi this week. Our relief society counselor's young son passed away suddenly so the whole ward and most of investigators were at the marae for four days helping and supporting her and her family. We went a lot because everyone we visit was already there and it was actually a really great finding opportunity. I was able give a prayer for a service one night and I honestly have never been so nervous to say a prayer in my life! All these nonmember Maori people mourning their family and this white girl is giving the prayer, in their marae, in front of all the koumatuas (elders of the marae). Anyway it's hard to explain but the traditions are really cool and I learned so much! Just glad they didn't kick me out haha.

I learn so much everyday and feel the spirit so often it's incredible. I am so grateful for my understanding of a loving Heavenly Father's plan of happiness. We will see our loved ones again and we can have so much more joy in this life if we follow his commandments. I'm so grateful. The church is true. Ka Kite.

Sister Machen

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Week 56 - I Love Eliza MacCartney


Well this week has been sunny and beautiful so my attitude has taken an alarming turn for the better. Amazing what the sun can do for you. So in relation to my subject line, Eliza is the New Zealand pole vaulter that got bronze a few days ago and is now my new hero. Pretty much she is all anyone talks about here because it was such a surprise medal and anyone who knows I pole vault is just SO excited to talk about it haha.

Besides that, it was a pretty normal week! We had Stake Conference and our nonmember choir was asked to sing in the adult session on Saturday night and it was so awesome because all those nonmembers were pretty much forced to listen to the talks in between our singing. Awesome. The spirit was so strong as we sang "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" in Maori. What an awesome language. Seriously. So that was probably the highlight! We also got to help with New Beginnings in our ward because one of our investigators came!

In the way of transfers, I will most likely be staying here in the blessed land of Tauranga another 6 weeks, and I will be receiving a new companion! I will miss Sister Mitchell and have learned SO MUCH the past few weeks.

One thing in particular stood out to me as I was reading D&C 105, mostly about being unified as a companionship, as a family, as a ward, a stake, and as a church as a whole. The only way we can succeed is if we build our lives, wards, the church, on celestial laws. Only in the Lord's way can we succeed in our endeavors! So may we ever be more unified in our duty to God, in our callings in the church, and in our efforts to support one another.

Love you all,
Sister Machen
Choir Girls

With our Ward Mission Leader and his Wife

New Beginnings - Smallest YW group ever!

Week 55 -

Kia Ora,

This week we taught a lady from Turkey who pretty much believes in Relativism and that we're all good people so we don't need Christ (WRONG). We had to drop a few people that are just not progressing and are eating up precious time. We helped another lady move, chopped fire wood for days (yes, sisters can chop wood), and taught numberless less-actives.

One less active in particular called us up after being missing in action for like a month. She told us where she has been staying, asked us to come over and asked for a ride to church. So we went over and just listened to all this crazy stuff that has been going on and she was able to find her own solutions to her problems without us really saying anything. It's awesome when people apply things and then see them work out for their good. Anyway the next day we went around to make sure she was awake for her ride to church. She wasn't and she said she was too sick but we were able to help her see why church was important for her to get back on the right path. I don't really know the end to this story yet but she came to church and she's excited for a FHE tonight so hopefully the little things pay off!

Not much else is happening but we're working hard with the ward to get them more involved in missionary work and were able to do some role plays in ward council with the auxiliaries so that was pretty awesome. Anyway, the Lord has His own timing and we just have to TRUST! The church is true, the work is moving, and Heavenly Father is aware of each of us!

Sister Machen

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Week 54 - Congrats A & A!!!

Hey Whanau.

I don't even know what to tell you but it was another good week haha. We finally got one of our investigators to come to church yesterday and she loved it! It was exactly what she needed to help her feel at peace with the things we have been teaching her. Funny thing though, I bore my testimony (as a promise to her for coming), and might have shed a few tears about eternal families and the plan of salvation (shout out to Aaron and Amy, who were having their reception at about the same time!). But afterwards she gave me the biggest hug and asked, "when did your brother pass away?" LOL she thought Aaron DIED. Pretty funny cause she probably didn't understand the words "sealed in the temple." Anyway that made the day a whole lot better!

Some things from the week-Sister Mitchell witnessed a lady breast feeding her child right in front of us and freaked out; we helped two people move; had zone meeting; and found out Sister Mitchell is a very talkative sleeper-she also laughs and cries in her sleep. I am so entertained at night. I love being with a new missionary and re-experiencing all the wonders of missionary life!

We found some awesome new investigators this week, a couple from India (pray for them..) and a cool lady from Turkey!! We are seeing the miracles happen here, slowly but surely. and I can't emphasize enough how important it is for us as members to fulfill our missionary responsibilities. We can't do anything as missionaries if we don't have the help or support from the members we serve. So ask yourself, "am I a good member missionary?" And get back to me :) I love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Machen

Felt like I was right there watching the happy couple come out of the temple!

Got the announcement two days before the wedding-that's why I couldn't make it...

Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 53 - A Long One


Another great week in the promised land of New Zealand. We have been blessed with tender mercies throughout the week that are great reminders of why I want to be here and that this is exactly where I need to be. We were able to teach some youth about the Plan of Salvation as it relates to temples and family history for mutual and the nonmember girl that has been coming for a few months now is so keen! She really felt the spirit and asked how she can help her ancestors to progress and then how she should go about being baptized herself! So that was an awesome moment. Another experience we had this week was when we visited this part member family that we knew was getting kicked out of their home. When we got there just one single mom was left with her five year old son adn as we talked to her she shared a lot of crazy and sad things that she has been through in her life. Once again I was humbled to realize how blessed I have been in my life, but I also felt great hope for this young mother knowing that whatever she has been through in the past, the Lord will eventually compensate her and the gospel will absolutely bless her life. I love these expereiences!

We had interviews with our mission president and I received a lot of great peace knowing that with everything we are going through, the Lord already has a plan laid out for us. He knows what we will study, where we live, what our careers will be, etc. but He doesn't overwhelm us with all the information at once, He reveals things in His own timing that in turn is best for us. Going along with that, we had a great lesson from our Bishop this Sunday about simplifying our lives, but simplifying just means prioritizing and gi\etting rid of things that waste time so that we can replace them with important things of eternal perspective. "If what you're doing now has no eternal outcome, you're wasting your time." A mission is definitely not a waste of time!!

Also want to thank Mapleton 1st Ward for all the awesome letters and encouragment I have received over the past year! I always love getting letters from my "army" back home!! Shout out to Aaron and Amy tying the knot this Saturday, I'm so happy for you both! And happy birthday to Corey, thanks for being alive another year!

I love you all HEAPS!!
Sister Machen