Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 60 - Write Me Family

I play the guitar now
Hello hello!

Another week that felt like a day. This week I was sick for the first time on my mission (I have been so blessed), but it wasn't even bad. Anyway, for like three days just ONE eye would randomly get all red and start leaking (thanks mom) and people would get all concerned that I was getting emotional and whatnot. It was just annoying. But I still saw many miracles with my one good eye.. aha so funny.

We found a new investigator couple, Kelly (male) and Katie, and we taught them the Restoration the very next day. It was one of the best lessons I have ever had on my mission. When we introduced the Book of Mormon, right away Kelly was like, "Oh I want to read that book!" And I was like wut. Speechless. It was so cool. And was an experience that I haven't had in a very long time.

We had an opportunity to be with a big less-active family that was remembering their sister that passed away two years ago, and the only active one (the grandfather) asked us to share some thoughts to his children and grandchildren about the plan of salvation. I was able to see the effects of straying from the gospel in a family that once knew the truth and I was just so grateful for my own family and the fact that we LIKE to be together and the principles of the gospel are a normal and daily thing. That family had forgotten and was treating lightly the precious truths of the gospel. It was a stark contrast to my own and I just hope those of us who do have the blessings of gospel in our families do not take it for granted!

Lastly, last week we taught primary about missionary work and invited them to share the gospel. We followed up yesterday and those kids are the bomb. One read the BoM with his friend at lunch, one invited and brought her friend to the Primary activity, and one actually brought her friend to church! Kids are the best and we can learn loads from their example!

Hope you all have a great week and write me next week family...
Sister Machen

Sister Kendall and Me

Week 59 - B Y Who?

Kia Ora!

This week honestly flew by. I don't even know what to tell you people. Sister Kendall gave a great talk in Sacrament meeting, we sang yet another musical number in Maori and the spirit was so strong, and we finally had people show up for church!! People have been asking about our investigators and how they are doing. They just change so quickly that it's hard to talk about them. But one lady we have been working with for sooo long, she's a hard case but she is the closest we have to a progressing investigator. Everyone else is part member families and less-actives. Our bishop is making a big push for the ward to reactivate their own families (everyone is related in this ward, not lying). So we work a lot with the members to try and help the less actives. One thing I've learned over and over is that you cannot do anything with out members. Seriously. And when the members are on to it, it's the best. They are great!

One cool experience we had was with a less active sister who has been wanting to come back to church but it's been hard because her partner was put off by missionaries trying to force them to get married. But we had a really awesome lesson and the spirit was so strong and at the end she told us that she is ready to get married and wants our help, etc. It was really great at the time, but doesn't sound so amazing right now as I'm writing haha.

We also got to go teach primary about being a missionary and those kids are crazy but awesome. The leaders of the future haha.

Anyway, life is great as always. Being a missionary is the best. I'm never coming home. The church is true.

Love you alll!!!!
Sister Machen

Week 58 - Earthquake?

On Sunday, September 4, 2016 6:33 PM, Elise Machen <> wrote:

Hey hey hey!

This week we had some cool miracles happen! Well first another funeral happened. It was the brother of one of our members, who was actually a returning less-active back in my last area in Hamilton so I knew him! It was such a surprise to realize who he was and connect the dots but it's a small world, especially in the church! But we were asked to attend the service and basically mingle with the family (some less active, some nonmembers). It was really cool and the spirit is just so strong when members testify about the plan of salvation and the grace of our Saviour to their mourning family. We were also able to bring the spirit through song and of course that was a powerful moment for the spirit to touch hearts. So after all that, we went out to contact a referral we had received from some people there and it took us to a bunch of homes by the other Marae, with no addresses.. So we had to walk around asking people about this man we were trying to find and as we did, we had unplanned opportunities to talk with people and one in particular recognized us from the funeral, we had no idea who he was, but he remembered us! So we were able to share more about the Plan of salvation and plan to begin teaching him! I have a feeling a lot more instances like that will be happening as the hearts of the people are softened by the Lord!
Another lady we have been trying to teach was also there at the funeral and when we went by later in the week she told us she had begun to read the Book of Mormon (finally!) and asked of we could pray to help her understand it better. Anyway, there are lots more tender mercies and little miracles happening  here but honestly it's all a blur.

Sister Machen

PS. The earthquake was about 5 hours south of me but people here felt it, I slept through it sadly so I have no idea what it was like. We had a tsunami warning and President told us to stay away from the beach but jokes because we live 2 minutes from the beach. But we only got a bit of rain and that was it!

Attempting pole vault drills on a fraying rope by a waterfall