Monday, August 26, 2013

Here I am in GLADSTONE!

Dearest family and friends! hello!

I am emailing from my new area, Gladstone 1. I dont have long! So heres what happened: On saturday i get a call from the ASSISTANTS. Calling me to tell me i was getting transferred to the North! So the ABM covers all of Queensland state in Australia, and Gladstone is in the very north of Queensland. So i caught an hour long flight (by myself) up to my second area in Australia and here i am!

I havent gotten to work yet here in Gladstone but i can tell its gonna be amazing! Its just a small branch apparently and everyone is so nice. It is like the country and its and industrial city. We have a senior couple that takes care of us because we hour flight away from the rest of the mission! 

And my companion.....ah she is so cute! Her name is Sister Kyaw (jaw) and she is from Burma! She is 27 and so adorable and humble. i am so excited to get to work with her here in Gladstone. And we get to do language study:)  Also we are on bikes.....and only bikes! No more driving for me! (praise the heavens for that! :) Sister Wulfenstein from my MTC intake is here with her comp Sister Watson and we are all in the same apartment. And its just us here up north! No district meetings, zone meetings.....all quiet on the western front :) well, northern. 

I am so happy to be here. It seems every transfer i am just packing my bags to get on a plane all by my lonesome! I was sad to leave Cherilee and worried how she would take it but she took it well. I didnt get to see the Virtue family before i left. Or Candy but its okay. I loved Sister Cocker so much and will miss her! But i am so excited to be here in Gladstone. I will most likely be up here for about six months or more because of the expense of flying missionaries to their areas. So cool!

The Park Ridge ward was the bomb. I loved eating with the Tongans :) And the members were all so lovely. It reminded me a lot of Pioneer Park ward because it was about the same size. I am excited now to work in a little branch :) i feel so lucky and blessed. 

How amazing is our Heavenly Father. "Ponder anew, what the Almighty can do." I love that line in the hymn, "Praise to the Lord  Almighty" He is our Father and the King of infinite space and everlasting time...yet we mean everything to Him. On my mission something i have learned is that i am so....weak! There is so little that i can do alone. But my Heavenly Father is almighty! And he is the one who listens to every prayer we say. So why should we worry? We know who we have trusted. :)

I love you all so much. I feel like i am in a new mission because we are so far away from everything else! Its so cool to be here up North. I love you all! The hymn i have loved this week is appropriately, "Ill go where you want me to go." I love the line "Perhaps today there are loving words which Jesus would have me speak,.....there may be somewhere in the paths of sin, some wanderer whom i should seek." It is so important to leave the 99 to find the one. I really know that every person we meet means everything to God :) I love you all!!

much love,
Sister Schaelling

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hello Again from Park Ridge!

Hello dearest family! 

Sounds like the last week has been a success! Congrats Dad on winning third place in your age division of the 5K race! That is awesome! :) And all the pictures are lovely :) Scott i love your hair like that with the side swoop! It looks awesome!

Local wildlife in Park Ridge
 So this week has been lovely. On Wednesday we taught Anne, an investigator about praying often. i love the feeling of the Holy Ghost working through me to testify of truth to another child of God. I wish i always taught like this but i am still working on it, but when we taught Anne about prayer i really felt the Spirit in me as i told her how much prayer has helped me and one of my favorite times of the day is nightly prayer when i can kneel down and be close to God.

We are continuing to teach the lovely Cherilee! Sister Alifipo came with us and we shared about keeping the Sabbath Day holy. it went great, at the end we sang "Lord I would follow thee" and the Spirit was strong, it was lovely. Cherilee wants to be baptized but she still smokes and isn't married to her partner, but she has a testimony of what we teach her. She always comes to church now and always speaks so lovingly and highly of Sister Cocker and I. But i was thinking the other day in church, when Jesus came, how some listened and some didnt, and how he said so boldy and simply, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." We can praise the Lord all day but if we arent trying to really do what He asks, we dont truly love him. What a hard and amazing truth.

That night we went and taught the PM Maile family. The kids are great :) Sister Maile is a member but less active and Brother Maile was baptized a long time ago but now he drinks and doesnt attend. He was so nice to us. He came in at the end of the lesson and told us how much he appreciates and loves missionaries and his own children and how he wants to give up drinking. He is Tongan and all his kids have super tongan names that are hard for me to say haha. Kafoa, Tokie, Ate, and Loka. And Maryanne. Lovely family and home.

On Thursday we taught an investigator Colin who has been having lessons since the dawn of time. The lesson was all over the place but he talked about how the Lord has blessed him with peace of mind which he hasnt had for a long while. We committed him to ask in prayer if the Book of Mormon is true and he did.

We also saw the less-active Elkington family! Man less actives are like my favorite for some reason, i love sharing messages with them. We got in the door because i had to use the bathroom. We shared a little thought on prayer and prayed with her, Sister Elkington who is a member and her daughter who isnt. On Friday we taught Zhadee again who is doing good, we have to keep going over book of mormon and prayer with her because she is struggling in recognizing and answer to her prayers.
I asked Sister Schaelling for a picture of kangaroos hopping ... here ya go!
She said there are "kangaroo crossing" signs all over the place
We went to dinner with a kiwi (new zealander) family in our ward, the Wall's. They're Maori and awesome. We sang "My Heavenly Father loves me" at the end of our message and i love singing with my comp and the other two sisters. My companion has a beautiful islander voice that brings the spirit. It was lovely.

On Saturday we started the day off by attending a baptism! A boy in the ward was getting baptized, childhood record. It was so lovely. Baptisms are so special. Cherilee came with us and was just crying when the little boy, Nico's older brother was giving a talk about the Holy Ghost and baptism. His brother was like 9 or 10 and his talk was so sweet and simple. Cherilee wishes she could have raised her children in the church. Then we did lots of tracting. Something about the Australia Brisbane Mission is we are required to do 14 finding hours a week. This is a little hard for me because i love to visit people, less actives, potential investigators, ect. and i wish we had more time to do that. Finding hours is knocking on doors or GQ'ing (street contacting) people which isnt the most effective, but we do it anyway because thats what were supposed to do. Also, tracting is how we found like all of our progressing investigators, so obviously it works :)

That night we taught the Virtue's! i wish we could teach them more than just once a week, but hey. So we followed up oh how they liked church but they said they liked theirs better, sadly!  We taught about prayer and receiving and answer to prayer. James feels that many churches are true and God loves us all so much. Which is mostly true.  We have been trying to explain that through Joseph Smith the Priesthood was restored, so the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only church with the fulness of the gospel. He isnt really understanding too well but we will work with him, Jasmin, his wife read some of the book of mormon :) Brother and Sister Ngawaka came with us to teach and bore solid testimonies. So good to have members out with us, it makes me feel like i dont have to do this alone :) Were a team, the members and the missionaries :)

That night we had HANGI (pronounced hung ee) for dinner! Brother Stockman our WML did a fund raiser.  So hangi is a islander/maori feast where all the food is cooked in the ground. So it was chicken, stuffing, corned beef, potatoes, fry bread and delicious food.  so. good. i will send a picture!

HANGI--chicken, stuffing, corned beef, potatoes, fry bread all cooked in the ground
Church was lovely as always, Cherilee came. After i had a chat with a recent convert, Norman, about the Holy Ghost and sacrament and prayer. Recent converts are still so new and need our fellowship and prayers.

Family i love you all! This week i also got bit by a bull ant while talking to a lady at her door, wow! That hurt, thankfully she gave me some ice. This is the last week of the transfer sadly! i do hope i stay in Park Ridge with Sister Cocker but odds are slim. We have like 16 new sister coming in and Sister Cocker is a boss trainer so i bet we get split so she can train again. we shall see!

much love,
Sister Schaelling

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Heyyy! Another week in Park Ridge.

Dearest Family!

My time is limited but thank you for the emails!  It sounds like life is swell in the land of kaysville!!  I cannot fathom that Jenna is going to turn 17 soon! good grief people!  Sounds like snowbird was successful as well!

So because i'm a really good missionary who always has her planner with her i will run through my week...oh wait...i left my planner at home! oops! i will do my best to convey the past events! So this week we did lots of teaching, we have a lot of investigators right now so we are blessed!  we were able to get some good fellowship out to teach with us!  OH i have a story!  so we were out tracting and we found a man named Paul.  Now let me just set this up for you.  We knock and a pudgy dog comes to greet us, and this man with hair down to his waist and tattoos up his arms and earrings on his face and in his ears comes to the door.  I am fully expecting a "remove yourself from my property" response from this guy but he opens the door and greets us.  we introduce ourselves and inquire about his religious background. He talks about how he grew up catholic and how he doesn't practice anymore, how he believes in God and Jesus. He kept talking to us and he kindly told us about his family, his wife and this three kids. How he has been with his wife since he was 13. We stand at the door and he sits and we talk to him about how he lost his life on an operating table, how much he wants to see his kids grow up. It was so cool. we got a return appointment and returned with a member so we could go in. But it was just so cool to me that he was nothing i expected him to be. he has faith and he loves his family very much.  and he's a lead guitar player in a famous band, by the way. :)

Also this week we did some service for our friends John and Angie who are moving. They have met missionaries before and we offered our help. They are a cute couple and very kind. On Friday i got sick and had to stay home all day with the fever...ugh. It was miserable because all i could do was lay there and introspect. Whilst coughing. Thankfully my companion went out with Sister Fau in our flat and they hit all of our appointments. Sister Fau's comp, Sister Bennellack stayed with me.

On Saturday we taught the Virtue Family again! They are so great! So James the father just loves us so much. He was crying, telling us how he thinks of us during the week and what we do. We gave him general conference on CD so he can listen to it in his truck because he's a driver. He gave us a bunch of money! now we're not allowed to take money from anyone and we tried to tell him but he wasn't taking no for an answer. that is the thing with a lot of people here who are Cook Island or Maori, they can be stubborn and hard as rocks! He shoved the bills in my scriptures for crying out loud haha. He told us he had to because he wants to help us and feels like God has asked him too. So we talked to president and he says we can give it to the ward. Any way we taught them about the Book of Mormon and how important it is. We invited them to church.....and they came!! yes! their whole family came and James looked sharp in his suit. Jasmin, his wife wore a pretty dress and their three girls were there too. They are awesome, and they all have baptism dates except the little one. We're worried a little because they love their other church that they go to. But i'm sure it will be allright. Also his wife smokes. So many of our investigators smoke. Well more like everyone in Australia smokes!

We went on splits again this Sunday with the Timu Twins. They are lovely! Sariah and Moriah. I took Moriah to an appointment with some J Dubs but it fell through, which was probably for the best. We tracted together. I realized these Aussies love to talk. They will talk all day about what they believe... which is nothing, most people here are atheist. They are filled with frankness and candor which i love, and they are civil, but firm in their belief (or lack of.)  It gives us many opportunities throughout the day, everyday to bear simple testimony. Such small statements strengthen me so much.  things like, "i understand that you don't believe, but i do want you to know that there is a God, and He loves you very much." its great!

Also this week Elder Pearson who is the Pacific Area President came and trained us! man it was so good! Every word he said was gold. he talked about becoming a missionary and a person that instead of asking "what do i have to do?" we ask "what more can i do?"

my time is running out! i love you all! i wish i could send pictures but i am on a countdown here!!!
i love you all!

love sister schaelling

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Another week in Park Ridge!

Dearest Family!
Hello! Snowbird sounds amazing! Ah im sad i couldnt go but glad my picture was present! DANG on the tram times! You go Scott and Dad. Fun!  So this week was lovely! Well the past four days since i emailed last that is! All right, so i will start with Thursday! On Thursday we taught an investigator Anne, about the plan of salvation. Man i love teaching the plan of salvation! It was good, we then went and tracted and then later in the afternoon taught Cherilee. She is golden, just needs to give up smoking. We taught Word of Wisdom, which by the way i used to be afraid to teach but now its just like BAM, keep the commandments people! :) She knows she has to quit but also knows it will be hard for her. Hopefully we can help her! Those cigarettes are terrible.
Sister Cocker, Cherilee, Sister Schaelling
That night my companion and i were driving and she said, "hey lets go visit Sister Vahai and see how shes doing." She is a less active who is so loving to us missionaries and cant always make it to church because she gets sick. So we just went by and knocked and her home teachers, one of which is the bishop, were there. We came in and shared Matt 10:29-31 which talks about how Heavenly Father knows even when a sparrow falls to the ground, because he loves all his creations, but "fear ye not therefore, ye are of greater value than sparrows." We talked about Heavenly Fathers love for us his children and how he is always mindful of what we are going through. Sister Vahai was just in tears and talked about how sometimes its easy to feel forgotten. her home teachers gave her a priesthood blessing and after they were talking i looked over at my open scriptures and re read that verse that says "fear ye not are of greater value than sparrows."  I felt the Spirit flow over me and knew that God really is our loving Heavenly Father.
On Friday we were on the bikes and still had to do weekly planning but had a bunch of appointments. So we took our area book and all our planning stuff with us and biked around our area which was an experience! :) Most all of our appointments fell through though so the Lord was telling us that we needed to plan! So we did. We also went to eat at this little pizza place and got smashed by the cashier! He saw that we were mormons and declared to us his opinion. But he was still civil in the way he told us what he thought. I thought of Voltaire i think who said "Though i disagree completely with what you say, i will defend with my life your right to say it." Too many times we are scared to talk about our opinions, faith or beliefs. It shouldnt be that way. Good on the cashier for expressing his beliefs to us. We bore simple testimonies there there was indeed a God who loved him very much and left with smiles.
We also taught Leann who knows like all the lessons and is just waiting til she is not under her parents roof to be baptized. So we taught fasting and how to donate tithes and offerings. Fun! After we went to Cherilee's and the elders came to give her a blessing to stop smoking. She is doing so good. Friday night we had trade offs as they call them here or exchanges. Our sister training leaders exchanged with us, i stayed in Park Ridge, our area, and Sister Cocker went to theirs. It was fun leading the area and driving around like i know where im going even though i totally dont! :) We went tracting and Sister Mafi who i was on exchange with is a boss at everything. She has been out about a year now and she teaches simply and powerfully. We tracted into some Jehovah's Witnesses from Fuji who let us in. We sat and talked. Its always sketchy with J. Dubs because they usually just want to bash. I decided that i would seriously rather look stupid and be kind, than shove a bunch of scriptural knowledge at people and be contentious about it. It is amazing how fast the Spirit can leave a lesson as soon as the bashing starts.Thankfully we kept everything civil and left with a prayer which the husband said, to Jehovah, which was different. Its their home and they can pray as they wish i suppose.
Sister Schaelling driving other 3 sister missionaries around the Park Ridge area.
After that we went and taught Kendy! She is a nine year old and i love her. She is so cute. We found her the other day when i was on a split with Moraih a girl from our ward. She said she was sad because her brother died a few months ago and she has a hard time at home. We got permission from her mom to teach her and so on Saturday sister Mafi and I shared Plan of Salvation (simple) with her. She is so positive even though she has it rough. I feel like i am her mother haha. Actually i feel that way about a lot of my investigators, i want them to know what i know and i want to protect them from the storms of life..maternal side of me comes out all the time on the mission.
We tracted a little more after that and people were nice thankfully. Man people have been through so much harder stuff than i have. Sometime contacting and tracting is so humbling for be because here i am a nineteen year old girl talking to people who have been through everything. We tracted into this one man who told us he was 92 and there is no point making an appointment because he could die any day. He said how he had lived a long and sad life, how it was hard for him to believe in God anymore. He told us how his 15 year old daughter swallowed her tongue one night during a seizure and died. If there was a God, why didnt he wake me up? This 92 year old man looked at me with pleading blue eyes. "We could have stopped it easily and yet we just slept." Oh that broke my heart. I cant explain how it feels to see someone is so much pain and yet feel the Spirit when testifying that God really loves them, than "man cannot comprehend all that God can" and though evil and suffering occur, our Father "weeps with us when we suffer and rejoices when we do what is right." Oh what a blessing the gospel is.
Sister Cocker and Schaelling in their lovely safety helmets
That night we had dinner at a members home and it was lovely. These Polynesians spoil us with delicious food in huge portions! Good thing we ride bikes is all i can say. On Sunday Cherilee came to church and it was fast and testimony, she loved it. We also went and taught the Virtue family who are just so amazing. Its wierd i have noticed just before the best lessons i've had on my mission i get the most nervous. Like the first lesson i taught to Jasmyn back in NJ, i was SO nervous for some reason and could have thrown up in the bathroom before hand. (i refrained) then that lesson was super spiritual. Same with the Virtue family, i get this uneasy nervousness right before we start teaching and then bam, the spirit comes. We taught the Restoration and i love the way Sister Cocker teaches it, before we get to the first vision she tells everyone  to pay attention to the feelings that come to our minds and heart as she recites the account of Joseph Smith. Then she recites the first vision while holding the picture and says it slowly and with power and authority!  Man its awesome because whooosh the Spirit comes and then we can talk about what we feel and how that is Gods messenger, the Spirit, testifying to us all that this message is true. Love it. James Virtue is so amazing and so appreciative that we came into his life. Its these lessons, people like the Virtue family and Cherilee that motivate me. I would tract my whole mission and bike until my legs fall off to find those children of God who need this gospel in their lives.
We also taught some potentials, John and Angie after that! I am learning how to get to know people before rushing into a lesson first because its important to gain their trust. We are going to help them move. We will "win their hearts, and lead them to believe in our words" like Ammon, haha. We had dinner Sunday night at the Turners and it was lovely. We shared one of my favorite scriptures, Ephesians 4:32 which says "and be ye kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ sake hath forgiven you. " MMM that is so good. We talked about forgiveness and shared our testimonies. When we have member dinner appointments, all four of us that live in the flat together go. Its fun.
Also, one of my favorite times of day is personal study. Man i love it. Today i am gonna get some more paper and organize my binder. It is such a .... treat to be able to read the word of God and ponder every morning! I love it and i learn so much everyday. This is coming from the girl that struggled reading like a column a day from the BOM so obviously miracles can happen! :) i also love being with my companion. we always find time to laugh at and with each other and try to always smile. Life is best when you love your companion, because everything can go wrong and you still are happy. :)
I love you all so much! Australia is the place to be! Except sometimes i forget im not in america like the other day i was during a lesson saying "yes, Christ came here to the americas, and we can read about it here..." and they were like what? Here? and i was like "yeah, here in america." ...... um, i mean....yeah...sorry everyone. hahaha
love love,
Sister Schaelling
p.s. its so funny here some swear words are acceptable and sometimes my companion or the other sisters will say them and look at me and laugh because im like woah! watch it sister!
pictures are our "four way" (us four sisters) with myself driving
us with Cherilee, and then me and Sister Cocker being silly with bike helmets,  any way i love youall!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Another joyous week in Australia!

Dearest Family!
     Wow  hiking mount timp! That is amazing! and i do hope snowbird is lovely!! yeah dad here i am driving away! man its so confusing driving on the opposite side! Good thing i am on the Lords errand!
     So! P day was on wednesday this week because we got to go to the temple! hurray. it was lovely. I forgot my planner at home but will try to fill you in on this weeks events!
     So the miracle that happened this week was this: We were out tracting and left a Plan of Salvation pamphlet with a mother of three daughters. That night we got a call from her husband, James, who asked us to come and teach him. That is a miracle right there! :) We went over on Sunday, the next day, and taught him and his wife and some of their kids. Brother Stockman, our Ward Mission leader and his wife also came who are a Moarie(native new zealander, pronounced moldie) couple, and James is Cook Island/Moarie so that fellowship was awesome! My comp is Tongan from New Zealand so they share a lot in common with culture and such.  We taught Plan of Salvation and man, it was amazing. James was just in tears telling us about experiences in his life where he has turned to God for help and God has helped him. He is a real tough guy too and he was just breaking down. We taught about the Celestial Kingdom and how that is where he can be with all his family, forever. Oh i was so happy that the Spirit was there. We invited them all to be baptized and set dates for Septemeber but we might move them closer to August. He just wants so much to be close with God and to follow Jesus Christ and be a good person even though he makes mistakes. It was awesome! I hope we can continue to help thier family come closer to Christ.
     So we also set a baptismal date with Cherilee, the lady who had the long driveway we walked down, and she came to church on Sunday! She loved it there and we were able to teach her again. She is so excited to get baptized. She is so lovely to us and very honest and open. She loves us so much it is so nice!:) We taught word of wisdom and she wants so bad to give up smoking. In the strength of the Lord we can do all things :)
     We went on splits with some young women which was fun! we took them tracting. It would have been so cool if i could have gone on splits before the mish, so i love doing it with young women here.
     Also, when we arent driving we are on bikes! They are fun. I may or may not have fallen in the mud but thats okay:) And Cherilee lives on this busy street which is super hilly so we are always dead tired when we get to her house! She always gives us juice or some ginger beer which is so good.
     We are also teaching a girl named Zhadee (sharday) and she is super sweet. She is searching for the truth in her life and which church to go to. She recognizes the need for church attendance and wants to attend church before she will make a decision on baptism. Shes so nice.
     Zone meeting this week was really good. They have zone meetings every week here instead of District meeting. We had trainings on the Holy Ghost. I love learning about the Holy Ghost. Many times on my mission i have just done things without any significant feeling behind it, like walk down Cherilee's driveway or say something about a gospel principle to someone that resonates with them. But its not like i've had a huge feeling of 'Do this right now.' i realized that many times the feelings and promptings of the Holy Ghost are just general feelings or thoughts, and by following through we see the result of acting on those thoughts or feelings, if that makes sense! One of my favorite lines in PMG is in ch 4 which says "Many voices of the world compete for you attention, and can easily dull your spiritual sensitivity if you are not careful" or something like that. So true!
     So also this week we had dinner with Brother Vahai, who is Tongan and old. He is so sweet. His house is, as my companion says, "The celestial room, Tongan style." Seriously. We ate a ton of food and then sat with him, he gave us a bunch of food for our flat. He is so giving and so loving. He has a lonliness in his eyes thats heartbreaking. i wish we could just go over every day.
     We got to visit a less active Fitisemanu family! They were so awesome and so nice! it think they are Samoan ( i didnt know this before i got here but its pronounces Saw- moan) Moarie and they were so kind to us and we laughed together and then talked about the importance of prayer. They invited us for dinner next week :) hopefully we ban get them back to church!
     I love being a missionary! Of course at times it is hard. I love you family so much. The Lord knows what He is doing sending me here. I am learning how to be more organized, clean, make more lists :), be a better driver, and especially work hard and listen to the Spirit. I think of how lucky and blessed i am many times throughout the day, to have a family that loves me and supports me!
     Australia is so awesome especially all these Polynesians :) I am starting to eat like a Tongan now so good thing we bike a lot! :) Love you all :)

Sister Schaelling