Hellllllo family and friends! It was a wonderful week here in Aussie!
Something my trainer told me the first night we planned together was that she thought as soon as she got her badge in the MTC she was "Sister Hosea". When really she was just her normal self pretending to be Sister Hosea. Then when she got to the mission field she thought, "Okay, now I must really be Sister Hosea." But even then, she was still just her normal self with a badge trying to figure out how to be a missionary. But after a while, after hours of studying, smiling through disappointing days, crying of joy because of Heavenly Father's miracles, and learning how to stop thinking about how you feel and starting to be driven by others, that badge stops being an accessory and it starts being a part of your heart (I'm sorry for being so cheesy but I mean it!)
Brothers and Sisters, I am not Kirsten with a badge anymore. Sister Froemming is alive and well. I have felt myself begin to really change into a true disciple of Christ. It's been amazing to watch what Heavenly Father can do with us when we let Him change us. He has helped me to recognize my strengths, He has REALLY helped me to recognize my weaknesses. I have been able to go to Him in prayer, and express my desire to change. I have been able to rely SO much on the enabling power of the Atonement. I have seen miracles, I have shed tears, I have learned how to receive revelation for others and I have felt the Lord guiding me every step of the way.
Okay, spiel over.
This week we went on trade offs with the Sister Training Leaders and it was amazing! I was with Sister Pearse and at I was so terrified of her at first, but she is so wonderful. I learned so much from being with her. We also got one of our members, Sister Ireland (who is a spiritual GIANT and such a great member missionary) to come out to teach with us and it was amazing! She was able to soften one of our investigators hearts with her testimony and our investigator finally agreed to read the Book of Mormon. She also got lunch with us and we had a little photo shoot because she wanted to share on FaceBook her great experience with the missionaries. YAY for Social Media missionary work and building trust with the ward members!
(Sister Pearse and Sister Ireland)
So this week we also had Preach My Gospel studies with our wonderful Zone Leaders and we talked a lot about working with members. One of our Zone Leaders just straight up said "Emu Plains is not a GQ (golden question, or in other words street contacting) area. It is a member work area." Man, when he said that it hit Sister Hosea and I like a ton of bricks. To be frank, our members just do not trust the missionaries. They are very weary of us because of past disobedience. It has become very clear to us that building that relationship needs to be our main focus. We have received so much revelation and have so many ideas about how we can best help build this relationship with our members. I'm so excited! Our members really are amazing. We just have to show them that they can trust us. We are making progress, but we have a lot of work to do. I'm so excited though! This is going to be such a missionary minded ward. Emu Plains has unlimited potential!
-Sister Hosea made Lu which is a DELICIOUS Polynesian dish that everybody loves here. It was so good.
-The miracle of our investigator Tiarne. I will have to tell you about her more next week because I'm running out of time but she's amazing. Please keep her in your prayers. She came to church on Sunday and I don't think I've ever been happier in my life.
-Tim tam slams on hard/cold days
-Accidentally trying to get in into the driver's seat in Sister Ireland's car because I'm #American.
-Getting told by several people this week: "I can tell you and Sister Hosea are really good friends. So enjoy it while it lasts because it won't always be like that." Haha, very sad!
-Getting to go to the city for arrivals training part 2. I'm just happy whenever I can see the Howes. The spirit was so strong and I learned so much. I am always so spiritually nourished whenever I get to hear them speak.
-Best miracle this week!
This week I had the privilege of watching Heavenly Father love His children. He was able to work through me several times this week to express that love and I was amazed at how tender and sweet He is. My favorite experience was when we went to visit one of our members, Barry, who is an older man in the church. We went and sat on his porch, talked with him, and shared a powerful lesson teaching him about the Doctrine of Christ. At the end of the lesson, I felt prompted to bear sincere testimony that Heavenly Father loves him. As the words came to my mind, I noticed how simple and powerful they were. I have said "Heavenly Father loves you" so many times already on my mission. But this time in particular, I felt the spirit overwhelmingly confirming to me that what I was saying was true. I didn't say anything special, I didn't say anything new, and I didn't say anything eloquent. But as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, I knew that God was speaking through me to deliver that message. I was able to be a conduit for God himself to tell His son that He loves him. I will never forget that moment. Although Barry is a very old man, he seemed so childlike to me as I looked at him. I know that Heavenly Father was allowing me to see him as He sees him. I felt how precious that son of God is. Though Barry is at the end of his life, I could feel his power and see his potential in the next life. All week long, as I have looked at people, I have truly seen them as children. It's been a very strange, very beautiful thing. My love for these people increases more and more each day. I think my heart will burst before the 18 months is over.
(the text is weird because this is an excerpt of what I sent President Howes that I wanted to send to you all too!)
I love you all, remember who you really are. Never forget to talk to your Father in Heaven and be mindful of those around you. They are His children too. Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel and pray to have the courage to act when they come. True joy is found in the service of others.