Sunshine in Sydney, Sunshine in my Soul

Well somehow another week has been and gone!
For me it has a been a wonderful week, probably the laziest yet most relaxing I have had since returning. I know for others this has been a week that will have leave a memory on the rest of our lives. I hope we all choose to do something weekly that will impact our future selves for the better!

The week started for me bright and early about 2:40am monday morning, getting dressed, eating, and bustling into the car to the air port for a 4:30am check in! It was a wonderful flight, I enjoy Flying with Qantas airlines. Their fruit platter breakfast option is honestly my favourite thing I ever eat on planes along with orange juice and water. As the plane first lifted into the crisp monday morning air we were greeted by the most gorgeous sunrise.  One of those breath taking moments, where if only time would stand still. Where in that moment you can feel  the Love of the Lord whispering ” I created this for you” wellington sunrise
I love these moments, natural, unchanged by man, the Glowing deep orange of the sun sending playful rays along the purple and blue sky. Reflecting and bouncing off the deep green of the mountain ranges. The lakes as though liquid gold nestled among the emerald forest floor. No camera could ever fully capture the beauty of this view.
I arrived to wonderful 33 degree Celsius weather,  not crazy sunny but nice and warm. The first view I had of this wonderful country made me insanely happy! just the cliffs all around vaucluse, watson’s bay, and malabar. the city sky lines and even the industrial areas! first after going through customs. I went and got myself an Opal card for all of the public Transport in NSW. Now I love the Opal card system… unless you want to access the airport, then the price is ridiculous! (seriously $16.50 for three stops is pricey) Well after a train from the international air port to Central station, transferring to the T1 line form central to Hornsby. I finally made it to Thornleigh station. Where my wonderful friend Rachel was. That hug of finally being reunited without a serious 5/10 minute time limit was the best. We went to her house and just sat on her bed for a bit and talked. Ate lunch and laughed. Followed by a trip to the mission Office!
It was almost like i slipped back through into another reality, climbing between two worlds. That of home life and the things that New Zealand holds, and the of the rest of the world. Into my place and the city the became my playground. I may not know all of it yet, but these streets feel like home!  It was great to stop by the familiar temple grounds, see the wonderful office couples that I was so blessed to serve alongside. The blessed opportunity I had to stop by and visit President and Sister Checketts!
Then when leaving the grounds I saw none other than the Bishop of my last Area who came up and hugged me. not going to lie this was the strangest thing ever, we always saw Him there as missionaries so to attempt to shake His hand and to be greeted with a hug, almost felt like I was breaking rules… But hey I am not a missionary. How lovely it felt to be back!
Family home evening was great, we all talked about General conference! then Played a quick round of UNO… guess who lost, yes that is me!

Tuesday consisted of a nice quick get ready for the day and out of the door by 7:40am to catch the train into Central, get lost trying to find the address for a Job interview and find ourselves down the dodgiest looking alley way! Just completely dead and empty except two men chilling having smoko! After running late and getting in contact with the company. Having everything sorted we decided to make the best of our situation.. laugh, have fun p1100996and then find our way back to the station. I love this, getting lost and find my way to the insides of the city. Not the clean polished streets of the CBD or the busy building lined streets of people in impractical fashion and the suits, where the pace involves a hidden Jog and the hum of the streets become ingrained into you veins. But the back streets, the naked undressed up side of a city, where people seek solace from the pace, to become an enigma. This is backstage, the side of the show that others don’t often see. Without what happens here, the show would never perform. The pace would break and things may possible stand still. (Heck maybe occasionally this could be a good thing)
We made our way through the concrete jungle back to the station and headed out towards one of my favourite places for finding whilst a missionary. Bondi Junction!
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Here I introduced Rachel to the Mall (somewhere I had only been briefly) and the outside shopping area. We Picked up a few Items, browsed and had Lunch in the food court over looking the water and the city. seeing in view the Harbor Bridge and the Opera house.
We spent time just enjoying that which we had, and doing those things we haven’t done in a long time.. Like fussy Jean shopping 🙂

p1110016After a nice lunch and obtaining all that we wanted we caught the 333 bus to Bondi beach!
Where I had sorbet and Rachel had a savory scone! I enjoyed the fresh ocean water for a lovely refreshing swim, I may have got wiped out by a solid wave, much to Rachel’s enjoyment as she watched.

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We discussed many things from missions, the Gospel and just how great God is throughout the day! we read emails from those we love and we laughed. We enjoyed the side of Just living and having a friend to share it with!
Then the nice hour and a half journey home began. Arriving a little before 8pm to find the missionaries having correlation … Elder Bush whom I served with out in penrith Zone looked around to say hi and i swear He saw a Ghost “Hi! wait?!? what?! how?!” hehe
funniest moment, so after eating and them finishing their meeting I got to say hello to all four missionaries  that I had been blessed to serve alongside.
Rachel and I then sat on her bed with food and watched The errand of Angels and the beginning of the fellowship of the ring! stopping at 2am realizing we should probably get some sleep!

Wednesday Rachel, Her wonderful Mother, and I all went and did the 10am temple session! How wonderful it is to be in the temple with those we love, to be blessed to take through some of their family names as well was such an honor! I wish I could just talk all about this. But just the Joy of being there again, not Just at the temple of the Lord but at one I love so dearly with people I love as family is an absolute blessing.
We all then had lunch at home, went to the mall to pick up a few things. followed by dinner together and Then getting ready for institute.
I have never been to institute outside of the Wellington region. So it was almost a giant culture shock! A huge amount of YSA all gathered together. We talked about prophets and their role and how we follow them, it was amazing ot be somewhere where the YSA  engage and respect their teacher. It felt so good, it felt like the first lesson in a while where i was able to enjoy and ponder personally on a fer aspects of the Gospel.
Afterwards we Just hung out till about 10:40pm I met a lot of lovely people and enjoyed it very much. On the way home Rachel and I decided we were hungry so drove by Maccas to grab a snack. so we sat in the car and ate. Discussing different experiences we’ve had on missions and even a rather lengthy discussion on specific Gospel topics.
The feeling of complete peace I felt in the car home that night was amazing, the feeling of being in the right place with the right people. Another one of those raw moments, where it doesn’t need the catchy background music or even sound at all, no makeup covered photograph moments. Just those pure raw special moments where it feels like everything finally has aligned and the puzzle pieces are coming together. It just feels … GOOD!

Thursday Morning We woke up and Rachel and I headed off for another temple session, stopping by the mission office yet again to say farewell to the couple in there.
This session again was just lovely being with my best friend within those walls. Know what although 3 years have past, we’ve lived in different countries. served different people and spoke different languages. There is Joy in being united as Sisters, as Daughters of God! The friendship that although was once built upon mutual ground has grown deeper as our love o the Gospel has grown. our Friendship now has more of a base upon the important principles of eternity than that of the World!
Afterwards we went home, packed my luggage all up, had lunch and headed off!
However sitting at Thornleigh station a tradey came and sat beside us, so out of habit I ask how he was, he had the thickest accent I had heard in a long time, clearly from by liverpool England area … So we started talking, all three of us, asking about all my luggage and explaining  about how i had served a mission here and was taking it back home. So conversation grew and changed, He asked what is different about our church… GOOD QUESTION! SO next thing we know we are explaining prophets and who Thomas S Monson is, The Book of Mormon and inviting Him to read it. testifying. The flow was pretty good and the ability having never taught together in our lives to fall into a good pace was incredible. As we departed ways at central station we even obtained His contact details!
Accidentally claiming a new investigator as RMs? oops why not! we made a friend 🙂
Getting on the next train to the Airport and saying “see ya” so soon and yet again made me feel as though my heart was getting torn yet again. When you dont see someone for a long time you learn to live life with just the online contact you almost find it hard to remember any other way but you remember the fun with fond memories! But when you finally are together you realize how much you missed it. You realize when face with separating again how life maybe was missing an important person from it. Let alone the country itself I love and the place I feel at home!
I cried, no denial!
Then arrived nice and early for my next flight, waited and checked in. Hung out in duty free for about an hour and got there perfectly in time for boarding!

Thursday morning after being p14724414_542021089330905_8970125121781464311_nicked up by my wonderful mother and driven home. I cut off about half of my hair length, due to a series of unfortunate events! That lead to it needing some serious health fix!  fell asleep around 3am and slept through mostly until almost 10am. feeling rather sickly. i unpacked luggage and did the things in needed to.
Saturday again feeling rather unwell slept in and did chores before taking the niece and nephew down to a sports activity at the stake center, followed by an epic ward Quiz night, where our team was just our small family… guess who won!!! woohoo familia!

Sunday, well happy Sabbath!
Seriously this is by far my favourite day of the week every week. However it is competing with an amazing time in sydney!
But the talks in Sacrament were wonderful, I found myself asking and reflecting on how i can improve spiritually and again continue to further consecrate myself to the Lord, to refine who I am and become more of who He want’s be to be as His daughter. The woman He needs me to be as a future wife and mother, to aid my family and the community around me!
My CTR lesson went great! and I committed them all to do something special for someone else this week.
After Church we had ward lunch, where I was claimed by one of the cutest 3 yr old’s ever at church who ran up and told me she had been looking for me so she could talk to me, then she proceeded to sit on my lap and tell me about nursery and what she did at church. Honestly these small moments make my heart so happy, the sweet pure love of a happy little face running to hug me makes my soul literally soar, the cuddles, the hand holding the fun little games. They are priceless moments!  As Jesus Christ said “Behold your little ones”
They are precious! But then if we turn that relationship between Heavenly Father and ourselves, we are his little ones and we are so precious in His eyes, every bit of interaction between us and Him is pure treasure to Him, He Cherish’s those moments . However unlike this wonderful little girl at church we may not run and hug Him physically or sit and talk face to face. We kneel before him and talk, we pour out our heart and in return sit and listen. He does speak to us! through our feelings and thoughts. We can feel His embrace and all encompassing love encircle us as we turn to Him and strive to not only know of Him, but come to Know him!

I pray we all will be able to strengthen That relationship with our Heavenly Father and our Saviour Jesus Christ, through sincere prayer and study! Paying attention to our feelings and being ever grateful for all that He does daily!

I love you all so very much, I don’t say this lightly!

~ C.A. Priston-Turner xx

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Black eyes, spiked heels, and piles of children

Good Merry Monday!

First I want to say I hope you have had a good week and have seen the many miracles in your life.

Something I’ve been pondering recently is “Forget not the why of the Gospel”

throughout the scriptures peoples downfall often seems to be either .. forgetting things the ought to remember or remembering things they ought to forget.  Throughout the scriptures we are invited to remember many precious truths and to not Forget many things. However somehow we can seem to forget.

We forgot our life before earth, we had to. But simply if we had remembered, how much easier would of our life here become? How much more clarity would we have, and I believe we would look at everything with a more eternal perspective.

But we all fall short, forgetting is a Part of Human nature, something we need to fight to over come, to constantly draw closer to God. Learn and embrace His teachings. As we do so he influences our lives, we stay close to those teachings and we are less likely to forget because we are actively applying them.

Hence why The lord asks us to do things… to actively do those things that help us remember.

we are the ones who turn our backs on Him… this is why I love the song “Come thou fount of every blessing”
specially these two verses :

Here I raise my Ebenezer,
Hither by Thy help I’ve come,
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God,
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be,
Let that grace now like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

well this week honestly has been mildly uneventful.
I’ve been living between my home and the gym, occasional church activities. I’ve applied for work.
Early Thursday morning, i tripped on something my cat had knocked onto the floor and landed eyes/head first on an old column heater. resulting in a nice black eye, and a few cuts. Not to mention the Solid headache I’ve had from it! because that is what everyone wants at 5am in the morning. Hahaha
Spent all of friday with mum making sheep cheese, Yoghurt and Ice cream!
made 8Litres of milk into feta. then 8Litres into Ice cream. and 2Litres into yoghurt.
   We had a Japanese YSA evening, where the small group of us made sushi and played traditional Japanese games.
Honestly, I think one of the greatest blessings about being home is seeing the way My step dad (a still fairly new member, with no previous religious upbringing) is as a Bishop. The calling has changed Him, the Lord guides and magnifies Him daily.
He has become one of those priesthood Holders who respects that power, who strives constantly to magnify that calling and rely on the Lord, He is the convert we all wish we could have. If those I was blessed to serve are in for years time as strong as He is now, I will be insanely proud.
We celebrated Fathers day the only way i know how, practical man gifts for the man who likes Roasts, and a Card full of Dad worthy Puns!
Also being my step sisters 30th birthday we all got together and had dinner, I got squished by the three kids who wanted cuddles and then in the end my youngest nephew kept saying “you aren’t leaving im keeping you” and hugging tighter. then when I had to leave he yelled “BYE MUM, IM STAYING WITH KITA”
he was not happy to be forced off me, and i wish i could’ve had him for the night. But this just makes us having them next weekend so much better!
I just often Find myself so very thankful for all of the things the Lord blesses me with, including you!
I love getting messages from the members in Australia (if only they would stop using guilt to get me to come back ) messaging and hearing from investigators about all of the things they are applying, The work is moving forward. There are changes in peoples lives that you may not even be aware of.
So keep pushing forward, keep seeking the Lord’s will and giving your all.
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My love and prayers are with you always!

Love Sister Priston-Turner
xx

Transfers o.O

Well Hello!

I hope you have had an amazing spirit filled week!

so it has been that time again, and transfers came and went.

I hope we are all seeing our purpose for where we are and what we are here to achieve.

It has been crazy and it was the shortest trip of my life to get to my new area. It came way too fast.

It took about 3/4 hours to get to my area. The ride wasn’t bad, it was a little bumpy. However we got food along the way.

I was blessed to speak to a lovely lady from England who was on the same transport as me. She was on her way to visit her brother. She actually was an inactive Jehovah’s witness. Incredibly lovely.

Arriving to my new area was quiet a sight. People were there to greet me, but my companion wasn’t there. so that was strange.

This week has been a massive culture shock for me. The weather has dropped dramatically (17 degree drop Celsius, or 62 in Fahrenheit) It also is raining a lot more in this area.

The Culture is so different, people sound different. they have their own kind of weird messed up accent and I am not sure what they say at times.

I found out within 3 hours of landing in this new area  that I have been called to be a no-badge missionary. Crazy right?

SO new area, new culture, No-Badge, No area book, and No companion. Well it looks like I am heading out on and adventure!

I have to get to work, get to studying and Find that companion 😉

Ultimately I am so thankful for my last four areas. It was been a blessing to serve both in Australia and New Zealand.

To meet wonderful people such as yourself, and to learn from you and your example. They never said going on a mission would be easy (I’m sure it is called a mission for a reason)  But we know it will be worth it.

The Lord works many miracles as we strive to remain close to him through willing obedience to all that He asks. Obedience is an act of faith, accepting the Lord’s all knowing wisdom over our limited knowledge.

We however can continue to act in faith, striving to become as close to the Lord as we can. Pushing forward everyday giving our all and seeing the miracles that Will come.

I am so thankful for everything you do and continue to do.

If i can help in anyway at all please let me know!

Lets all go smash it this transfer!!!

Much Love and Many Prayers,
Sister Priston-Turner

Down hill From here!

‘ello everyone!

So believe it or not I am officially past half way of my mission.
Do you have any idea how crazy I currently feel?

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On monday I saw saw 4 naked men at a hidden beach in part of our area…. NOT COOL!
there is a reason our mission president has Red Zones!
Tuesday we went to the temple as a zone and had a wonderful temple session!

Wednesday we had interviews with our mission President!

Thursday we had a wonderful district meeting and then a great day!

Friday we had some appointments and went to different parts of our Area

Saturday we talked to people all day, all day  then had transfer calls. I had been assigned to the University Area working on campus here in sydney. I  got told by a Japanese lady that the little Japanese i could speak was beautiful and on point with pronunciation, That really made my day!

Sunday I gave a talk about raising an eternal family. my companion gave her farewell testimony along with both elders. late at night President called me and said that there is a visa Waiter coming for a few weeks and she needs to be close to the airport. so He is reassigning me to claremont meadows for the next transfer. so thus I move yet again!

I LOVE MISSIONARY LIFE SO MUCH! I HONESTLY WANT NOTHING BUT TO SERVE THE LORD AND MY FELLOW MAN.
SIMPLE!

I know I said i was going to be 100% honest with the blog posts to express the honest side of serving with previous mental health issues.
To be honest I have been blessed my entire mission thus far. I have never been happier, or has this much energy.
I am the last person to admit to struggling, honestly. But the past few week have been really tough, I really didn’t want to admit this, specially to anyone who knows me personally back home.
I haven’t felt so consistently anxious in a very long time. It is hard to go out and talk to people all day everyday when your stomach is permanently in a knot, and you feel sick all day. But you force yourself to move forward. you pray and do a Mild Enos at every given chance to have strength. your sleepless nights (because everyone knows i suck at sleeping) become a weird blurr of thoughts on what to do better, how you need to improve and all your shortcomings. What are a lot if you’ve seen my height. (some humour to lighten up the mood?)
Appetite drops, and nothing seems to kill the anxiety. But you know that this something you have to deal with. Its scary and weird. Something you know need to try push through but the shaking hands and occasional crying that you manage to somehow conceal from your companion doesn’t help.
you cannot help but feel completely ridiculous Because you love being a missionary, and you love everything about it. But the anxiety is there and it makes everything harder than it should be. I hate it, honestly. the constant pain in the stomach and heart pounding. It feels mildly never-ending. But I know that the Lord will provide a way. I am here for a reason. I will do what I can. I know the Lord will help me make all the right choices!

I love you all very much, if times are hard, stay close to the Lord

Love,
Sister Priston-Turner

“Intensify Invercargill”

Happy Monday Everyone!!

I hope everyone is well! We have had an interesting week here In Invercargill!

Last Monday after doing emails we went and got food, followed by all the weird errands that seem to keep us busy on Mondays. Feels like we never have enough time to get everything done on a Monday.
We also had two family Home Evenings last week, one with a lovely family where my companion insisted I played duck duck goose (in a skirt) with the family whilst she watched…..  I became a quick fast easy target for the 5 kids playing… and their parents.

Tuesday we stayed at home most of the day (my companion forced me into bed) because I had a head cold with a lovely nice strong headache. However we did some door knocking in the evening followed by helping with a youth missionary activity. Where we had 10 stations, each station had some mission related activity. Practicing door approaches, planning a lesson, filling out missionary applications, ironing, sewing a button, quick morning workout.For each activity you got a certain amount of points. Then at the end of the evening we held an auction of things, chocolate bars, juice, random items. The youth got to bid using the points they had to get the items.
Sister Delgado and I had to shoot away a little early, to meet with mission president at someones home (he needed to interview them) All went amazing. We then had to go back to the chapel to get our bikes that were left inside. And it was 8:50pm at the lights by the chapel and we noticed the car next to us was mission president and we had 10 minutes till we had to be in our flat. But we still had to go get our bikes. My lovely companion was like “DON’T EVEN BREATHE” which ended up with me bursting out in laughter.

Wednesday we had district meeting with President and Sister Hudson. She taught us a lovely lesson, whilst President took interviews. It was lovely, so much learnt and a lovely spirit. During the interview with president I asked about my contact with home, and discovered I am not allowed to email or write males living within mission boundaries (same as every other missionary) even though I am from the mission and my family etc is in mission boundaries. Same rule still applies. So sorry to any guys I don’t reply to. I want to, trust me I do. but Obedience is key, I am not here to break the rules. Him and I discussed in length the circumstances and how it works for me. I know the boundaries and conditions for my contact at home.

Elder Williams is here till his visa to Taiwan comes through (he has only been out since… well January) well the Mochi I had in the flat was made in Taiwan, so we made him try it after district meeting. Surprisingly enough he liked it!!
we also went and helped the lovely sister Snelgar pack up and clean her house for moving. We then went home and spent the rest of the evening there because my companion wanted me to feel better!
We did some door knocking in the afternoon, met a vicious pug/ so evil. ahahaha.
We also went to a house with a gorgeous garden and all Victorian styled design. Sister asked if we could take some photos. So we did.

Thursday!
we had a lovely lesson with our investigator using some of the pioneer movies.
Sister Delgado made me stay in the flat and sleep most of the day. We popped out to get her birthday package that we missed. She opened it, Early!! so excited for her birthday this week!!
She got a funny little tissue thing with a pug related comment, which made us laugh after the little terror from the day before.

Friday we had weekly planning and companionship inventory. We then went out and helped Sister Snelgar pack stuff into boxes for the move. We had pretty much the entire house for 6 kids and the parents done in a couple of hours. We then went home till activity night. Which ended up being volley ball, yet again. Because the elders didn’t want to put more effort in planning wise. I sat out due to still not being well.

Saturday we spent the morning moving the Snelgars with a bunch of other ward members and the elders. Within two hours they were completely moved in. You want something moved, Mormons will do it ahaha!!!
A lot of our plans fell through, but it lead us to be exactly at the right place at the right time. Where we were desperately needed (cannot give details sorry)

Sunday we had a lovely testimony meeting at church. We had  4 less actives turn up and some investigators which was a massive miracle!!

We got to visit a few people after church, including one lady we have been trying to see for ages!!! the small miracles!!! We did family history training with the Hardings (the senior couple here) last night, what was great fun and a lot of laughs. “oh look sister Delgado needs a husband”
“oh look Elder Williams needs a wife”
“cut a guy some slack”

“oh right, we aren’t meant to treat you like normal ysa”

Then at the end of it as we all talked Elder Williams had his jaw on the desk, and as we tried to get his attention it turns out his itinerary had come through, so his visa is all go and he leaves in Two weeks, SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!

Today we have Sister P-day so we are going to a waterfall about an hour away and we have exchanges this week.

Life is Great, God is Amazing.

Love,
sister Priston-Turner xx