Thursday, September 25, 2014

It's been a crazy week!

Sept. 14 – Sept. 22, 2014

Holy Cow, this week has been pretty crazy :)… crazy good, crazy bad, and crazy crazy! But its all good because the Lord has it all planned out. Sometimes it would just be nice to be able to push fast forward to see how the blessings all play out in the end.

So the low down of the week went something like this…

Tuesday (9/16/14):
As usual, today started off looking like a solid day of teaching appointments. Then Satan decided to kick in, making people who we had previously GQ’d, no show for their teaching appointments at the branch! Satan is such an annoying dude!! I love being a missionary in the city because I love meeting so many different people everyday. However, one of the problems being a “city missionary” is when we schedule appointments with investigators, they have to come to the branch for their lessons, we are not able to teach them anywhere else… That’s why we get a lot of no shows. Anyways, let just say that up until about 6 PM it was a tough day.

This is our Melbourne 2nd International Branch. 
We meet on the first floor of the Ozford House Building.

Sometimes as missionaries, I get the feeling the Lord is testing our patience, and if we pass the test He rewards us with a tender mercy! Well I guess Elder N and I passed the test because our last appointment of the day actually showed up! His name is S and he is from Indonesia. He is a student working here in Melbourne, but goes home often to see his family in Indonesia! Well, the lesson went SOLID, and the spirit was so strong! By the end of our appointment we were able to commit him to a baptismal date of October 4th! Nothing like ending your day on a HIGH! Oh how I love those “tender mercies.”

Wednesday (9/17/14):
Today was a good day. D (the totally KEEN AS guy I baptized last week) took us to lunch and we just had a good time :) I totally love that Cambodian!! He is a Spiritual Giant! It’s amazing to witness the conversion of one of God’s children. In fact, I kind of feel like D’s “spiritual parent” as Elder N and I continue to meet with him to strengthen his already firm foundation in the gospel… It makes me so happy just thinking about it :)

Elder N, D, and Me eating lunch in the Branch... Yum Yum!

It’s funny how today was such a contrast to yesterday… I witnessed many miracles today! Even to the extent of having a complete stranger come into the branch because he wanted to know more about Jesus Christ! Seriously? Yesterday we couldn’t have paid people to come to their scheduled appointments, and today they’re walking into the branch unsolicited! The Lord definitely prepares his children in all different ways! Of course no day is complete without a little GQing. So we GQed a man today by the name of N. He is visiting from India and seemed to be super Keen… or so we thought at the time. I’ll come back to N when I get to Friday.

Thursday (9/18/14):
Thursday was probably the craziest day of my whole mission! Well actually, just the night time :) So it started off with Elder N and I going to a member’s house to give her a blessing. I did the anointing of the oil and what a great experience that was! The Spirit is so noticeable when you are exercising your priesthood authority!

After the blessing, we had Zone Interviews. This is where President Maxwell meets with the Elders individually to see how their missions are going. My interview was the last interview of the day and because President Maxwell was running about 2 hours behind schedule, and he had other appointments, my interview got cut pretty short. No worries though, I really don’t have any concerns about my mission :) It’s just all so GREAT! Following the interviews, Elder N had to give a baptismal interview for the Vietnamese Elders in our area. The interview was about an hour away so we hustled in order to get there on time! The interview went good, but it went waaaayyy long. In fact, it went so long, Elder N and I knew there was no way we were going to make it back to our flat in time to make our 9:30 PM curfew. I guess we could have prayed for a miracle, but we like to save those “phone calls” for when we’re GQing :)

Weekly planning with Elder N... We go HARD with the PLANS!

So what do you do as missionary, when you want to be 100% obedient, and you know that you are NOT going to make curfew? You get creative and get a sleep over approved at the nearest missionary flat! Talk about a crazy night! I had NOTHING but the clothes on my back! Sorry mom, I didn’t brush my teeth J But you know, the Lord watches over us and blesses us regardless of the situation. Man, the things you do on a mission to be exact in your obedience :) 

Friday (9/19/14):  
Today was a great day:) Come to think of it, most days are great here on my mission. I really feel like I can choose how my days are going to go. Sure, every day I get rejected over and over and over again. BUT, at the end of the day, that just drives me to find someone even better to GQ. MAN I LOVE THIS WORK!!!

Nothing like a Milky Joe to get you going on a cold Melbourne morning. (We got free chocolate from the local Milky Joe Coffee House... Hopefully people didn't think we were missionaries needing a lesson about the Word of Wisdom) Hahaha.

So you remember N, the guy we GQ’d on Wednesday. Well, we had set up an appointment to teach him today at the Branch. N made it to his appointment, which is always a great first step J. We taught him a little more about baptism, which went very well. He told us if God wanted him to be baptized, he would be baptized! N also said he would love to come to a baptism on Saturday so he could witness one before he was baptized. WOW, what more could a missionary ask for! 

Saturday (9/20/14):
Saturday was quite disappointing... We waited for N at the baptism for about 45 minutes and he never showed... Since he is just visiting Melbourne for a short time he doesn't have a cell phone which meant we had no way of following up with him... so that was pretty sad, and put a damper on the day because he seemed sooo KEEN!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a missionary, it’s that the Lord is KEEN to our needs, and works in great ways:) When Elder N and I got back to the flat tonight, waiting for me was the package of pictures from the family. Talk about making up for a kinda crappy day! It boosted my spirit and made me feel sooooooo HAPPY. I never thought I would love pictures so much. I’ve always been a “live in the now” kind of guy. But can I just say “I LOVE PICTURES!!! Keep them coming! I just look at all of them every night. Did I mention how much I love pictures :)


Sunday (9/21/14):  
So today I gave my first talk as a full time missionary! It was pretty righteous if I say so myself. I spoke on 2 Nephi 31:20, where it talks about feasting upon the words of Christ. Writing this talk totally strengthened my testimony of the Book of Mormon… heaps! I would encourage everyone that is reading this letter to PRAY every time before you open the Book of Mormon! Think of questions you have and are looking for answers to. Then, instead of just reading the Book of Mormon, truly feast upon the words of the Prophets! I promise you if you will approach your scripture study in this manner, you will gain a better understanding of what the Prophets in the Book of Mormon are trying to teach us! I know it worked for me!

To wrap up our Sunday we met a man named P. P seems interested in the gospel and expresses a desire to give up his casual drug use in order to make a change. The desire to change is Keen when trying to over come any kind of addiction… especially drugs. Stay tuned. We’ll see how it goes. P accepted the goal of baptism for the 18th of October! You always have to begin with the goal in mind.

I Love you all so much. Know I am praying for you from the land down under!!

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