Monday, October 20, 2014

General Conference... You've gotta love it!

Oct. 6, 2014 - Oct. 12, 2014

Hi everybody. Sounds like life is hopping back in the 801. Thanks so much for my Halloween package!!! The Aussie’s don’t celebrate Halloween so Elder N and I are going to LOVE having our own personal trick or treat on the 31st of October! :) You guys ROCK!!

First package (Halloween package) as a true Aussie Missionary! 
Happy! Happy! Happy!

So here’s the down low on another week!

Monday (10/6/2014):
After sending my weekly email to the family and to President Maxwell, the point of time in my mission I have been dreading since leaving home was finally upon me. No longer could I push off the inevitable. Destiny was pounding on my door and I couldn’t dodge it any longer... I HAD TO GET MY HAIR CUT!!!... Ahhh sooo crazy!!!!  I have had the same person cutting my hair for the past 10+ years (that’s over half my life!).To make matters even more shaky, I was going to get it cut by a Chinese barber! WHAT WAS I THINKING! It’s not like I’m in a third world country! Hahaha. In the end, I guess my new “do” doesn't look too bad.. BUT NO WHERE NEAR as good as the cuts I get back home! Oh well, it had to be done! Too bad I wasn’t a missionary back in the time of Christ; I could’ve just grow my hair long… but then again I would’ve hated riding a donkey and living in a tent :) I’ve always said you need to be willing to make sacrifices here on the mission if you want to see success!

First missionary hair cut in the mission field... 
thumbs up or thumbs down? 
You be the judge!

Tuesday (10/7/2014):
Hardly any of our appointments showed today so we went GQing! (street contacting) You know how I love to GQ. It’s such a fast way to introduce people to the gospel. In just 3 hours we got 14 new contacts!! As we were eating lunch I had this thought to call a guy I GQed last week. His name is P and he is from Taz (Tazmania). I gave him a call and he said he wanted to meet later in the evening! The lesson was solid! He is a firm believer in Jesus Christ and has had some major trials that he feels Christ has helped him through! Elder N taught the lesson so I didn’t do much talking but at the end of our discussion I shared Ether 12:27 (“I give unto men weakness that they may be humble… If they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”) Tears filled P’s eyes as I continued to bear testimony of Jesus Christ. The Spirit was so strong in that lesson! It’s amazing how a day that began so imperfectly ended so perfectly!

Wednesday (10/8/2014):
Today started off with a guy named J. I GQed him on Burke Street (which is like a HUGE shopping street). He is from Malaysia and was in a coma for 1 month from a car accident. He was really nice. We taught him about the commandments and how we all need to be baptized! He has said he will be baptized on the 25th of October! I hope he makes that date! However, I really feel like he will be baptized soon regardless of a date:)

We taught C again. The lesson went great and we set a Baptismal date with him for October 18th… THIS SATURDAY! Our next appointment was with Paul. It was our first lesson with him. He is from Korea and he wants to believe in God and follow Chirst. During the Lesson I found myself asking him to be baptized to fill his desire to follow Christ! It was like the Spirit was forcing it out of my mouth! Imagine our joy when P said he would like to work towards being baptized on the 8th of November! 3 Baptismal Dates in one day! WOW! I am always amazed how the Spirit works in bearing witness to the truthfulness of the message we share as missionaries. My testimony grows everyday…. Definitely a great day!

Thursday (10/9/2014):
After yesterday, today was a bit boring. But I guess you’ve got to have the boring days to appreciate the action packed days like yesterday! We did teach an Aussie named S who had some deep doctrinal questions. I always approach deep doctrinal questions with caution because I don’t want to give misinformation. But S was respectfully persistent in wanting to gain understanding and with the help of the Lord, Elder N and I were able to smash all of his questions out of the park!! Haha. Today was a real confidence booster for me; to know with the help of the Lord, you truly can do anything you put your mind to!

Friday (10/10/2014):
I gave my first Zone Training on "How to effectively study the Book of Mormon." I focused the training around 2 Nephi 32:3 which says it perfectly!... WE MUST FEAST on the words of Christ!! We must first go to our Heavenly Father in prayer to obtain a greater knowledge of the scriptures; and then totally dive into His teachings.

Elder N (one of the Vietnamese Missionaries) and I after Zone Training. 
You can tell by Elder N's expression 
how much he loved my Zone Training Lesson!

As for the rest of the day, we taught two Word of Wisdom lessons… one with C and one with L. Both still want to follow Christ and be baptized so that is killer :) However C LOVES coffee and L smokes 30 cigs per day! Dad, I now understand what you meant by “Smokes like a chimney.” The Lord will help them though if they truly have a desire to change. We also taught D another lesson but had to move her baptismal date back because she will be out of town on the 25th… With D we’ve learned to always have faith and never lose hope!

Our last appointment of the day was with D (different D than the one previously mentioned). We have taught him a couple of times. However, this appointment was really sad. D says he believes in God but is not willing to follow him... Dang, so sad :(  He was supposed to be baptized on the 18th of October. Hopefully he will have a desire to follow his Savior at some future point in his life!

Saturday (10/11/2014):
Conference as a missionary is seriously the most amazing experience ever... even though we are watching the recorded broadcast one week after it has actually happened! Conference is something I definitely took for granted at home! I probably took like 10 pages of notes just watching the Saturday session! I have never been so eager to hear the Prophet and Apostles speak!

What an amazing blessing it is in our life to have the knowledge we gain from being members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! It is truly a blessing that I know I’ve taken for granted! We must ALL invite everyone to come unto Christ, and share the happiness we enjoy as members of His Church!

MIssion Tradition... Conference Treats! Christmas Gummies. 
With no official celebration of Halloween, and no Thanksgiving, 
the Aussies have already jumped to Christmas retail.

Sunday (10/12/2014):
My first General Conference in the mission field… what an experience. Lots of talks on the importance of Sacrament Meeting, living the Law of the Fast, and the importance of sustaining the Prophet. I know I need to focus my studies more on the words and testimonies of the Prophets.

Never have I gotten so much out of Conference. Then again, it was definitely easier to focus on what was being said while wearing church clothes and sitting on a folding chair at the church. Not to say I won’t enjoy watching conference in our family room, lying on the Love Sac, enjoying our traditional cinnamon rolls and bacon when I get home… It’s just that now I will take notes between bites of cinnamon rolls and bacon :) It was definitely weird not watching conference as a family. However, I really did enjoy this conference as a missionary! I especially loved the Prophet's talk "Key to Being Obedient," because as a missionary, it is so key for me to be obedient in all things! Especially if I want to be the 4th missionary spoken of in the talk posted on-line and shared with all missionaries in the MTC.

Love you all so much,

Elder S :)

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