Family and Friends, Happy 2015!
I have a feeling this year is going to fly by just like last year did:) This week has been great but pretty crazy with Transfers and my New Golden.
It was Transfer meeting today and that basically takes up the WHOLE day... My very first companion and trainer, Elder N, got transferred to a place called Deer Park and he is now companions with Elder W, who was in the MTC with me! And then Elder O, the golden we both trained, was transferred to Mornington which is down near the tip of Melbourne! I was temporarily assigned to another Elder for the night as we both waited for our Goldens to arrive the next day.
I received the "Golden" that I will be training!!! Golden Orientation lasted all day long because there were some missionaries who had flight delays. It was a long wait, but it wasn’t too bad because I really like being with other missionaries and hanging with the office staff! They are awesome! Anyway my new companion’s name is Elder L. I will give you three chances to guess where he is from……1. America?….no, 2. New Zealand?……no, 3, Africa?……no! Elder L is from……..drum roll please………the Republic of Moldova!!!! HOLY FETCH were my words when I was told I would be training a missionary in the city that has only been speaking English for 8 weeks in the Provo MTC! President Maxwell and the Lord must have some serious trust in me or something! But I am blessed because Elder L is super nice and he is trying super hard with the language so that makes me happy:)
I would like to introduce you to my new Golden... Elder L!
Background on Elder L: He is 23 and is from Moldova (it is a small country between Romania and Ukraine)! The missionaries found him when he was 21 years old, and so he has only been a member for only 2 years! He has an awesome testimony and we get along really well:) He is the youngest and the only member in his family! He truly is an inspiration to me! It is awesome to see the result of missionary work in people’s lives!!
Tonight was New Year’s Eve and I heard Melbourne has an amazing fireworks show. However, Elder L and I are committed to being 100% obedient so we went to bed at 10:30 pm when we are supposed to. I know when we are obedient (especially in hard times) the Lord blesses us a lot. So I consider that an alright trade!
Where's the PARTY... but I got to be in bed by 10:30 pm!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! were my thoughts for this day! 2015 is the only full year that I will spend away from my family and that is a good feeling! I have to say that training a golden that does not speak English in the City where you HAVE to talk to people has proven a bit difficult. However, I know the Lord will bless us as I call on him for help! I am really humbled by Elder L’s valiant attempt to speak English and proclaim the Gospel! I know the Lord will bless us for his efforts!!
We met with C, (our 17 year old investigator that is waiting to be baptized until he turns 18). Elder L really helped out with C’s lesson. We taught him more about Joseph Smith because unfortunately his mom gives him lots of anti-Mormon information about Joseph Smith. Next, we had a really hard lesson with a lady who was super disrespectful to us. She said she didn’t want to be taught by us because we were just kids and we didn’t know anything! It was weird and made us feel bad but we just had to shake it off. On a positive note, we finished by teaching, G again! (He is the guy from India). We taught him about the commandments that Heavenly Father has given us. It really seemed to expand his belief in God, and how He know us and helps us every day:)
Well now that Elder L needs to learn English we take an hour every morning and I turn into an English teacher! Ha Ha, imagine that... Even though I got a 4.0 in school every year, English has always been my hardest subject. I have been thinking that Heavenly Father definitely has a sense of humor! One thing that I thought would help Elder L is to Post-it-note the whole flat with the English names of the household objects that he needs to learn. And just so I wouldn’t left out i Post it Noted myself!
Bed, Door, Desk, Chair.... Elder Steele! I hope this doesn't leave a mark!
While Elder L is still working on his English skills we have to GQ together and I am not feeling quite as productive… But I KNOW this is what the Lord wants for Elder L and me so I am happy to do it. With my other companions in the city we taught lots of discussions. Because Elder L and I have to team up to GQ the number of lessons we teach will go down a little bit but that is okay.
Today we also taught J (she is the re-activating member who wants to learn more and come back to church) and it was a really great lesson! It is good because Elder L feels more comfortable talking to people who are already members of the Church. It is really nice because it helps build up his vocabulary and increases his confidence with speaking English. Tonight I also took on the Crazy Wing Challenge!!! I must say it was so HOT it made tears pour out of my eyes!!! I know missionaries are protected every day, but apparently it doesn’t make you immune to spicy wings!!!
HOT! HOT! HOT!
It turned out to be a really great day with Elder L! Even though sometimes we have trouble communicating it doesn’t really matter because he is trying his very best to speak to me and I am trying my very best to understand him. I am truly learning the Christ like attribute of patience, and I am super grateful for it :)
We taught C (the 17 year old) today about "The Stick of Ephraim" in Ezekiel 37! This was the moment where “C” KNEW this Church was true, and it was really cool to be there to experience that with him! He is doing awesome and he is still planning on being Baptized on the 17th of this month. Please pray his mom’s heart will be softened and she won’t be angry with him.
Then the G family (they fed us the kangaroo Christmas dinner) invited us over for dinner. Sister G made AMAZING CHICKEN BURGERS! Mmmmmm they were so good! Sister G found out that I sing and now she always makes me sing for my food…..ha ha! I don’t mind sharing my talent with them because singing in their home is a good way to give a spiritual message with Mr. G (he isn’t a member of the church) because he really enjoys music! It is funny how the Lord helps us connect with different people! He truly knows us and loves each one of us. Also, the G’s grandkids were there too and they really enjoyed talking to us about the Book of Mormon so that made a wonderful night even SWEETER!! :)
OUR 5TH FAST SUNDAY DOWN!!! WE ARE NOW IN THE TEENS! That is a really good feeling:) It was a really great day with Elder L. I am being blessed so that my ear is slowly adapting to the way he says things so I can understand what he is trying to say. The language barrier does make for some really funny stories though. Tonight when we got home Elder L enthusiastically said to me (In his Romanian/Russian accent), "Today was a Super Pooper day" HAHAHAHA, I just started busting out laughing and thought to myself... Man after a day like this I could probably use a "Super Pooper!” I am just having fun with Elder L and making the best out of what we have:) I know Heavenly Father has put us together so we can teach his children.