Friday, January 16, 2015

Christmas is Right Around the Corner!

It is so crazy that Christmas is right around the Corner! It doesn’t really feel like Christmas here in Australia… remember, it’s summer down under, and I definitely miss all of our family’s great Christmas traditions. But then I think of the sacrifice our Savior Jesus Christ made for us, and it makes me feel better. He knows what we are going through; He knows the righteous desires of our hearts; He knows our needs; and He will never leave us alone to navigate the many challenges we will face in this life! What an incredible gift from a loving Father in Heaven.

I'll have a Blue Christmas without you... Sorry I couldn't resist!

Tuesday (12.16.14):
The day definitely started out a bit frustrating. Our investigator named P confirmed with us Monday night that he would be at his teaching appointment on Tuesday morning, and then didn’t even bother to show up! I hate it when people do this because it’s kind of like they are wasting the Lord’s time!

On a more positive note, we did get to teach a girl named C from Columbia. I had GQ’d her a little while back after recognizing her from somewhere. Turns out she went to a Baptism back in August and loved it, but then got busy! Anyway, after teaching her a couple of missionary lesson, she now has a baptismal date set for the 17th of January! Everything leading up to C’s acceptance of a baptismal date was pretty amazing. We taught a really rad Gospel of Jesus Christ Lesson incorporating the "He is the Gift" message ; (everybody needs to watch this video about Christ's birth. It is amazing) and then asked her what gift she thought she could give back to her Heavenly Father this Christmas season. Without hesitation C replied, “Baptism!” You can’t answer any better than that!

Then we taught K the Plan of Salvation. K is the really smart guy that reads the Bible in Hebrew… we taught him last week. Our discussion went awesome, except for a little part regarding our premortal life! Having grown up in the gospel, we take for granted the understanding of those gospel principles we posses.  Sometimes, people need time to let the gospel “sink in.” However, with a couple of scriptures we are going to show him this week, I have no doubt the Lord can help K understand and accept our belief in the premortal existence.

We also met with L again tonight to try and build up his faith. Remember, he is trying to quit smoking this week as his Christmas gift to God. Our discussions with L are always encouraging and at the end of our conversation he gave each of us a nice Christmas card.

Wednesday (12.17.14):
This morning was a little rough. We taught P again, but by the end of the lesson it was obvious he didn’t want to accept the gospel so we had to part ways... It is really hard for me to watch people turn away from the truth. I develop such a love for them as I work to bring them closer to Christ; and I know their life is going to be more difficult without the Savior in it.

When your day starts at the bottom of the barrel, there’s nowhere to go but up. Our day definitely got better!  We taught C today and that’s always a good time :) He is so prepared for baptism… we just need to get him to his 18th Birthday. I so love building his faith through Book of Mormon stories and videos! Today we showed the video and read in the Book of Mormon about the time Nephi shocked his brothers through the power of God. C thought that was so amazing! After C, Elders N, O and myself (sorry about the alphabet soup… but privacy is important for the people we meet) met with N to review the questions she would be asked during her baptismal interview tomorrow… what a testimony she has gained :) YES!!!!

Thursday (12.18.14):
N passed her baptismal interview! After the interview, she asked if I would baptize her because I was the one who called and invited her to come to the Church to talk with the missionaries :) That made me feel really good:)

Do you remember D (the Jewish girl) who we taught when I first arrived in Melbourne? She was so golden, but struggled to make it to church on Sundays. Well, she actually called to see if we could meet with her! Unfortunately, she just hasn’t changed yet. She says she wants to follow God, but she isn’t willing to take time off work to attend church on Sunday. It’s really sad because I feel like she is just nervous and scared… Faith definitely has to precede the miracle. We will definitely keep praying for her.

So here’s something really cool…  C (the guy waiting to turn 18 so he can get baptized) is already doing missionary work! He brought a SUPER KEEN Chinese girl to the branch today. She actually said she wanted to follow God! So we started teaching her the lessons. C is so cool… He is practically a member! He already refers to the Mormon Church as "his Church."

Friday (12.19.14):
We taught some good lessons today!... Not really to many investigators, but to some recent converts, and less active members of the church! It is important to find a balance in the work so we can still help everyone come unto Christ; whether they are a member or not.

We taught a less active girl named J. She is from Virginia and is backpacking around the world for 5 years! She has a pretty crazy life with the backpacking and all, but has made the decision to  come back to church… which is AWESOME! We were scheduled to teach “I” a lesson today but it ended up being a venting session. He just sometimes needs to meet and talk out loud to us which I am happy to do! He always has some funny stuff he says:) Like this time he was talking about how he taught some self defense to some other homeless people and how it is a way to control his inner peace! He is definitely a character! 

Afterwards I GOT MY REAL FIRST EVER MEMBER FEED! This was amazing! It is a part member family named the G’s! The wife is a member but her Husband isn’t… but he is soooo smooth! He actually built a yacht and spent 10 years sailing around the world. 

Mr. G and I quickly found we have a lot in common... we love nice cars!

They also converted a HUGE Pub into their house! Man it was awesome. After dinner the husband and I started talking about cars, and he said, "I actually have a car museum down the road if you want to check it out!" It was just an awesome night at their house! Even though I love doing missionary work in the city, tonight made me excited to be in a family ward whenever that might be :)

Check out Mr. G's sweet ride in the middle of his personal museum. 

Saturday (12.20.14):
I had my 4th Baptism today… it was so great:) I love baptisms. When I baptized N, she just started laughing when she came out of the water. You could really tell she was feeling the joy the spirit brings, big time :) The baptism kept us busy for most of the day! 

N's Baptism. What a wonderful day for all of us.

However, I did find time to drop into a Catholic Book store and buy an Apocrypha to start reading. I’ve been asked about it while GQing and I want to be able to answer intelligently. But, the look on the nun’s face at the counter, when I walked up with my Name Badge on, was PRICELESS. 

Sunday (12.21.14):
We had a nice sacrament meeting today. But I also realized no matter how many of our contacts actually make it to church, as long as we are obedient and truly trying our best that is all God expects of us! 

All in all an awesome week!

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