On schedule for Preparation Day today was lots of great visiting. Elder Rolfe is being transferred from Cranbourne to Wangratta so we went on the goodbye tour for him.
Elder Rolfe's farewell tour...
... No farewell tour is complete without pizza and a farewell hymn. :)
.We are blessed to have some amazing people in this area and it is hard for missionaries to leave! We visited Monica, the Teremates, and then we went to President Valdes’ (he is our Stake President) home and after that we finished up at the Mulipolas:) It was an awesome night! I especially loved just spending time with all these great families in their homes. Earlier in the day we helped some elders clean their flats and then I helped Elder Rolfe pack up his stuff to leave on Tuesday.
This was our very first time doing Transfers the new way the Missionary Department wants us to. We don’t have a centralized transfer meeting anymore and the zone leaders handle it all within their own zone. It was an interesting experience for this first time, but I know it will get smoother the more we work on it. This first time though, all through the weekend I felt like I was a travel agent responsible for getting lots of people where they need to travel to…….ha ha! First of all, we had to get all of the Elders and Sisters that were being transferred to their new area and then we had to find out how our NEW Elders and Sisters were going to get into their new areas in the zone. So, we basically just traveled around and shuttled missionaries ALL DAY LONG! It made it a little more complicated this time because my companion, Elder Rolfe, was being transferred up to the Bush (Australian Outback) so that added a bit of complication and a very long drive. We started off the day picking up some Elders in Pakenham and then driving them to Frankston to pick up another Elder and then we made our way to a place called Hastings and then we went to the mission office to drop off another Elder and then made the long drive back to the half way point to pick up Elder Johnson and drop off Elder Rolfe. At the end of the day I added up our mileage and we ended up driving about 500 K's! So it turned out to be a big road trip day. But it was really great because I was able to spend some really good time getting to know my new companion, Elder Kim. I will be training him to be a zone leader and he is a really great Elder. He is from Korea and he is super humble. He is learning English and I will help him with that but I know I will learn a lot from him too! We have a lot of mutual respect for each other and I know we will be able to accomplish great things together this transfer. We made it home just in time to start planning for the next day!
Meet my new companion... Elder Kim from Korea.
This was one of the hottest days I have experienced on my mission. It got up to 43 degrees Celsius! (which is 111 degrees Farenheit) However, looking back now, I know that it was just a tool for the adversary to use to try to make us give up and not work as hard. Well guess what Satan…..it didn’t work!!! We were blessed to see a lot of miracles on this very hot day! Even though it was such a hot day, Elder Kim and I decided to let the Spirit totally guide us and that way we could make sure we were doing the RIGHT thing and what Heavenly Father wanted us to do. To start the day, we began tracting on a street that we knew a Less Active member lived on. We tracted and worked for about 2 hours and we weren’t able to contact anyone. We had NOTHING after two super, sweaty hot hours! The only person who answered their door was a real joker who said, “Hi, are you the two guys I ordered from the agency?” Elder Kim was confused and looked at me and asked, "What did he say?" I was like, “Ehhh ,don’t worry about it. Just a guy trying to be funny….haha I guess that is one of the perks of being a language missionary…..some of the rude things people say just go right over your head!
Then we went to the next street we had planned to go to and we followed up with a lady named Michelle. She was happy to see us but as we talked I knew I needed to bear my testimony of how valuable going to Sunday School is for children and testify to her about the Restoration of the Church. When I was finished bearing testimony, she told me, "I know that it is really hot out here but you came to me at the right time, and at the right place to share the right message. I am someone who needs to reconnect with God." I was shocked and it was a MIRACLE!!! :) I knew that the Lord was really just testing our patience and obedience on this very hot day. By now it was 43 C (111 F) and we still had had another street to tract. BUT we were able to find an Iranian lady named Leyla that seemed quite interested in what we had to share. We invited her to come to church and she said that she would ask her husband. The Lord really did bless us all day long and we were especially blessed to go to the Teremate’s home for dinner. They are an amazing family who take such good care of the missionaries. Their home has such a wonderful spirit, it is a haven for us and we love to be there with them. After dinner we met with Hayes and taught him a great lesson. He is learning so much and doing really well. We are just going to keep teaching him even if it goes slowly. It was a hot but amazing day that was filled with great experiences:)
Our day started out by rushing to Maccas (Aussie for McDonalds) to get breakfast for the new Cranbourne Sister missionaries. They called us first thing in the morning and asked us where the store was because they didn’t have anything for breakfast! I was crushed that I had messed up and didn’t check their flat to make sure they had food after they moved in! You can be sure I won’t ever make that mistake again! Then it was off to our DLC (District Leadership Council meeting). It was a great DLC meeting because we really have great District Leaders now in the Gippsland Zone. Elder Johnson will be great up in Sale because I know if anything happens up there we will hear about it from him because of my great relationship with him. It was truly an answer to prayer having him transferred down there:)
After that the time had come for Weekly Planning! I have to be honest……Thursdays are really my least favorite days because we have to stay inside until we get our planning finished. BUT I know that it all works out in the end. After planning, we were able to go to visit an investigator named Matt and teach him about the Restoration. It was great because his son, Matti and his friend Seth were both there to listen to the lesson as well. The kids really seemed to enjoy the lesson, they even got a little more into it than their Dad. We invited Matt to be baptized but he told us that he isn’t prepared to make that decision yet. But his son said that he wanted to go to church and get baptized! The only problem is that he has to ask his mom who is not religious at all. However, as I have learned many times on my mission….. this is the bonus of being on the Lord’s side!! If it is something the Lord wants and the timing is right it will happen. After that, we went over to the Clarkes for a dinner appointment. They are a really awesome family and they really love us! They told us we are welcome to come over anytime! Then we were able to go teach some great investigators, Monique and Yvette. Except before the lesson, Yvette pulled me aside and said that until she is ready to come to church and participate fully she doesn’t want her kids to be baptized. It made me so sad to hear this because the kids are so ready and really want to be baptized! We taught them the Restoration lesson and they are so prepared. They have studied and they know EVERYTHING!!! Aaghhhhh! But I know the Lord will help! I am just really glad that their mother told us how she was feeling because now we know that we just have to keep strengthening her testimony:) I know that it will all work out!
Today we had another district meeting and we headed up to Pakenham once again! It was an awesome meeting because they have a great district. Following the district meeting we went and did service for a neighbor of one of the member’s in our ward in Cranbourne. She is in her 70's and it was really great to help her. It was hot again and so doing hard work like mowing lawns and weeding and stuff can be hard. But today I didn’t mind because she really need the help and it was nice to show her that we truly want to serve and help people. It helped her to see the church in a good light and that was nice. We were there for a little longer than I had planned but I just kept seeing other ½ finished projects and I knew we just couldn’t leave until we got her in good shape and I really wanted to just help her finish everything. She was really appreciative and she even accepted a Book of Mormon. It took most of the afternoon but it was worth it and it meant a lot to her. We finished the night off at the Bishop’s house and he was really impressed at the work we had done in the area. It is nice because he has really come to trust the missionaries and he really likes me! He is awesome and I am so glad that we are able to have a really great relationship with him and his family.
Give service... be Happy!
This day was another day of INTENSE miracles:) It all started when Iain and Suzie rescheduled their appointment to around 12:30 pm. It was unusual for them to change their lesson time to the afternoon but it just shows HOW MUCH the Lord is in this work and he will arrange things so that other things can be accomplished. We had a good lesson with them and then right after the lesson a guy named Mick called me. He was originally a referral from a member and that is usually a good thing but when we went to his house for the first time two weeks ago, he just yelled at us and slammed the door on us. But I had a prompting to leave a pamphlet with our phone number at the door and BAM! he called us today (2 weeks later) to say he was sorry for how he reacted to us and ask if there was a time when we really could meet! It was truly amazing! And if that was not good enough... We went to Leyla’s house (She is the Persian woman that we met on Wednesday) and this time her husband was home and we were able to sit down and teach a VERY POWERFUL lesson on the Restoration to both of them! The spirit was so strong and they both KNOW that what we taught them was true:) We also were able to set both of them on a baptismal date for February 13th! Wow! The miracle of being diligent and being led by the Spirit on a hot day was really a blessing!
Ginger beer float... cool, refreshing and always Word of Wisdom approved!
Church started at 9:00 am and by 9:05 am none of the people we had invited had made it to church. Agghh! I felt sooo sad but I KNEW that Heavenly father wanted them at church. I was determined not to lose hope and by about 9:15 am, five people we had invited to come to church were there! We had Monique, Jordan, Brother Young, Leesa and LEYLA!!! We were so happy she came and she LOVED it!!!! I was also blessed to be asked to speak in church so it was a great way to see that the Bishopric trusts the missionaries. After the church meetings we had to go around picking up a couple things and then we were able to give a blessing and then we went to our Lunch/Dinner appointment. It was a little earlier than normal because the Stake President wanted to get all the missionaries together for a Devotional! So we picked up some of the Elders and Sister missionaries but it all worked out! The devotional was very good and it was great to be with some of the Gippsland Zone missionaries and the Stake President! :)
Visiting with Stake President Valdes and his family.