We were able to go to the Australian Gardens for P-day and just get some fresh air! It was really good just being out and walking around and having a good time! I really love both my companions, Elder Kim and Elder Eilers. We learn a lot from each other and I am grateful for them.
A little R & R (P-day) at the Australian Gardens.
The Three Amigos (Steele, Eilers, Kim).
My MTC companion Elder Eilers... Back together after 18 months.
The perfect end to a P-Day... Catching some rays!
To end our P-Day we were able to go to the Va’a ‘s home for a wonderful Family Home Evening. We talked about how we all need to HOLD TIGHT to the Iron Rod in good times but especially in bad times. Heavenly Father is there to help us with everything we are going through and He loves us and wants to bless us. I absolutely love the Va’a family and being with them in their home. It is so wonderful to be part of helping this recently converted family prepare their child for baptism. He is eight years old and it is an amazing experience:)
Now this is what I call "Holding fast to the Iron Rod!"
This morning we had a really great District meeting. Some people were surprised that we were in a tricompanionship now but Elder Kim and I helped them understand that President Maxwell is truly inspired with all his decisions and that it was something the Lord wanted and needed to happen. After District Meeting, I was able to go on an Exchange in the Pakenham area with Elder Wineera (one of our District Leaders) and also the Golden (brand new missionary) that he is training. The Golden’s name is Elder Cuenca from the Philippines. They are both great missionaries and we were all excited to be able to TRACT!! It was truly AWESOME!!
Exchanges with Elder Cuenca and Elder Wineera.
Some missionaries don’t like tracting but I love talking to people and the challenge of getting them to stop and listen for just a minute so the Spirit can take over. I LOVE finding Heavenly Father’s lost children. It was great to be able to see how others tract and see what help I can offer. It was especially nice to be able to help and give tips to a Golden missionary. It was so awesome to see Elder Cuenca listen to the tips I gave him and then to see him apply them was outstanding! I am so blessed to be able to be surrounded by such great representatives of Jesus Christ.
We had the great blessing of tracting into a lady that had a four year old who was learning a lot about Jesus at his Catholic preschool and that had started his mom looking for a church for them to go to! It was a complete miracle and so hopefully they will accept our invitation to come to our church. After that, we went over to a member’s house and I was very impressed at how both Elder Wineera and the Golden, Elder Cuenca were very time conscious. Time management is one of the hardest things to master as a missionary doing the Lord’s work. It can be a challenge to always stay on point especially with members but they did a fantastic job! They stated why they were there and when we were finished they let the member’s know they enjoyed being in their home but they had other things that they had to accomplish. Then we went to a correlation meeting and ended the night really just talking to each one individually letting them see that I really care about them and that they can trust me as a brother NOT just as their Zone Leader!
This morning started by going back down to Cranbourne to re-exchange so I could get back with my real companions and that was great! We then went to Brother and Sister Teremate’s home for some yummy lunch! They work during the night now so sometimes during the week they have us come over during the day so they can spend time with us and we can help uplift them spiritually. Then we went to go visit some Less Actives that we had prayed about and one of them answered and her husband is not a member! I was so happy that she was accepting of us and was VERY excited when she asked if we could come back! Missionaries had not been around to see her for about a year and a half!!!! It was so crazy!
After that we were able to go visit with Yvette and the Kids. They are doing SOOO good except we have run into a bit of a road block with the kid’s baptism. Yvette wants all their family there and she also really wants her dad (who is sick right now) to see the baptism as well! It is understandable, so we just told her to find a day and a time that will work and that will be the day! So now we are just praying that it will be soon.
For behold the field is white already to harvest.....
Then we went and visited Karina. She is doing great and we were able to do a bit of our beginning teaching lessons and help calm her down from some of the adversity she is experiencing. She felt the spirit very strongly. It was amazing because after I was done teaching her, she told us that it was incredible to her that I was such a young man but yet I was able to speak to her with words that were gentle and EXACTLY what she needed to hear! I know that it was ALL THE SPIRIT and I did NOTHING! We were also able to set her baptismal date for the 12th of March! We are going to do everything we can to make sure she is ready for that date and after everything we do it is all up to the Lord! It was a great experience and I thought that was going to be the end to our day, however we found out that Elder Cook (one of the missionaries in our zone) had been hospitalized due to an infection in his eye. The hospital is about an hour and 20 minutes away so at 10:30 pm we jumped in our car and got to the hospital.
This day started bright and early at 12:00 am at the hospital in Moe. After they examined Elder Cook further they determined he needed to be seen by and Eye Specialist in the Central Business District in Melbourne, which is about another hour away. So we loaded up Elder Cook and finally made it to the hospital in the city. After we got there we had to wait about 2 hours until about 3:00 am to get him processed and for the Eye Specialists to look at his eye and diagnose him with an ulcer of the iris. Poor Elder Cook was in so much pain and so miserable I felt really bad for him. After we finished with everything at the hospital we made the long drive back to Cranbourne. By the time we all finally got back to the flat it was 4:00 AM in the morning. We were so grateful that Elder Cook was able to see the doctor and get some medicine to help him. I had to set my alarm to wake up every hour with Elder Cook to put the eye drops in his eye because he was in too much pain to do it. At 6:30 am we got up and got ready for the day. I sent Elder Kim and Elder Eilers to do District Leadership Council meeting so I could stay with Elder Cook and take him to an appointment with another Eye Specialist to get some more help for him. It was a long day of appointments for Elder Cook and we got home around 7:00 PM. After that I took the other Elders to our Correlation meeting, made a quick dinner for Elder Cook and then the LONG day was over. However, I still had to get up every hour of the night with him just to make sure he was awake to take his medicine because he was still in danger of losing his eye if he missed any doses of medicine! President and Sister Maxwell called and were so kind to me. They expressed SOOO much love and gratitude to me for taking care of Elder Cook. I didn’t need any thanks……he is my mission brother and I love him. I am so grateful he is doing better!
After waking up every hour of the night again to administer Elder Cook’s medicine, Sister Maxwell called this morning and told me that a Senior Couple would be coming to pick Elder Cook up for his appointment with the Eye Specialist. She said that we had permission to take a nap while Elder Cook was at his appointment! It was so nice of them to let us sleep! We were so tired but I was still a bit worried because I had NEVER done this on a non pday before! Ha ha! it was really weird and I hope I don’t ever have to do it again.
Even though I was napping (with permission from President Maxwell),
I left my name tag on just in case...
I left my name tag on just in case...
I stayed with Elder Cook and took care of him for the rest of the day and the other Elders went out and worked! I know that the Lord will bless us so much for what we did and I was happy to help Elder Cook through this hard experience. It was also nice to get to know him a lot better and get closer to him! :) I was so bored though while I was home that I did everything I could for the area! I did the area book, called pretty much everyone in it, and updated our planning board! All I can say is I HOPE I AM NEVER STUCK IN A FLAT AGAIN!!!!
Early this morning we made the long drive up to Moe again because Elder Cook really wanted to go to his church on Sunday. We still got up every hour of the night last night but Elder Cook is definitely worth it! I just kept thinking... If he was my very own brother, Talmage, I WOULD DO IT IN A HEARTBEAT! Elder Cook is no different! He is truly my mission brother and he deserves the same service I would give to Talmy!
He aint heavy, he's my brother (in the gospel)... Elder Cook.
Anyway it was about a three hour journey round trip and we got back home in time to go and teach Iain and Suzie! It was so great to be with them and we were able to help Iain with his questions about his niece’s baptism this coming Saturday. Following our appointment with Iain and Suzie, the Vai Vais took us to an all you can eat buffet! It was my very first one in 18 months!! haha The only one I have had on my mission!!! :) haha it was super yummy! :) We finished up the night by teaching a less active part member family! They are a really great family! Their name is the Baldwin family! The husband is going to take some time and patience but Jessie, the wife, said that she would be coming to church so it is going to be great! :)
It was a great Sunday! I found out that I will not be transfering and that Elder Kim will not be either! So we will be together again! Elder Eilers will be leaving us and going to Wantirna! So it won’t be a tripanionship anymore. There are also some other changes in the area too. Elder Kim and I will we will be the only missionaries in Cranbourne now. There won’t be any more sisters in the ward and the Devon Meadows Samoan ward will be getting Samoan sisters! So it is going to be great! We were really excited because both Brother Young and Jessie came to church! That wasn’t everyone we had invited but we were happy to have them there. Those were the people the Lord really needed there!
After that we went to lunch at the Teremates. We always love to be with them and we are grateful they love to have us in their home. Then we went to the Mattocks and found out the official date for the kid’s baptism is going to be April 9th! It is a bit far away but it is now set in stone!! After that we visited Karina! She was home and is just smashed with all the dramas of the separation from her husband. After we left Karina’s we wanted to let the Seiuli’s know they had a neighbor who was investigating the church. When we go there they had a HUGE feed going! Hah! So they sat Elder Kim, Elder Eilers and me down and invited us eat with them! :) After that we worked on transfer logistics for our zone. It was a great week and we saw a lot of miracles! I love you all!!!!