Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Week of Miracles!

Monday (2.15.16)
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!"

Tuesday (2.16.16)
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! 

Wednesday (2.17.16)
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.

Thursday (2.18.16)
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!

Friday (2.19.16)
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 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!!!!

Saturday (2.20.16)
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! :) 

Sunday: (2.21.16)
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!!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

I LOVE Being a Missionary!!!

Monday (2.8.16)
We had scheduled a meeting with a potential investigator at the chapel but we had to reschedule the appointment because he and his wife were stuck in super heavy traffic coming back from the hospital in the city.  However, when this happened I KNEW the Lord was at work with something else! Because of the cancelled appointment we were able to give a blessing to a member that was in need because of an infection she had from an operation. And if that was not amazing enough we were able to go to the Havili’s home and share, "Hope of Gods Light" with them! The Spirit was very strong and it is helping them gain more strength to learn more about the gospel! :) We also were able to receive two more referrals from them and we are going to see how we can best help their friends enjoy the blessings of the Gospel as well! They are such an amazing family, I love to spend time with them!!! GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!!!!  

Tuesday (2.9.16)
We made the long journey up into Sale in the morning to go on an exchange! I was happy to go on splits with Elder Motuapuaka again! He is a great missionary and I always have a wonderful time when I am with him! 

Elder Kim's Korean crackers were calling our names. So Elder M and I decided to give them a try.... shrimp crackers are definitely an acquired taste!

When we chatted with Elder M and his companion about how Elder Kim and I could best help them they shared with us that they are really in need of finding new investigators in their area.

Riding the range, looking for souls to save.

So before we met up with them I was sure to put it to the Lord with Fasting and Prayer! To start the day off, we went out to a street that I had told Elder M to pick the night before and we TALKED TO EVERYONE!!!! The first person we talked to was a new Christian who wanted to know more about the gospel, The second was a lady who was initially not interested but after chatting with her more about her personal life she became interested in the message of Jesus Christ we were sharing. She has now become another new contact for Elder M and his companion!!! Then we met a man named Mark just a few houses down and we were able to talk and bear solid testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel and we extended a baptismal date with him for the 19th of March! He told us when he knows it is true he will be baptized! WOW!!! 

We knew Heavenly Father had blessed us so much and we were very grateful but we wanted to keep going. So we went and knocked on just a couple more doors and we were led to Veronica, Dylan and Paul. A mother, a nephew, and a son!!!! We were able to teach and testify of the Book of Mormon and give them a greater understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and ALSO through the blessings of the Lord we set baptismal dates for Paul and Veronica! :) It was an amazing afternoon with Elder M and it helped our faith to grow tremendously. We were also able to teach a part member family and get some more information as to why the children were not baptized! It was a great day with him and I am so grateful for it! :) We must EXPECT great things to happen and then trust in the Lord and Heavenly Father and He will grant them to us as HE sees fit!

Wednesday (2.10.16)
It was a crazy day to be honest! We did a crazy hot noodle challenge with the Elders Before the long Journey back to Cranbourne! 

Crazy hot noodle challenge... don't let my smile fool you. Notice Elder Kim over heating in the far left corner.

Looking back it was probably not the best idea! Lets just say that my stomach was ON FIRE the 2 and 1/2 hour journey back home! Haha! 

After we arrived back in Cranbourne we attended missionary correlation meeting with Brother Faiva and of course an amazing yummy lunch. 

Lunch with Brother Faiva.

There are going to be some good things happening in the Devon Meadows ward pretty soon! I can feel it! :) Elder Kim was super tired from the drive because it was his first one out to Sale. I felt bad for him because he was so tired he was falling asleep while we were talking:) Sorry for all the times I did that to you Mom and Dad! 

After we got back to Cranbourne we got permission to go to the hospital in Clayton because Brother Havili was there. It was really good to be with him and it was amazing because while we were there the Spirit directed us to someone else in the hospital who needed our help. Her name is Noel and she was going through quite a tough time... However, we were able to share the Plan of Salvation with her and it was great! She accepted a Book of Mormon and was seemed really interested! She will be a wonderful referral for some other missionaries:) Then we went to Heather’s and had a great meal and talked more about her granddaughter’s baptism. We finished up with teaching a lesson to Wai. He is doing very good! He really wants his family to hear the missionary lessons and enjoy the blessings of the gospel too but right now they are just not interested. I shared with him that I KNOW It will happen in the Lord’s time!

Thursday (2.11.16)
This was a Major Miracle Day! :) I really can feel the effect of all your prayers and fasting here in the Land Down Under!  Today during my morning studies, I had this image of a street sign flash into my mind. It was Fernisky Drive. I had NEVER been there before but I knew a member lived on the street. I told Elder Kim that no matter what we needed to be there in the afternoon. Even though our day looked a little tight in the afternoon I KNOW that the Lord needed us on Fernisky Drive in Cranbourne, Australia and of course He provided a way for it to happen.

We were scheduled to meet Yvette in the afternoon to teach the kids.  But then we got a call from her that she had to move our appointment to later that evening so I KNEW that it was time to hit Fernisky Drive!  To be honest we tracted the WHOLE street and NOTHING! But you know what?  The lack of success at the beginning didn’t even scratch the surface of my faith!  I knew we were supposed to be there so we just kept going and going until the VERY LAST HOUSE!! In that house we were blessed to meet a single mom from Chile named Karina. She had just separated from her husband of ten years and she was praying to Heavenly Father to send her some guidance and direction of what she needed to do. And then we knocked on her door!! She had previously met Elders back home in Chile and so she really was able to take it as a sign to listen to our message from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and accept what we have to say. It was a miracle and a GREAT testimony builder:)

Elder Kim and I... just another day of miracles.

After that we went to our rescheduled appointment with Yvette. It was the last missionary lesson with the Mattock family.  We taught them rest of the commandments and we asked them the baptismal interview questions in front of Yvette! They passed them all with flying colors!!! They are very prepared! Even Monique said, "Mom asked me to pray about it so I did. I feel like I want to be baptized! " It was a miracle!! and you could see Yvette change! :) Elder Kim and I were feeling very happy about how things are going for the family and we were also feeling pretty hopeful that something big was coming:) As we left we challenged Yvette to pray about allowing her kids to be baptized on the 20th of February. We finished up our night by visiting the De La Cruz family to ask if they would visit Karina tomorrow afternoon.  We were overjoyed because they accepted happily! :) 

Friday (2.12.16)
This morning we were scheduled to do our weekly planning! 

Look what showed up to our weekly planning meeting... and I'm not talking about the two crazies in the background. The spider in the tupperware definitely tested our manhood.

It worked out great because after we finished we were able to go over to Yvette’s house! We were so glad we visited her because the adversary was working overtime and trying to confuse her and cloud her thoughts and feelings. She told us she was getting mixed emotions about everything and to be honest I HAD NO IDEA WHAT TO SAY!! But I trusted in the Lord and just bore my testimony to her. Elder Kim did the same. Then we sat in silence for a little while and then I found myself just talking... To be honest, I still cannot even remember what I said! My mind was just blank and the Spirit was using me as a tool to help one of the Daughters of God that He loves very much. The next thing I remember hearing is Yvette saying, “Yes, I know you are right. I know that it is the right thing and so I am going to do it! Monique needs to be baptized!!!!” I was in shock!! The Lord is truly AMAZING!!!! :)  

After that we went over to the Brown’s home and had a great meal with them. This is a different Brown family than the one I have sent you pictures of and told you about with the cute little daughter named Steele. We finished our night by visiting the De La Cruz family, They had visited Karina and got the whole story from her. It was amazing! Karina is going through A LOT at the moment but she is a fighter!!  it is really crazy how much she is going through! It is truly a miracle that we knocked on her door when we did!!  The Lord loves all of us and he is mindful of us and even when He can’t take away our trials He gives us the strength to get through them.

Saturday (2.13.16)
We had the night meeting for stake conference today and it was awesome! We were blessed to teach a less active family before the meeting and they fed us a really great meal.:) We are trying our very hardest to make progress with them! And then the miracle of the day was that Yvette called us and she said... "I have been thinking and I want Jordan to be baptized as well! My family is all coming down on the 20th and it is from God!" It was a miracle!! :) I was just soooo happy!! I testify to all of you that the blessings that come from fasting and prayer is REAL!!! Then President Maxwell called and said that tomorrow we would be getting another missionary so we will be serving in a tri-companionship for the rest of the transfer. Guess who the Elder is??? My very first companion from the MTC….Elder Eilers!!!! I think we are going to be a great group and we will be able to support and encourage each other!

Sunday (2.14.16)
We went to Stake Conference and it was amazing! I sang in the choir and it  sounded really good! The Spirit really can work miracles through music. After that we were at the mission office until about 6:30 pm for some interviews. After that we went to the Terramate's and ate a quick dinner. 

 Last Valentine's Day package from the family... feelin' the love!

We always love to be with them and feel the wonderful spirit in their home. Jordan is feeling a bit nervous about the baptism next Saturday but we are working with him and we think he will be alright as it gets closer! :) 


Sunday, February 14, 2016

18 Months in Australia!

Monday (2.1.16)
Today for P-day Elder Kim and I got our hair cut. A member in our ward did a great job converting his garage into a barbershop for us. 

Check out the clean sidewalls... and I'm not talking about the car!

We went to the Va'as for Family Home Evening! We are going to help them get their son ready to be baptized soon! This is going to be a really cool experience because they are a recently converted couple and now their son will be able to be baptized at the age of accountability! :) I just think it is amazing what the gospel is able to do in for families when it is taught and applied properly! After that, Elder Kim and I both had a feeling to go visit a man from the ward named Jason. We were able to teach him a short but very powerful lesson on the First Vision and help him remember the way he felt when he was baptized! He is a really good man and very sincere. But right now, he is just struggling with some addictions and they are starting to pull him away from church. We want to make sure he knows everyone is always welcome at church. We are all working on things to improve ourselves and the miracle of the Atonement of Jesus Christ makes up the difference for all of us when we fall short.

Tuesday (2.2.16)
We had MLC (Mission Leadership Council meeting with the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders) today and it is always great to be able to spend the day with President and Sister Maxwell and the other Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. It was great to be able to discuss and find ways to apply what we learned in the historic Missionary World Wide Broadcast we listened to last month into our mission! We had a lot to cover and it lasted a little longer than usual, we didn’t finish until about 4:30 pm. 

These are two Sisters and an Elder from my MTC group...the Sisters are finishing their mission in two weeks and will be returning home. Time flies when we are serving the Lord!!!!

Then we went to the office to pick up the supplies that our zone needed and the mail for the missionaries. I was really surprised and happy to get that AWESOME package from Coles!(A local grocery store that delivers to the mission home) I love you mom! Thanks so much! YOU ARE THE BEST!!!! I am basically set on sweets for a long time:) haha!

Mom decided to do some long distance grocery shopping for me and Elder Kim. We have lots of treats to share with our zone!!!

After that we went and taught AJ and Leyla. They are doing so good learning about the Gospel but they are still feeling a bit iffy if they are going to ready for their planned baptismal date for the 20th of February. Elder Kim and I are planning on discussing possibly moving their date back a bit so they can feel 100% ready.  We had planned on teaching them about the Plan of Salvation but the Lord had other plans.  As we started teaching them Leyla started asking some questions about the Restoration and we KNEW that learning more about the sacred Restoration of the Gospel was exactly what she needed:) They are a great family and we love working with them! We are ALWAYS able to feel the spirit so strongly when we are with them! :) Heavenly Father has some great plans for them I just know it:)

Wednesday (2.3.16)
Today was a wonderful day filled with miracles!! It was interesting because I tried everything I could to set up appointments but NO ONE could meet. So we just stuck to our back up plans and went on with the day! First, we had to do our K-Report for the mission so that took up most of the morning and after that it was time to work the plan we had made!  We went and knocked on a Samoan family’s house I had tracted into a while back and found that the teenage son named David was home! It was really a miracle and he wanted us to come in! So we went in and he was really excited that we were talking with him about Jesus Christ. We were able to find out that his grandpa runs a church back in the islands but we were able to share the Restoration of the Gospel with him! What we taught really seemed to resonate with him! He was just listening to everything we taught and we could visually see him feeling the Spirit! We committed him to be baptized on the 12th of March and he told us that he would pray about it! :) Then we went to Michelle’s to follow up with her. We were very sad to see that her “keenness” for learning about the Gospel has seemed to slip away. She told us she tried to prove to herself that the Gospel is true by researching it logically. It was really sad but it taught me a very good lesson... "When dealing with Heavenly Father and things of the Spirit, we should NEVER BE LOGICAL!!!!" So to me it was really a blessing that was incognito. :) Then we went to Ben, the man who is a Pentacostal and he was actually really good! We always have quite in depth conversations with him but we were finally able to commit him to read the Book of Mormon and he told us that when he knows the Book of Mormon is true he will be baptized! He accepted our challenge and agreed to be baptized on the 12th of March!! After that we finished up our night with our SMCM meeting with President Maxwell and our Stake President, President Valdes. 

Thursday (2.4.16)
We had a good DLC (District Leadership Council) today. DLCs in the Gippsland zone can be a bit awkward because most of the time it has to be over the phone. This is because we have a District Leader whose area is way out in the Australian Bush. It is too far for him to come into Cranbourne for every DLC. It isn’t the ideal way to have a meeting but we just don’t want to waste the Lord’s time on lots of traveling…..but it works just fine and it is all good! After DLC, we went over to see Hayes and Laz. We were happy that Laz agreed to come out with us later tonight to do some missionary work. We were able to share a short message with Hayes about the importance of following the Prophet. I know he will get baptized sometime. It really is just a matter of when. Then we went home to do about half of our weekly planning and had to jet off again to pick up Laz and go to the Mattocks! It was a great lesson with the Mattocks! The kids were asking questions and it showed Yvette that her kids are pretty serious about learning the Gospel. It was really wonderful when Monique asked her mom, "So today is February 4th. Does that mean I am supposed to be baptized in 2 days?" That really shocked Yvette! Elder Kim and were so excited to hear Monique ask her mom about baptism!  We told her that she has almost learned everything and that she would have to discuss it with her mom!  It was so wonderful that she had been thinking about her date the whole time we have been teaching her. We know it is a miracle! They are such an amazing family and and it really cool to share the Gospel with them. After we left the Mattock’s  we went tracting and finished off the night with pizza at Geoff and Lani's house! :) They are great and we were able to share another lesson that was basically just spot on with what they needed to hear. It was Helaman 5:12!!! :) 

Friday (2.5.16)
Today was just another one of those days where nothing you planned goes as planned so we say to ourselves…..”It is okay. We will resort to our back up plan and we will just tract!"

I found this mouth to mouth thing in the car when Elder Kim was choking on one of his Korean snacks... I'm just glad I didn't have to use it on him. ha ha 

Which I never really mind at all. Unfortunately today while we were tracting we just couldn’t find anyone to listen. That is okay though too…… it is all part of Heavenly Father testing us to see what we will do:) We were able to teach Yvette today and it is amazing how far she has come! When we first met her and started going to home, she would barely even come out and talk to us. It is such a miracle because now she wants her own lesson with us! :) We were able to talk about a lot of things and she was able to discuss some personal things with us.  She knows the church is true... she is just struggling with some things.  Elder Kim and I blessed to teach and testify to her about the real meaning of the Atonement. We were able to help her understand that she is just on her journey back to Heavenly Father. That is the way it is for ALL of us. We are all on this earth to grow and learn the things that we need to return back to our loving Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ.  We were also able to ask her if Monique could be baptized on the 20th of February. She said that she already knew what the answer was but that she wanted to pray about it! So that was amazing and we are really making some progress! :) That was the miracle for the day and I was more than happy to just tract the rest of the day after our wonderful lesson with Yvette.

We also went to follow up with David, the Samoan teenager, we met earlier in the week. This time his parents were home and he was scared about what they would think about his interest in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He told us to come back later but he wouldn’t really engage with us at all. We are praying that he will find the strength to tell his parents he wants to learn about the Gospel.

Saturday (2.6.16)
Today was our Zone Conference! So I knew it was going to be a great day!  President and Sister Maxwell were amazed that when they got to the chapel everything was all set up and ready to go. They both work so very hard for all the missionaries that we wanted to make sure they didn’t have to do anything with set up. They told us they are very happy with the Gippsland Zone and how it is coming along! They said this was their 4th Zone Conference so far and it was really a good one! That was really nice to hear and it made Elder Kim and I feel great! Zone Conference went until about 5:30 pm so it was a nice, long conference. 

After zone conference, we met with Iain and Suzie and taught them about Patriarchal Blessings! We are getting them ready for their interview with their Bishop so they can get their blessings. After we met with them we planned on driving to go on splits with some other missionaries. However, just as we were ready to drive out I saw an African man named Benga that I have talked to before. So we parked our car and got out to talk with him. He was at the bus station and as we were talking with him and beginning to teach him ….. his BUS CAME!! I said to myself, “WOW!  Satan wants to stop us from teaching him!” So I just hopped on the bus with him and left the car parked! Haha! Take that Satan!  He is an awesome man with great potential and he wants his family to learn from us! So after Elder Kim and I finished teaching him and got off the bus we were probably about 15 K's from our car. We walked to the Teremates and ate dinner with them. It was wonderful to be with them again and they were so nice to give us a ride back to our car. We went home then and it was an exciting night:) 

Sunday (2.7.16)
It was a great Sunday! We were supposed to have eight investigators at Sacrament Meeting... but Brother Young was the only one who could make it. Aj and Leyla’s 15 month old baby is having trouble sleeping so they were too exhausted to come. But we were blessed to see a miracle in the Samoan ward. The primary president told us there is an 11 year old girl that has been coming to church every week and she has not been baptized. So we are going to visit with her and the Bishop later this week to teach her about baptismal covenants and get her baptized! I know that as we do EVERYTHING the Lord asks us to do He will always bless us! :) It is really just so amazing! :) 

It's hard to believe... Fast Sunday #18.

Then we went to the Browns and had lunch with them. I LOVE the Brown family. It is so wonderful to be with them in their home.  After that it was time to go to stake choir practice because our stake conference is next week and we have to practice! 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Australia Day!

Monday (1.25.16)
The week was really great……I know I say that every week but it is true! EVERY week IS so great down here. We were able to visit the Brown family for FHE and dinner! I honestly love this family soooo much! They are the greatest! Elder Kim and I were able to teach them a Family Home Evening lesson and it went awesome with their cute little girls. We taught them about the importance of the Sacrament and how to be missionaries with our friends. We showed them how good it is to invite our friends to church so we can help them feel clean like we do EVERY Sunday! I am so grateful for the Savior and His atonement so we can have that sacred blessing in our lives.

Family Home Evening at the Browns! 

Tuesday (1.26.16)
Today was Australia Day and Zone interviews!  Zone interview day is always a very busy day for zone leaders. Elder Kim and I were the taxi for some of our zone members We were in and out of the station all day long. We picked up missionaries from the station so we could get them to their interviews on time and then took them back so they could get on their trains a couple of hours later. 

Zone Conference Taxi Driver... Check out the missionary photo bomber in the back.

I had a great interview with President Maxwell. I really love talking with him and learning from him. He paid me a very nice compliment on my skills as a missionary. When I am with him I just want to learn everything I can from him so I can be an even better missionary. We always spend time a good amount of time talking about the missionaries in my zone and the ways we can help them the most. Elder Kim told me President Maxwell told him, "That Elder Steele... he is solid. He is consecrated and dedicated to missionary work." Wow! That really made me feel good and fired me up to be the best missionary in the world!

We had to leave Zone Interviews a little bit early for an appointment with Heather. We were trying to schedule her granddaughter’s baptism. We finally decided to move it to the 27th of February. That will be a great day and it will make things less stressful for everyone. Then we were able to go over to the De La Cruz family for a special Australia Day South American Soup. 

Aussie Day with the De La Cruz family.

Delicious South American Soup... What a great Aussie Day Feast!

It was really awesome and then we were able to teach them about the First Vision. The spirit that resides is so powerful when we testify about the Prophet Joseph Smith’s experience. It continued to be a great night as we were able to visit with Iain and Suzie. They had some questions and wanted to talk through some things with us. We finished up the night teaching AJ and Leyla about the Restoration again. We showed them the Restoration DVD. AJ told us and when he saw the part where Joseph Smith sees God and Jesus Christ that all the hair on his body stood up and he felt something that he had never felt before. He is doing GREAT!!! :)  Elder Kim and I are blessed to see miracles every day!

Wednesday (1.27.16)
It was one of those hard days for missionaries because it was POURING all day today and we were not able to get as much done as we wanted to. I always say, “There are only great days and good days as a missionary. That is because there is good in EVERY day!” Elder Kim and I started our day with District meeting and then we went back home for Elder Kim’s language study. (He is from Korea). After language study we went to check up on some Less Actives and unfortunately they weren’t home. So we picked up Wai, a recent convert, and went to visit Sister Nicotera. That was a really good experience! We were able to have a really good visit with her. It was also valuable for Wai to feel welcomed to the ward by Sister Nicotera. Next we were blessed to be able to meet with Geoff and Lani. This is another reason why the day was good. ) They fed us a yummy dinner and we had an AMAZING lesson with them. Lani just keeps opening up more and more to us and we are really making a lot of progress, She wants to get back to church and she feels that Geoff getting his calling in the ward is the catalyst for them to make the committment!  It was a huge miracle because starting next week they signed up for us to go to their house EVERY Thursday night to teach her! We are really making some great progress with her! I remember the first time I went to her house (about 2 months ago) she didn't feel very comfortable and had a hard time coming out of her room to talk with us! The gospel is truly amazing!! :) 

Thursday (1.28.16)
We started our day with a correlation meeting with Brother Faiva, the Samoan Ward mission Leader. I honestly LOVE THIS WARD!!!! They are amazing! They have two non member families they are working with and they want us to meet with them soon as well! :) He told us they have also been visiting Sosi Seiulu, (the woman we were able to find) and they are really working hard with her to help her go to church! They are such faithful members and they will do ANYTHING for servants of the Lord! :) Then we of course had a great lunch with him!  You can NEVER go to a Samoan house without them feeding you! It is such a blessing…..they love the missionaries so much! Next, we went home and did our Weekly Planning session. This takes a great deal of time but it is very important for missionaries to plan so we don’t waste any of the Lord’s time.  After that we headed over to the Robin’s house. They are Sister Young’s parents. Brother Young is her husband and he is not a member. But we have a good plan to help him. Elder Kim and I go over to Grandma and Grandpa Robin's house one week and then we alternate the next week to Sister Young’s house so that way we can have weekly contact with Brother Young and the family! We were able to follow up with them about reading the Book of Mormon and THEY ARE DOING IT!!!! YES!! I was so happy to hear it!!  We taught them a wonderful lesson about how important it is to just simply believe that God is there and trust that He WILL let us know! :) I know this is true. He knows each one of us and loves each one of us! Then we were able to go over and teach Laz. We really like meeting with him. He is struggling to remember all the things he learned at church. So we are slowly just re-teaching him the Gospel. It is going pretty well and hopefully we will help him get the desire to come back to church.

Friday (1.29.16)
This morning started out with DLC (District Leadership Council) Following DLC we raced to our two appointments but they both were a no show. However, that was okay because we had to do our SMCM report anyways. That took a couple hours which was a bummer... but then we got a call from a member that told us to meet them at Hungry Jack's because they wanted to feed us!

Member feed at Hungry Jack and new contact.... doesn't get better than that!

That phone call is always music to a hungry missionary’s ears! We loved meeting them and while we were there we found a wonderful  Filipino/Korean family. They seemed happy to talk with us and they had met missionaries before. We were able to get their contact information so that was wonderful! Then we raced to our appointment with the Havili family and our dreams came true because they fed us too! hahaha We got fed a lot this week and it was wonderful!  We talked about staying steadfast in the gospel. Sister Havili really connected with us and we all felt the spirit really strongly. Tears flowed freely for all of us as the Spirit filled the room. Sometimes it is hard to be steadfast and Satan tempts us but it is sooooo worth it! We are excited to help them and they invited us to come over weekly so that is great!  We are excited to help them on their journey in the Gospel!:) To finish the night we raced to AJ and Leyla’s and had an amazing lesson with them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Leyla was worried she might not be prepared to be baptized but it is amazing how the Spirit can resolve any of our concerns. After the lesson, AJ needed some help push starting his manual transmission van. It was sooo heavy and we knew we couldn’t push it by ourselves. So we said a prayer with him and called upon our Father in Heaven for help. Shortly after we finished our prayer, a random guy showed up and pushed it with us!  After we got the van moving that guy just left and disappeared. It was a miracle and it really grew AJ's testimony of prayer.:) 

Saturday (1.30.16)
It was an amazing morning!  Sister Goodall was endowed at the Melbourne Temple and we were blessed to be able to go with her:):) It was so amazing to share that experience with her and see her take this very important step! :) I was so thankful that I was able to go! 

I love this lady... Sister Goodall!

So Happy to see members from the City Branch.

To make matters even more miraculous, the recent converts from the Doncaster ward (my last area before Cranbourne) were at the temple that morning as well! It was a wonderful surprise to be at the temple the same day as Bee and John! It was soooo amazing being able to see them again! Another miracle happened that day also. It was a really special day for John because he was baptized for his twin brother in the Temple! It was so amazing to feel his joy and see how excited he was! :) 

Bee and John were doing baptisms at the Melbourne Temple.

After that we taught Iain and Suzie again and helped teach them how the Gospel simplifies things so we can find more happiness in our lives. I testify the Gospel is the key to happiness here on earth!  Next we visited the Mattocks and taught Monique about the Ten Commandments. I am praying she will choose to be baptized soon. To finish a wonderful day,the Terremates fed us a great dinner and we went home and called it a night!

Sunday (1.31.16)
Today was amazing because so many people came to church!!! Missionaries always worry about who will come to church.  AJ and Tanaz (his daughter) and Brother Young came to church today. Also the Havili’s came and they BROUGHT A FRIEND!! It made me and Elder Kim so happy. We are so excited to work with them, They love the church and they want to share the Gospel with their nonmember friends! Then we were blessed to have lunch at the Seiuli’s. After that we went back to the church for Stake Choir practice. It is sounding great and I am excited to be part of the choir. I love to sing!