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! 

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