Sunday, March 27, 2016

The First Week of a Whole New Experience.....Life as an AP

Monday (3.14.16)
Most of the day I was packing to move to the AP flat in Dandenong. It was a good chance for me to sort through my things and figure out what I was going to leave for other missionaries and what I was going to keep and take with me.  The highlight of the day was when Iain took us to a golf driving range! I was finally able to hit a golf ball properly and dang it felt really really, really good! :) 

Golfing in the land down under... I think I've still got it!
Then we were able to go visit some families so I could say goodbye. I wish there would have been time to see every single family before I left but we only had time to go to a few. We started with the VaiVai family and then we went to the Uini family and our last stop was the Browns. It was hard to say goodbye to these people that I love so much but I know I will be able to see them again before I go back home to the 801. I have truly loved every minute I have spent in Cranbourne. A piece of my heart will always be there.

Tuesday (3.15.16)
Today was a wonderful day because we had the privilege of going to the Temple with the missionaries who were going to be departing tomorrow and President and Sister Maxwell. It was an awesome experience being in the temple with all the wonderful missionaries and I always feel so peaceful and happy when I am blessed to be in the House of the Lord.  
Missionaries leaving for home.

After the temple session we drove to the AP's flat to drop off my stuff and the drove back and waited for our Train the Leaders meeting to start. 

Meet my new companion: Elder Eyring!

I was asked on the spot to give a training about Companionship Exchanges. Following our training we had to get things organized with the departing missionaries to make sure they AND all of their things were ready to go home the next day. Next we went to what is called the Departing Missionary dinner. It is a really wonderful event where President and Sister Maxwell, the APs and all the missionaries that are leaving have dinner together. The evening ends with a testimony meeting. It was an incredible night and it lasted until about 10:20 pm so it was a bit of a late night.

Wednesday (3.16.16)
This was airport day for the departing missionaries! We had to wake up extra early to start all of our journeys to the airport. We started at the mission office at about 6:30 in the morning to drop off Elder Nillson (he is a missionary who is on his way to Tasmania) Next, it was Elder Su’s turn. He is going home to main land China!  I love the Chinese missionaries, the faith and courage they have is incredible!  

Uber, missionary cabbies... ha ha ha 

While we were waiting for Elder Su’s flight to leave we picked up a new sister who was coming into our mission from Tahiti. Once we picked up the new sister we had a little bit of time to wait at the airport so I decided to make the most of it!

I was just walking around GQing (golden questioning….asking people if they wanted to hear a message about Jesus Christ) and talking to whoever I could. I loved GQing again and it was wonderful because I was able to meet a family who was visiting Melbourne from Jerusalem. They were very interested in learning more about the Gospel because they know about the BYU Jerusalem Center. They live very close to it and they told me they like to go walking there on Sundays. After I GQed for a bit it was time to send Elder Long off to his home to America.

After that we were able to meet up with the former Elder Bennallack for lunch. He is from Australia and he was the transition AP when President and Sister Maxwell came into the mission three years ago. I have been called to be the transition AP for the Vidmars. It was a really great meeting and he will be a really great resource for me as I prepare for the time when the Maxwells leave and the Vidmars arrive in July 2016.  

Elder Eyring (my companion) Sister Maxwell, Elder Bennallack and his wife, 
and President Maxwell at the Airport.

Next, we had to race back to the mission office for our Golden Review (the new missionaries are called Goldens (not greenies) in the Australia Melbourne mission. After they have been in the mission for about six weeks they all meet back at the mission office for a conference to talk about their experience and we see if there are additional ways we can help them as new missionaries.)

It was really great to be with the missionaries and I especially loved being able to meet some of the newer missionaries! Then we went to the mission home and we waited till about 7:30 pm when we had to go BACK to the Airport to drop off Sister Wang to go to her home in Taiwan. Her flight left around 11:10 pm so we got home fairly late again:) We ended up going back to eat dinner at the exact same place in the airport as we did for our lunch meeting with Elder Bennallack. I have noticed that we are going to be eating a lot of our meals with the Maxwells which is AWESOME!! It is such a special pleasure to be with them. I love every single minute I get to spend listening to them and learning from them!

Round two for dinner at the airport with the Maxwells.

Thursday (3.17.16)
Today was a very wonderful day! We were able to go to the Temple sealing of an Elder’s family here in the mission. Elder Lan has just finished his mission and his family from China came here to pick him up so they could be sealed in the temple. It was a great opportunity to see this family be sealed for eternity by the power of the Holy Priesthood and see how much it meant to them. I felt so honored to witness the joy and comfort they felt as a family in the Lord's Holy Temple. Then we had a little luncheon and we went back to work in the office till around 4:00 pm. We needed to run President and Sister Maxwell back to the Airport so they could fly to Tasmania for some interviews. By the time we got back from the airport it was about 7:30 pm and then we went back to do some more work at the mission office!

Friday (3.18.16)
We were able to go out and do missionary work today! The only bad thing was it wasn’t in our area of Dandenong. But it was all good because we went on an exchange with the Heidleburg Zone Leaders back in the city! But first, we had to take a stop at my very favorite Slovakia place:) 

Lunch with the Heidleburg Zone Leaders...
you've got to love those stalactites (Slovakian style subway sandwiches).

Then it was all about GQing!! Following our exchange we had to go to the Airport again to pick up President and Sister Maxwell and then they took us out to dinner to talk a bit more about what happened in Tasmania and what more we can be doing as APs to help the missionaries. We finished up the night doing a bit of planning for some upcoming Zone Interviews.

Saturday (3.19.16)
We started the morning out by meeting with President Maxwell. The meeting consisted of talking about possible transfer changes for some missionaries and discussing what else we need to put on our agendas to talk about at interviews. We had a very yummy lunch prepared by Sister Maxwell! She is so wonderful and she takes such good care of the missionaries! 

One of the sisters who works in the office was having a birthday so we helped her celebrate.....

......This was the screen saver we left on her computer (check out the computer screen in the picture above). This screen saver would make me happy :)

Later Elder Eyring and I went to our Dandenong Ward Pot Luck and it was AWESOME being back in the ward! I haven’t been back there since I was transferred back to city last May. It was so wonderful seeing all the people I grew to love during the amazing time I served there with Elder Gines. After the pot luck we met with Aaron Edwards and we were able to teach him a lesson. It was so nice to meet up with him again. I first taught him when I was in Dandenong in May and he still seems really good! He wants to be baptized but he wants to wait for his wife to be baptized with him! So now we know we are going to change our focus and help get his wife ready for baptism so they can both have the blessings of  he Gospel! We finished the night with a baptism in the Deer Park Zone with President and Sister Maxwell! It was really great and one our goals as APs is to try to support our Elders and Sisters more!

Sunday (3.20.16)
We had church and it was absolutely GREAT!!! I loved being able back in the Dandenong ward that I loved so much before. There were lots of people that told us and they were really excited to have Elder Eyring and I come to their home! I love Dandenong!! :) After church we went back into the mission office so Elder Eyring and I could prepare some trainings and brainstorm ways we can motivate the missionaries to hit some of the goals for our mission!! Then we went to the Lavakas for dinner and it was time to call it a night!!

I have learned after my first week as an AP (Assistant to the President)… as an assistant is pretty different and we are busy with lots of things other than traditional missionary work but it is AMAZING being with President and Sister Maxwell so much and learning from their outstanding examples!!

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