Monday, April 25, 2016

General Conference and a Miracle!

Monday (4.4.16)
We went to our weekly office staff meeting and then after that we were able to play some tennis for a couple hours with the Dandenong Zone Leaders and Reuel! After our tennis matches we were scheduled to meet with President Maxwell but he got a bit busy with some other matters so we changed our plans and went to Brother Kumarasamys house.  It was such a great blessing to us that our plans changed because he went took us to visit his friend Denotion! Denotion is now investigating the church and he is also living with a member of the church. He really showed interest in coming to church and learning about the gospel! It really helped me gain a testimony of how important members are to missionary work. I have seen it time and time again…..when members and missionaries unite it is a truly a blessing. I guess you could call it a freight train STRAIGHT to the waters of baptism! I am so very grateful for all the members of the church who are willing to help missionaries do the work of the Lord.

Tuesday (4.5.16)
Today was a VERY long day but a very great day! We started the day early with a wonderful trip to the temple with some of the missionaries who are going to be departing soon. The temple is going to be closing soon for annual cleaning and maintenance so we are trying to make sure everyone has a chance to go before they leave to go home. 

A wonderful day at the temple!

It was so nice to be inside the House of the Lord again. It made me think back to when I was first endowed before I left on my mission. I reflected back to when we were all in the celestial room as a family. Everyone that I loved was there with the exception of Talmage. However, this time I was blessed to be in the temple with my mission family! My perspective has really changed now that I am able to look at the mission on a much broader level! It is a real blessing to me being able to have a different view of my mission. After our wonderful time at the temple it was off to Maroondah Zone Interviews all day! I LOVED serving in the Maroondah zone and I was super excited to go back. We started around 11:00 am and didn’t finish till about 8:00 pm so it was a bit of a long day! After we finished with interviews, Elder Eyring, the Maxwells and I went back to the Mission Home to talk about the day while we ate some dinner together.

Wednesday (4.6.16)
Today we were up bright and early to get to the Heidelberg Zone Interviews! The last two days were a great blessing to me. It was so wonderful returning to two zones where I served as zone leader back to back! Heidelberg is a great place and there are great missionaries in this zone! 

Some of the missionaries I love so much!

The schedule for the interviews today would have gone long as well but President Maxwell had another appointment so we finished by about 4:30 pm. It was a great day because Elder Eyring and I truly love being with the missionaries and trying to boost their spirits by helping them recognize how much the Lord is involved in the details of HIS work……..missionary work!!! Because time was short, we ended up going to President Maxwell’s appointment with him. After we finished with his appointment we all went out to dinner. We went to a really great restaurant called the Eating House and it was really good! I love going places with the Maxwells because it really does feel like the little Steele family is back together again and we go to the same kind of restaurants here in Australia that we go to back home.

Thursday (4.7.16)
Today was a really good day but it ended up being really long.  We drove to the other side of the city to Wyndham Zone to do interviews! I had never been to this zone before so it was a first for me! It was really great because you know me…….I love to see new things!  The awesome thing is that the Wyndham Zone is basically just the same as all the other zones in the wonderful Australia Melbourne mission…… there is a GREAT feeling here and I knew that there are people that live here that NEED the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives.

We were able to talk and role play some lessons on how to teach with all the missionaries while they are waiting for their interviews with President Maxwell. It was really uplifting to see them practice and then makes changes based on the feedback that Elder Eyring and I gave them after their first time! With some of the missionaries we saw that when they did their second set of role plays that the Spirit witnessed to them very strongly that this was how they were SUPPOSED to be teaching! I love how with missionary work the missionary is NOTHING!!! It is all based upon the Spirit! I have found if the Spirit is not present we might as well not be there either! 

I have come to learn the challenge in life is to find ways that we can "Always have His Spirit to be with us" It is our life journey and I know that is why we hear it EVERY Sunday when we partake of the sacrament. Then after we drove the Maxwells home, we went to pick up an Elder that was going home. We drove to pick him up and take his companion to his new area! Then all three of us made our journey back to the mission home around 10:00 pm and we all slept there for the night! I love sleeping at the mission home! It is so warm, comfortable and homey!

A sleepover at the mission home! 

Friday (4.8.16)
We started the day by going to the airport to drop off Elder Kuo. He is on his way back to Taiwan. I will miss him a lot but I know he will be in good hands back in his branch in Taiwan. 

Goodbye to Elder Kuo at the airport. I love him and I will miss him!

After that we were off to Narre Warren Zone interviews! It was really good to be with my own Zone today. I feel bad that this is the first time I have been with my very own Zone the whole time I have been an AP. There are really great missionaries in the Narre Warren Zone and it was an awesome day! We finished about 5:00 pm and went straight to a lesson we had scheduled with the Danielson family. I love being able spend time with families! Elder Eyring and I really love the Danielson’s. They are a great family and we are really close to them. We were able to give the dad, Brother Danielson, a blessing tonight. It was an honor to give him a priesthood blessing and I was so grateful that he trusted us enough to ask us for a blessing. After meeting with the Danielson's, we finished up our night by going back to the mission home and discussing some possible transfer moves and what we can do for our upcoming MLC (Mission Leadership Council – a monthly meeting with the Mission President and his wife, Assistants to the President, Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders.)

Saturday (4.9.16)
Today was the day all of Australia gets to listen to the Saturday session of General Conference! It was weird to think this was the last conference on my mission. Today turned out to be a very crazy day with a HUGE miracle!!!  Elder Eyring and I went to watch conference at the Maroondah chapel with President and Sister Maxwell. However, before we left the flat as I was backing Elder Eyring out of the driveway, (one missionary always stands outside the vehicle and guides the missionary doing the driving when they put the vehicle in reverse and back out) I noticed that my scripture case and Elder Eyring’s bag were no longer in the boot (trunk) of the van.. SO we stopped the car and we went and looked in the boot... NOTHING... Looked in the flat... NOTHING.  Sadly, we came to the conclusion that they had been stolen the night before from our van. To be honest I was GUTTED!!! My scripture case had my missionary scriptures in it, one of my study notebooks that I have used since January, AND the PREACH MY GOSPEL manual I have used my whole mission!

I remember just sitting in the car as we drove to the mission home in unbelief!!! In a split second my most VALUABLE and SACRED possessions were now gone.  I was so thankful for all the talks in the three sessions of conference! I knew Heavenly Father was aware of my sorrow and the talks in conference were so wonderful and helped me to feel a little bit better but it didn’t take away all my sadness over losing my precious scriptures. President Maxwell was really kind and he gave Elder Eyring and I two journals that we could use to take notes in during conference.

However, Elder Eyring and I weren’t ready to give up just yet. On Saturday night, after the Priesthood Session of conference we decided to go out on a hunt! We said some prayers for guidance and we walked all the way down our street and the next busiest street checking EVERY dumpster and rubbish bin on the street and we found NOTHING!! It wasn’t until we went back to our street as we were walking back to our flat that we saw my scripture case and Elder Eyring’s bag way in the back on the top of this mailbox thing! We were overjoyed when we say them….it was a true miracle!  However, when we opened them we found that NOTHING was inside either of them.

So we took them back to the flat and we said another prayer! We knew that if Heavenly Father wanted us to have them we would get them back! So we went back to where we found our bags and we started tearing up up the dumpster! And BAM we FOUND EVERYTHING!! Sure they all got a bit stinky and sticky but we did not care at all!!! Heavenly Father is amazing and He always provides a way! We came to the conclusion the van was unlocked that night and a druggie or someone not very well off came and looked in the van and thought our bags were computers and things of material value, then when they saw what was inside them they dumped them and went on to the other cars!! Little did they know that what they so carelessly threw away was worth more than anything they could imagine. I testify the Lord protects and provides for His missionaries.

 A dumpster miracle!!!!!

Sunday (4.10.16)
It was another great day of General Conference but it was a sad day for me as well...It was all over! I had just finished the last Conference on my mission. I got so much out of both days of conference and it was just super amazing! When conference was over we went to the mission office to do some work to prepare a bit for our upcoming MLC (Mission Leadership Council). When we finished at the office we drove to Footscray to interview two missionaries that had missed their interview due to the tight time schedule when we were in the Heidelberg Zone on Wednesday.

I am learning so much from the Maxwells and it is truly amazing to be with them almost every day! I am just trying to be a sponge and just soak in EVERYTHING that is coming my way as a representative of Jesus Christ! I feel so blessed to have this opportunity!

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