P Day! After emailing the fam jam this morning, we played some basketball. After we finished our basketball game, we had to take the train into the city so that we could pick up the Man Van from the Chinese Branch! Elder Eyring needed to borrow it so that they could get all of the Chinese missionaries to and from a devotional last Sunday! It was great to see Elder Eyring again and it is ALWAYS such a special treat when we get to go back to the Chinese branch. After we picked up the van, we drove back to the mission home so we could have a small dinner with a departing sister from the mission!
Look out everybody....Elder Jensen's behind the wheel!
We started the day early with a run to the airport! This time, it was to take Sister Tripptree to the Airport. She has been waiting for her USA visa in the Australia Melbourne Mission. She is on her way to the Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission! She will be a great Temple Square missionary and have a great time in Utah!
Farewell to Sister Tripptree! Look for her at Temple Square!
Then we raced back to the mission home, after a quick pit stop for a Krispy Kreme donut, to make it back to a District Meeting that we were planning on attending! This District Meeting was being held at the Maroondah Stake center which was very convenient for our schedule. After the great District Meeting, we raced up to the Knox Shopping Center to grab some lunch! After lunch, we came back to the mission office because there were some last minute things the Maxwells wanted us to work on so we could further prepare for the Vidmar's arrival! I am truly amazed at just how much planning goes into the transition of a new mission president! And now that the day for the Vidmars to arrive is coming up so quickly it is very exciting! But here in the Australia Melbourne Mission we are all in Power Drive just trying to get all the last minute things all wrapped up!
The office staff whipped up SUPER sour lemonade....we'll be puckered up forever!
Later in the afternoon we went back to the airport to pick up an Elder who is going home. On our way back to the mission home we made a quick pit stop to KFC for dinner and we took it to the home to eat with the Maxwells. We finished the night by eating and chatting.
My last full day with the Maxwells! Today was the second day of early trips to the airport! Elder Jensen and I took two Elders who were on their way back to Tasmania to the domestic terminal while President and Sister Maxwell took Elder W to get checked in at the International terminal. After we got the Elders who were returning to Tasmania settled, we raced back just in time to say goodbye to Elder W and be with him for a short couple of minutes and snap some photos! We were all really sad to see him go! He is a great and obedient elder! I have come to know that sometimes the Lord needs some of his valiant servants back early from the mission to help in ways they otherwise might not have been able to.
Coming home from the airport there was a MASSIVE traffic jam!! It took us about two hours to travel what normally takes us 30 minutes!! The Maxwells were so kind and took me out for a Birthday Lunch on the Yarra River! It was nice to slow down and just talk and visit for one of the last times that we will be together!
The city I love, with the people I love!
My birthday lunch on the Yarra River with the Maxwells!
After we got back to the office we had to jet off to our TWO lessons! This was pretty much the highlight of the week!!! The first lesson we taught was to Rahmit! WOW he is so HUMBLE!!! He loves learning about Jesus Christ! We taught him the Restoration and he believes EVERYTHING!! He still seems good to be baptized on July 23rd! It was amazing to see that when we talked about the Savior, Rahmit’s heart hurt when he found out that Christ died for us and how the people killed him! Being a Muslim, he hadn’t ever heard about the details of Christ’s crucifixion. We had a great lesson and it was a truly a miracle we made it through the entire lesson because the only place available to teach him was in the library. Normally, when we try and teach people in the library they have recently started kicking us out. But I know the Lord knew how important this lesson was for Rahmit and He provided a way for it to happen!
Then we were off to our second lesson! It was with Mason! This was the friend that came with Javad to church last week. We were able to teach the restoration to him and it really just hit home with him! He is so eager to learn because he told us he truly felt something that he liked at church! The Spirit touched his heart!! Can I just say that we are so blessed to be part of God’s church on this earth!!! I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!! Mason really wants to follow Christ and we set a baptismal date with him for the 23rd of July also! It was so amazing to watch Mason making all of the connections in the Gospel and really understanding everything! Plus to make things 1,000 times better.... HE LIVES WITH A MEMBER!! :) WE ARE SO BLESSED!!! After the lesson with Mason, we drove back to the mission home and we did a final conference call with the Maxwells to all the missionaries! It was a wonderful call…as a mission we have been so blessed to be led by President and Sister Maxwell!
We started out today by going to the airport for the 3rd day in a row this week! However, this time it was a bit different then I had EVER done before!! This was the trip to pick up the President and Sister Vidmar! Talk about the UNKNOWN! We did our usual tradition of going to Maccas (McDonalds) in the airport with the Maxwells for the last time and then we waited!!
Wow! When I saw the Vidmars for the first time as they came through the gate... a flood of excitement washed over me and I KNEW the Lord needed them here in Melbourne Australia at this time for the next three years! I was so glad the Lord blessed me with that experience and at the opportunity I had to gain that vital testimony of their calling! We drove straight to the mission home and dropped off the Maxwells, the Vidmars and all their luggage.
Meet the wonderful President and Sister Vidmar!
After we got the Vidmars settled, Elder Jensen and I ran to the Toyota dealer to pick up Sister Vidmar’s car. They were just putting the finishing touches on getting it detailed. We wanted to make sure the car was in tip top shape for Sister Vidmar! After we picked up her car we went back to Dandenong to pick up some things for the Maxwells and we rushed back so we could spend a few more minutes with them. It was the dinner with all the Stake Presidents and the Maxwells and the Vidmars tonight so Elder Jensen and I stayed at the office working on some pictures to give to the Maxwells before they left. All of a sudden the Maxwells returned from their dinner and it was time to say goodbye. This was really touching but it was a VERY hard time. There were lots of tears, lots of laughs and finally even more tears! We have all bonded so closely together! I love the Maxwells! They really are my second parents! I am so grateful for the opportunity I had that in the evening after we said goodbye to reflect on all the wonderful times I was blessed to spend with them and everything I was able to learn from them!
Friday (7.1.16) Happy 20th Birthday Tag!
This was a different type of Birthday for me this year but I was so happy to spend it with all the missionaries! We did both of our “Meet the President Meetings” today. We started with the East side in the morning. Let me just say, “The VIDMARS ARE AMAZING!!!!” They remind me a lot of my mom and dad. It is so strange! President Vidmar is a smaller sized version of my Dad! After we finished the East side meeting, we hustled out the door for the West side “Meet the President” Meeting. They both went extremely well and everyone loved the Vidmars! The last one got over around 4:00 pm and then the Vidmars surprised me by taking me into the city for my birthday to eat at one of my favorite restaurants…..Stalactites!
The best birthday dinner in all of Melbourne!
After a great birthday celebration, the night got pretty crazy. As we were driving home from dinner at about 7:30 pm, President Vidmar got a call that one of our missionary’s Father had just passed away. We were all so sad for our dear missionary and his family. We drove straight to his flat so we could tell him. It was such a heart wrenching experience to be with him as he grieved. I am so grateful for the knowledge we have that Families truly are Forever. I know Elder S will see his father again. I have spent the last 23 months of my life teaching the Plan of Salvation to people and it was so comforting to all of us as we talked and cried with him. We packed him up and took him back to the mission home to sleep over with Elder Jensen and me.
Today was all about getting the Vidmars adjusted! We spent a good deal of our time planning with them for their first MLC (Mission Leadership Council…where the APs, Mission President and Sister Vidmar, the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders have a meeting to discuss ways to help the mission), getting them situated at the mission home and getting thier phones up to date with all the contacts and all those administrative things we had already planned for but now it was time to just do them!
Don't let our kicked back posture deceive you...we are HARD at work getting President and Sister Vidmar's phones set up!
Elder Jensen and I went to dinner again with the Vidmars and then we took them to the store. They are a bit scared to drive but everyone is worried the first time they get into a car with the steering wheel on the wrong side! We don’t mind being their chauffeurs for as long as they need us. I love being with the Vidmars! They are so energetic and they are both so full of faith! They are truly amazing and I know I am blessed to be able to spend so much time with them!
It was a great day today! We had some great church meetings today! Sadly, Rahmit was unable to make it to church but Mason came and he loved it! He is really looking good for joining the church on July 23rd! We really wanted to teach him today but he was too busy to meet so I committed him to watch the Prophet of the Restoration DVD. He is so amazing! This is the text I received from Mason later on that evening, “Hello brother, I was crying tonight and I have an amazing feeling and I believe Joseph. thanks for Beautiful movie. I hope Jesus save your life!" This was a great text that we received from him and it made us so excited for what the future holds for him!