Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Hi everyone! Sorry, not too much to email about today, it's quite a busy day for us! But this is probably going to be my last email to all of you from Australia, so I just wanted to take this time to say thank you!
To everyone back home, I want to say thanks for helping to get me out here on a mission, and for supporting me while I've been out here!
To those that I met in the MTC or on the mission, also want to thank you for helping me have an awesome 2 years, and for all that you've done for me! Whether it's helping me learn and grow as a missionary from what you've taught or your example, or the members who have fed us, taken care of us, and helped us to feel welcome when we were serving in your ward.
And last but not least, thanks to my family for making this all possible for me, and for their constant support, encouragement, and example throughout this time.
I'll be flying home this Tuesday, and for those that want to keep in contact, add me on facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love you all, thanks for everything!
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
We got to see some cool miracles this past week. The first one was when the mission set a goal to set 44 baptismal dates this past Saturday! My companion and I were determined to be a part of it and set a baptismal date with some people! We had some great plans set for the day, and a lot of the people that we thought we'd probably have the most success with, we were seeing in the morning and right after lunch. So we went out and got to work on Saturday. One by one, each visit fell through. Many of the people were home, but were just ignoring us, which was pretty disappointing. Eventually it was the afternoon, we were behind schedule on our plans, and we hadn't even been let inside a single house yet. Even door knocking wasn't going as well as it usually did. Next on the list was an investigator that we hadn't seen in a while, but that my companion had felt inspired to visit that morning. So we went and visited him, and he ended up letting us in! We had a great conversion with him and baptism was brought up - he said that it was something that he wanted for his kids, and for himself! So we set a date with him, giving him about 2 months to prepare for it. At the end of the mission, as a mission, we set ... I think 54 baptismal dates!
Oh and we also mowed a lawn this past week. We had mowed it a couple months ago. Last time, this lawn was like a forest - it took two different visits to completely mow all the grass, and destroy all those weeds. Recently, we got a text saying that this person had an inspection coming up, and wanted us to mow her lawn again... and we had a feeling that now mowing had been done since we last came, which meant it probably all grew back. So this time, we got another set of elders to come, and a member. We had 2 lawn mowers, 2 whipper snippers/weed wackers, and 1 ... lawn mower/whipper snipper combination, I like to call it the weed destroyer. All 5 of us went to work and absolutely destroyed that lawn! What took probably around 5 hours last time took 45 minutes this time! We weren't taking any chances and under-estimating the project again. Afterwards, hit up McDonalds and rejoiced in our success. D&C 4: "Now behold, the field is ... overgrown ... past to harvest. And harvest we did."
Sorry, door knocking was more bland than usual, so no cool experiences to share this time around.
Well, thanks everyone for your love and support!
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
So usually I write down what I plan on emailing about in my planner, so I know what I'm going to email about and have a bunch of great ideas and experiences to share, but this time I forgot my planner, so this email might be a bit short.
So on Sunday I met this guy named brother Williams, who's real cool, and turns out he served his mission in Hawaii! Talked to him a bit more and found out he served in my ward and remembered my dad and some of the other families! So that was fun being able to talk to him, small world.
Interesting door knocking experiences? Just yesterday we were door knocking and the first door we knock on the street, this guy opens the door. Kinda a taller skinny looking guy, long hair, looked like he hadn't slept in 2 or 3 days, and kinda acted a bit strange. Asked him what he believes his purpose in life is (you know, trying to throw out those inspired soul searching questions), and his answer is, "you wouldn't believe me if I told you". Then I was like, "well, I'm curious". Responded with something like, "serious, you wouldn't believe me". So I was just like, "well, that's ok, but I still want to know..." - eventually he told us. First thing he said was, "you have no idea what I've been through" - yep I knew we were going to be at the door for a while. For the next, maybe 20 minutes, he talked about black wholes, aliens 3, self sustainability, money and corruptions, the Bible, love, evolution... just nod and smile and pretend you're following him. Anyways later on the street we ran into this drunk guy who introduced himself as Kai, really happy guy. Talked about Hawaii being on fire, how he got named after a plumber, and yeah...
Don't worry, we did have some cool experiences with people wanting us to come back after door knocking into them! It's not all just weird things that happen at the doors. We went door knocking with the YSA again and met this one guy who seemed uninterested at first, but after talking to him for a bit and getting ready to leave, he asked if we had a pamphlet to give him, then asked where our church was located and what time we started, then asked if we could come back! So yeah there you go, a more spiritually orientated door knocking experience.
We also did more moving this past week! We helped move a lot of furniture. Another lesson I learned - Don't buy big beds and mattresses, especially if you live in an apartment complex with thin stairwells and multiple floors. It all worked out in the end though, well, kinda. Couldn't get the bed into the bedroom... but we weren't planning on taking that bed back down. So yeah.
And on Sunday, got to go to a fireside at my old stake center in Cleveland. Well, I've really only had 2 stake centers in my whole mission. But it was good! Got to see some old members and missionaries that I knew, but the highlight - the speakers! First we heard from President Nicholson, he's the ... 1st counsellor I think, in the Cleveland stake presidency. He's blind, and talked about how, to read the Book of Mormon, he had to order a large print version and read it with a huge magnifying glass, word by word. It took 7 years to finish... so yeah we have no excuses right? Talked about a lot of other awesome things too, but just trying to sum up some of the highlights. Second speaker was brother Chad Hymas, apparently one of the top 10 motivational speakers in the world. He had an accident that resulted in him being a quadriplegic. Both of their talks/speeches were super motivational, but some of the main lessons that I got from both of them is that sometimes "all I want to be" isn't what God has in store, but sometimes he has bigger and better plans for us, that the only person stopping me from achieving is me, and that we shouldn't be paralysing ourselves by not being willing to change our beliefs, habits, and behaviours.
Anyways, that's all for today, thanks everyone for your love and support!
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
So it's been getting a bit colder now! We're kinda in winter here in Australia, but it's good! In fact, it's really nice, the mornings have been beautiful. Door knocking has never been more scenic and peaceful, it's pretty great. Don't worry, still finding more interesting experiences to talk about from door knocking, regardless of how beautiful the weather is.
First one is when we talked to this one lady at the door. Wow, she was the most loving, kind, basher ever. She just preached to us about how we're wrong and stuff, but there was a lot of emotion and love in it, and it wasn't too... aggressive, I guess. She was super nice, and I have a feeling she's some kinda motivational speaker or female pastor kinda thing in her church. She even said a prayer for us before we left, then said that her and her family would continue praying for us that night! Great, so some lady who wants to try convince us that we're wrong is probably going to be praying for us for a while, so I invite all who read this to pray for the missionaries in whatever ward you're in! Because it would be a shame if she prayed more for the missionaries than the members did. And don't forget to be specific, pray for your missionaries by name, because she is too!
More door knocking experiences - nothing too out of the ordinary. Mostly just want to say thanks to the YSA that came door knocking with us recently - we got to take two YSA out with us and split into two companionships to door knock. We got to see a lot of miracles and teach a bit at some of the doors, and we even found a lady who seems pretty interested in learning more, after we shared about the plan of salvation!
What's with the title? So for those not from Hawaii, 808 is the phone code thing for Hawaii. We got a new move-in to the ward, and so we went to follow up with who this family might be! When we got to the house, there was a truck in the driveway, and one of the stickers on it said, "Da Good Life 808" - so I had a pretty strong feeling that they were from Hawaii! Knocked on the door and... no answer! But I was determined, so we came back a few hours later and... no answer. Came by the next day and... we got an answer! And they welcomed us right in. The wife was raised in Australia, but the husband was born and raised in Hawaii! We reminisced about food, weather, more food, and the different lifestyle back home. Upon leaving, they gave us a box of vegetables and fruits, and spam! Who else gives missionaries spam - so excited to eat spam, eggs, and rice now for breakfast. Or maybe spam musubi? The options!
Well, not too much else happened, just the usual. Knocking doors, teaching appointments, dinner, and that's about it. Maybe I'll have more to talk about next week. Thanks everyone for your love and support!
Oh, and had a trip to the temple today.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
We had a bunch of random experiences this past week, so I have stuff to email about now! We'll start off with a referral that we got. We got this referral saying that someone had some questions and was hoping they could meet with the missionaries! So we went to the address which was given to us, #30 on one of the streets in our area. When we got there, we realised that there were 11 #30's on that street - it was a bunch of units. So we had to knock each one, asking if they knew the person we were looking for. Well, at #8/30 this lady answers the door, which kinda a crazed/angry look on her face, and angrily asks who we are. After trying to explain who we were, she started yelling at us to leave, and when we said we need help looking for someone, she started yelling "your not looking for anyone! You're trying to steal from me!" and other random statements. So we quickly walked away, and I told my companion, "well, we know for sure that our referral is not at #8/30". I thought to myself, "I'm never coming back to this house again". We couldn't find the person we were looking for, so we planned on coming back later to knock the rest of the doors that didn't answer. Later on in the week, we get a call from the sister missionaries, saying that our referral called them! She said she was really sorry, and wanted us to come back, and that her mother in law was the one that had yelled at us until we left... so just a few days later, there we were again, knocking on #8/30. Turned out much better this time, but she wanted sisters to visit her, so we referred her to the sisters.
We also went on tradeoffs with the AP's this past week! We went to visit this excommunicated lady that we met a while ago on our last tradeoffs. One our way there though, we saw this old, skinny man, with kinda long white hair, and a white moustache and beard. We talked to him for a bit, and I could smell a bit of alcohol in his breath. He said some interesting things, and sang us some lines from some Christian songs that he wrote. Kinda whispered them, to a tune. It was kinda weird. But the whole time I couldn't help but stare at this bee that was sitting on the back of his head. As he sang. As he talked. It just chilled there. I was worried it would sting him, but I didn't want to interrupt his song, and maybe it was his pet or something. Or mistook his off white hair for some flower or pollen. Anyways, he left us with his blessing and we moved on.
Also met this guy while door knocking who's part of the Sikh religion. Had a good chat with him about our beliefs. Then, randomly, he said something like, "I'm not really religious", then lifted up his shirt and showed us a dagger that was tucked away in his pants. Not to sure what that meant. But we kept talking, and then left a few minutes later. So there's another random experience for you all.
Got to do a bit of service throughout the week, which included mowing lawns and helping people move. The usual! Few words of advice - don't let your lawns go unmowed for months - it makes the job a lot more difficult than it has to be.
Onto the food subject! A dinner fell through one night so we ended up going to this awesome Samoan family's house for dinner! They got us KFC - every missionaries delicacy, and also cooked us "kekepuaa". Not sure if I spelled that right. Back home, we call it manapua! Haven't had it in ages, and haven't ever had a homemade one before, and it tasted really good! For those who don't know what it is, it's like a special dumpling bread thing filled with, usually, pork in the middle! Sorry, not the best at explaining it, but it tasted good!
On the teaching side of things, went to follow up on someone we met a while ago, who was given a copy of the Book of Mormon by her neighbour! Unfortunately, the visit was mostly about her talking about all these videos she watches on youtube and facebook about everything from political conspiracy theories to the world being flat, and she tried to get our email or facebook so that she could send us this video that, well, would basically tell us "why our church is evil". Yeah, no thanks! Haven't used facebook in 2 years, and I'm not about to start using it again now just to watch some weird anti-mormon video she found. So yeah, don't think we'll be going back there again. But we can learn a valuable lesson from her! It's about the Book of Mormon. After asking her if she's read it, she said, "no", and that she'll never read it. Sometimes I tell people that I like to eat octopus back home, and they gross out, but when asking if they've had it, they say they never have! And so I always wonder, how can you judge something if you haven't tried it! If you aren't reading the Book of Mormon, your missing out! Doesn't matter if you've read it once already, or if you've read it heaps, my invitation - just keep reading.
Well, that's my email for today, sorry it was kinda all over. Thanks everyone for your love and support!
Hiking Pictures from last P-day
Disclaimer: No swimming was done, I promise. Socks may have gotten a little wet though.
Me and my comp
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Last pday was nonexistent! We spent pretty much all of it making a poster board for a stake family history event, but I think it turned out alright, so here's a picture of the display at the event! it was basically a poster board talking about what missionaries do, and how missionaries from all around the world have come together to serve in this area, and all their different backgrounds, ethnicity, and families.
What else did we do this past week? It was quite busy. Since it was the end of the transfer cycle, we had to do our "deep clean" - normally 4 hours of cleaning your flat and car. We were told we were going to have an inspection on Thursday, so we had to make sure we got that done. Thursday we also had a service opportunity - helping a family move! That turned out pretty good, it was fun, loaded heaps of boxes and furniture onto trucks and then unloaded it at the house... took a few trips. Unfortunately, it went a bit longer than expected and left us with 1 hour to clean our flat! So we made it home, at a bit of pizza, and got cleaning. Then the senior couple missionaries came to inspect our flat and... we passed! What confuses me is that they were so impressed by how clean it was, and told us that it was way better than the last time we inspected it! But last time we used the full 4 hours to clean...
Looking for another door knocking experience? Well here's a few for the week. Met this guy from New Zealand with really cool dreads, and tattoos all over, as he was coming home from work. After talking to him for a bit, amongst the smoking and swear words, he also invited us to come back for a feed! He said we'll be getting KFC - missionary delicacy. Later in the week we also met a lady that we ended up talking to outside for at least 20 minutes as the sun set. She goes to a Pentecostal church that's right down the street from where we live. I think every Saturday we can hear music and some beats coming from there. Answered heaps of her questions, talked to her about our beliefs, and explained what missionaries do. It was a cool experience for us at least, helping someone understand who we are.
Wanting more service stories? One more quick one, we helped some Chinese Pizza delivery boy try to find "house 103" in the dark. Tried to make it quick because we were hungry and had a dinner appointment to get to. I think he found it in the end, after knocking a few wrong doors.
Other good experiences throughout the week? This guy requested the missionaries to come over - he hadn't been to church in over 20 years. Not sure if he's even baptised to be honest. But he's got 2 sons, and has been going through a few struggles in life, and told us that he decided that now it's time to get his life in order. Super humble guy, and we're excited to work with him. Just one small obstacle is that he's only home 1 out of every 5 weeks, the other 4 he's working away in the mines. Also had family home evening with aboriginal recent converts - it was fun! Talked about temples, drew pictures, said prayers - it's the small moments like that which are always the highlights of the mission.
And - the title. So 6 weeks came to an end, and we got the call last Saturday saying who's staying and who's going to get transferred. Our third companion, Elder Waqa, is transferred, and I'll be staying with Elder Karina! I'll be finishing in this area now (Helensvale & Pimpama ward), and I cant complain - it's been my favourite area so far. I've already spent nearly 8 months in the area, so I'm considering this a miracle!
Anyways, thanks everyone for your love and support!