On October 27, I received a message via social media from a person that I didn't recognize... but as soon as I saw this picture, I was so excited! It was a sweet message.... and finally, a picture! Thank you Bro. Holzworth!
Hello Kathy , we have the joy of spending time with your missionary brother, Elder Ho with us in Brisbane Australia. He is such a lovely person, kind and has a great love of the gospel. It has been lovely to have him in our home where he has practiced teaching lessons and we are so impressed with his gentle and loving teaching style. Here is a nice photo of him!
Sunday, October 23, 2016
So today is the start of my third transfer in Australia, and I've got a new companion! His name is Elder Westbrook and he's from Utah, but I don't know him too well yet since I've only been with him for about 2 hours. My Trainer, Elder Dunlop, is now a District leader in another zone. Elder Westbrook has been out for eight months I think and was in the Chinese speaking area, so I think it's kind of weird that they put him with me in an English speaking area. I'm pretty excited to get to know him though, and I'm looking forward to this upcoming week.Well, this past week was alright. It was a busy week, we had meetings, another deep clean for our flat, and a missionary fireside on Sunday. We've been doing a lot of driving and door knocking this past week, but many people weren't home so the days seemed to kind of drag on. The missionary fireside was pretty awesome though. We heard from Elder Nielson (of the Pacific area presidency?), and he talked about the Book of Mormon and how powerful it is to share you favorite Book of Mormon scripture with people. He had a few missionaries, his wife, and the Mission President and His wife share their favorite Book of Mormon scriptures and why it was their favorite. Just sharing their favorite scripture really taught us a lot about each person, and invited the spirit into the room. It was a pretty powerful meeting.
One scripture I heard recently which I like goes something like "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind; be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord". I don't think that's the scripture word for word, and sorry, I can't remember where it's found, but I like that scripture a lot. It reminds us that the Lord is here for us and has given us a powerful spirit, and so we shouldn't be afraid to stand up for what we believe in and for His teachings. That is something that I'm slowly learning to apply more each and every day while out here on the mission.
Thanks everyone for all your love and support!
Sunday, October 16, 2016
So I'm nearing the end of my second transfer! That also means that I'll be done with the "twelve week training" program we have to do as missionaries. It's crazy to think that at the end of this week, I'll have been in Australia for two transfers. Anyways, this past week was pretty good, with it's fair share of ups and downs. What my companion and I have noticed is that the Lord has been blessing us, especially when we continue to be diligent when things start to go south. Our small teaching pool is starting to grow, which is awesome, and this week we've had four new investigators! We found them all through door knocking, and they seem pretty interested, so hopefully we can start teaching them more and get to know them a little better. Another one of our investigators is a young boy, and his parents invited us over for dinner, which was a surprise! They're from New Zealand and cooked us some really good food, like "fried bread", or something like that, which tasted pretty amazing. They also asked us a lot of questions about what we do as missionaries. Anyways, I don't really have any cool stories to share or any crazy experiences that happened this past week, but I'll end it with a spiritual thought.
In Doctrine and Covenants section 6, verse 33, it says "Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward". I think sometimes in life we get a little anxious of scared to do certain things, like missionary work or standing up for our beliefs. I know that before I came on the mission, I never really invited any of my friends to church or church activities, being worried about what they would say or think if I did. Even if the people we associate with never get baptized, or even accept our invitation, we're considered successful if we just put forth an effort to help them and invite them to come unto Christ. Heavenly Father see's that effort, whether we are successful or not, and will bless us. There are "good rewards" for the good that we do.
Thanks everyone for all your love and support,
Sunday, October 9, 2016
So after a week of waiting, we were finally able to watch General Conference! It was really awesome, and to be honest, it's the longest I've ever stayed awake during General Conference. I guess the talk that I liked that I'll share with you all, although you've all heard it already, is the one given by Dallin H. Oaks. He talked about three things that any member can do anywhere around the world. He was talking quite fast, so I wasn't able to get it word for word, and it's probably a little different from what he said, but this is what I took from it: 1) Pray for the desire to help with the missionary work, 2) Keep the commandments and be an example to those around you. It kind of reminds me of the story of Alma's son, Coriantumr was his name I think, who didn't follow the right path like his brothers did on their missions. Contrary to their great efforts and righteousness, Coriantumr didn't exactly do everything he was told or keep all the commandments, and Alma told him that it was hard to teach these people now because of Coriantumr's bad example. Today we need to be examples and be the best members we can, so that others can see us and be willing to hear what we have to say. And finally, 3) Pray for what you can do in your specific situation or circumstance to do missionary work, and pray with real intent, meaning you are committed to acting on the promptings and inspiration you will receive. Anyways, that's what I liked about his talk.So other than that, this past week was pretty busy. There were a lot of meetings and traveling to do, but we were still able to fit in some door knocking, like usual. One interesting situation was when we knocked on a door and the man opened his door, saw us, and said "not interested" and began to close it before we could say much. So we just said, "have a good weekend", and began to walk, but for some reason I didn't hear the door slam. As I glanced back, I saw that it was still cracked open, like he was contemplating coming out and saying something. I thought he was going to yell at us or something, but he opened the door and said with a much kinder voice, "hey, uh, do you guys want some drinks?" then he got us some sodas. I think a the simple words of "have a good weekend" helped him to realize that we weren't just going around looking for people to convert, but that we actually cared about the people who we talked to, and that may have helped change his heart. I really don't know what he was thinking, but I guess the lesson learned from this experience is that a few simple kind words, even to people who may not be so kind to you, can go a long way.
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
So it was another good week in Australia. Nothing too exciting has happened, just more door knocking and stuff like that. Slowly but surely our ward is starting to warm up more to us, so hopefully we can start getting more referrals, because those usually end up really well. Also, it's starting to get pretty hot. I'm not sure what the exact temperature is, since they measure it in Celsius here, but it's getting kind of hot, even when it rains. We didn't get to listen to general conference yet, because of the time difference they postpone it till the next week, but I'm really looking forward to that.
I'll keep this email shorter, since I'm running out of time, but one thing I learned this week was from our mission president. He taught us about something called the Gestalt Theory I think? He told us about how an experiment was done on these horses, I think they were called Clydesdale horses. One their own, one horse can pull 9,000 pounds, so they estimated that together, they could pull 18,000 pounds. When they yoked the two horses together, the horses ended up pulling a weight of 36,000 pounds. That relates to other aspects of life too, including missionary work. Ward members can do missionary work on there own, and missionaries can do missionary work on their own, and they'll probably be able to teach and baptize many people. But when you have everyone working together in perfect harmony, everyone pushes each other to work harder and do more, and missionary and church work becomes way more effective! So I guess what I'm trying to say is to work together, not just in missionary work but in our lives in general. Working together in unity, no matter what we're doing, is always better than trying to pull two separate loads, if that makes sense. Anyways, thanks again for all your support!