Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Weekly Update July 23, 2014

Elder Bly, Ofa, Br. Arthur, Elder Rosier

G'day Friends and Family,

Today is the last preparation day of my mission, so this will be the last email I send updating you all on what's been going on here.  To be honest, it was a pretty typical week.  We were able to see Zeth again.  It's kinda hard to teach him.  He has the shortest attention span of anyone I've ever taught.  But we had a good lesson with him on how studying the Book of Mormon will help him achieve the goals he has to better his life.  We saw the Turners as well.  One of the families in the ward invited them to come to their home for a big dinner.  It was a really good night.  The Turners are being welcomed by ward members with open arms.  We were blessed to see them at church again this Sunday.  That's been 3 weeks in a row for them, and this time they stayed for the whole block.  They all seem really happy to be here.  It was initially a big step for them to attend, but they seem more and more comfortable each week they come.

On Friday we went around to Ofa's to try and catch up with him.  Unfortunately, he wasn't home when we came around.  We were able to give his mum a Book of Mormon in Tongan, and she said she'd start reading it that night.

We're now about half-way through my last week as a missionary.  It's a very strange feeling.  I keep thinking that I'll find myself waking up in one of my previous areas, looking at my companion and saying, "I had the strangest dream that I was about to go home."  But it's not a dream.  It's reality.

I started going around and saying goodbyes yesterday.  I went around Capalaba ward to see different people I miss from over there.  I still have a few more to go and see.  Yesterday we dropped in on Paul.  We had a good chat with him.  He's doing well.  His faith is still very strong that he'll have the opportunity to come to the Church one day.  I sure miss teaching him.

I would really like to thank everyone for their love and support.  I know I couldn't have made it through this experience if it wasn't for my family and friends back home.  I love you all.  Thank you for your prayers, love, letters, sacrifice, and encouragement.  To be honest, this has been the best experience of my life.  I almost don't want to come home.  But I will, because if I don't, my mother will kill me.

I love you all,
Elder Ross Rosier

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Weekly Update July 14, 2014

Hello everybody!

Sorry to have left you all with such a cliff hanger last week.  I was barely able to hit "send" before the computer shut off.

This week was a really long week.  I'm really not sure why it felt that way since Elder Bly and I were able to get a lot done.  I guess time's just slowing down before I leave.  No complaints on that!  Time has been going by way too quickly over the last few months.

We were able to see Zeth again this week.  Since I didn't get to say much about him,  I'll fill you in on the details.  We met Zeth last Saturday while we were tracting in a neighborhood nearby the chapel.  He's a really friendly, very talkative Maori who's from South Auckland.  He's from Otara, the same suburb that Elder 'Iongi is from.  He pretty much grew up in the gangs there, and ran with the Bloods for a long time. Needless to say, he's got a lot of stories he likes to tell.  He came to Australia about 11 years ago to get out of the gang life and try to start over.  Though he left the gang, the gang has never really left him.  When we go to visit him, he's always wearing something red, and his house is completely decked out with red.  Zeth has a few really close friends who are the nephews of one of the members in our ward:  Brother Otene.  A couple years ago, Zeth was doing some work for brother Otene, and Brother Otene talked with him a bit about the church.  He even brought Zeth one time to sacrament meeting.  He also gave Zeth a Book of Mormon.  Zeth had just found the Book of Mormon Brother Otene gave him a couple days before we knocked on his door.  He is really looking for better things in his life, and when we came around, invited us back right away.  We met with him again this week and challenged him to read his Book of Mormon.  It will be interesting to see what happens with him because it is really hard to get him to sit still and stay on topic!

Yesterday after sacrament meeting, Ofa was ordained to be a priest.  He's doing really well, and is very excited about the gospel.  We're still trying to get in and teach his mum.  She's still keen to get baptized, but she knows she cannot be baptized unless she and her partner get married or separate.  I think she's waiting to work that out before she has the discussions.

Well, I hope everyone has a great week.  I love you all!

Elder Rosier

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Weekly Update July 7, 2014

G'day everyone!

It was a long week for Elder Bly and I.  We were both battling bad colds.  I just about completely lost my voice one day this week.  Fortunately, we were able to see a few miracles as we did our best to push through.

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July.  I really miss that celebration.

Our biggest miracles this week came on Saturday and Sunday.  We were blessed to have the Turners finally attend church with us on Sunday, and they really had a great time.  We were very excited to see them come, as they've been a bit nervous since they don't know anyone in the ward.

On Saturday we found a new guy to teach.  His name is Zeth.  He grew up in South Auckland, and has had a rough past.  He was highly involved in gang activity for most of his life.  He's affiliated with the Bloods.

I wish I had more time to write about it, but I'm down to 30 seconds.

Love you all!
Elder Rosier

This photo was published on the mission blog.  It was taken when President and Sister Henderson came to the Cleveland zone for interviews and flat inspection.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekly Update June 30, 2014

Hello again everyone!

It's only been a few short days since I last wrote, and not too much has happened.  However, we were blessed to witness Ofa be baptized this weekend!  And what a spiritual experience it was!  Ofa was grinning from ear to ear as he walked out of the font.

I think the best part of the baptism happened during the feed we had afterward.  While we were eating, Ofa's mum got up and spoke to us all.  She talked about her experiences with the Mormon church she's had through out her life.  She grew up in Tonga in a Methodist family that always studied the Bible together.  For a while she attended Liahona College in Tonga, which is a church-run school.  That was her first exposure to the church.  When she came to Australia, the only church-going family she had here were aunts and uncles who were LDS.  They were a great support to her, and a wonderful example.  She has felt for a very long time that the church is true, but has been scared to join because of her family's tradition in the Methodist faith.  For anyone reading this that knows anything about the pacific cultures, they'd know that everyone in Tonga is either Mormon or Methodist, and the families are always very strong in their faith.  Hence why she feels nervous to go against the family tradition.  But she's always pushed family members who are looking for faith or help in their life to the LDS church, though.  That's one of the reasons why Ofa approached us.  As she witnessed her son's baptism, you could tell she was touched by the spirit, and, during her speech, announced that she is going to join the church.  This is such a wonderful miracle!  I have great faith that Ofa's example will be instrumental in bring most of--if not all--his family into the gospel.

We had a really awesome experience this morning.  I believe I've mentioned before that our mission has had a goal to achieve 100 baptisms this month.  This is a fete that has never been accomplished before in Australia, and likely happens very rarely in the Pacific area.  I mention that because the challenge came from Elder James J. Hamula, who is the Area President.  We had a mission-wide conference call this morning with President Henderson.  He spoke for a while about a few things before finally announcing the number we achieved.  We could already tell we had achieved our goal, because he couldn't hide the excitement in his voice.  He told us we hit 105 baptisms in June!  After the president's remarks came a big surprise: Elder Hamula came on the phone to congratulate us on achieving our goal and to tell us how proud he was of us for working so diligently.  It was a great experience to start the day off receiving praise from a general authority!

Anyway, I am really grateful for the Lord's blessings and tender mercies.  What a great month Elder Bly and I had.  I hope we'll be able to match this last month of my mission to it.

Love you all!
Elder Rosier

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Weekly Update June 26, 2014

Hello again everyone!

It's been a little bit of a wait since I last wrote.  We had our temple p-day this week, so p-day was moved to today (Thursday).  I was a bit sad when I came to the realization that this was my last zone temple trip.  I cannot believe how fast the time has gone.  Where did it all go?

Over the last week and a half, we've spent a lot of time tracting and teaching Ofa.  I'm not sure if I mentioned the hiccup we have experienced with Ofa or not, so I'll write about it again.  Ofa was recently arrested for being in possession of a stolen vehicle.  Despite that, we weren't able to catch up with him for a week, we were able to find out he had been studying the Book of Mormon and praying.  We have been blessed to watch him progress like I have never witnessed an investigator progress before.  After teaching him the Plan of Salvation, we moved up his baptismal date from the 19th of July to the 28th of June.  However, because of his recent arrest, we weren't sure if he would be able to be baptized.  We called President Henderson, who informed us that if he was facing charges, he couldn't be baptized.  We were very sad to hear that.  When we told Ofa, he was very understanding with it.  However, he then updated us on his situation.  His lawyer had been able to prove out of the court that Ofa couldn't have stolen the vehicle, and the charges would be dropped if he could provide information on the guy he purchased the vehicle off of.  We told Ofa that if he's cleared of the charges, that we would probably be able to baptize him.  Well, on Sunday Ofa informed us that he contacted his lawyer and found out all charges have been dropped.  We told him we'd ask the mission presided if we could baptize him.  On Monday (the 23rd) we had our interviews with President Henderson.  Both Elder Bly and I explained Ofa's situation in our interviews, and his response was, "baptize him as soon as possible!"  So this Saturday we will be witnessing Ofa's baptism!

We had a really awesome experience with Ofa when we called him to tell him he was on for baptism.  Elder Bly called him and asked if he wanted to still be baptized on Saturday.  Ofa told him he had prayed the night before that it would be able to be this weekend.  Gotta love miracles :)

Well, that's about all I've got for this week.  Looking forward to updating you all about the baptism.

Elder Rosier

These are pictures from Harrison's baptism on June 14th.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Weekly Update June 17, 2014

Hello again!

This was a great week for Elder Bly and me.  I believe I mentioned in my email last week about Harrison telling us that he wanted to be baptized on Saturday the 14th, and that we were excited but not too sure if it would go through.  Well, it did!  And we were blessed to have Harrison's baptism on this past Saturday!

Another big blessing we witnessed this week was having Ofa come to church for the first time.  He had a really good experience, and was able to meet up with some friends that he has who are members of our ward.  It was really great to see that he has some good friends in the ward.  We had a couple really good lessons with him this week, in which we bumped up his baptismal date to the 28th of June.  I wish you all could have seen the look on his face as we taught him the Plan of Salvation.  Because Ofa's grown up his whole life not believing in God, he's never really had much of a belief (or hope) that there's anything more to life than our brief time here in mortality.  It was really awesome to teach him about where he came from, and that our life will continue on after we die.  You could really see him fill with hope as we taught him.  He also really enjoyed learning about the potential for our families to be eternal.  It was a great experience.

Today is the start of the last transfer of my mission.  Elder Bly and I are still together in Cleveland.  I'm really looking forward to these last six weeks.  We have a lot of really good things going for us here, so I'm excited to see what happens with the other investigators we've been teaching.

Before I end this, I would like to wish a happy Father's Day to my dad and my grandfather.  I am truly grateful for the righteous example that they have both been in my life.  I am grateful for the man who my father is.  I know no man greater than he is.  I am also grateful for my grandpa.  I feel blessed to be following in his footsteps as a missionary in Australia.  Happy Father's day!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Rosier

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Weekly Update June 10, 2014

G'day everyone!

Sorry that this week's email is a day late. Yesterday the Queenslanders celebrated the Queen's birthday, so it was a public holiday and everyone got another day off of work.  So for us it was a working day.

This was a rather hard week for Elder Bly and I.  We were unable to get into contact with any of our investigators this week.  It was really frustrating!  So what do you do when you don't have anybody to teach?  Look for new people!  And search we did.  All week.  We had a bit of success on Monday and Tuesday, but we didn't have any luck the rest of the week, until Saturday.  I think that the Lord decided to humble Elder Bly and I this week.

Towards the end of the week I was feeling a bit stressed, and slightly discouraged.  Fortunately the Lord decided to bless us on Sunday evening with a miracle.  We went by Ofa's aunt's place to invite his aunt and cousin to come to an activity at our ward mission leader's home.  We found Ofa there watching a movie with his cousin.  We were able to catch up with him.  Turned out that he'd had some trouble with the law.  The day after he had his birthday, he was arrested for being in possession of a stolen vehicle.  He had purchased it about four months ago, and wasn't aware that it was stolen.  Unfortunately he's being charged despite not knowing.  However, he's still been studying the Book of Mormon and praying.  He told us his feelings on church and baptism haven't changed.  It's still what he wants.

Yesterday night we had a lesson with Harrison.  At the end of the lesson we asked him if he was ready to be baptized next week.  He said he wants to be baptized on this Saturday, and was rather adamant about it.  We're only 60% sure the baptism will be this week, but excited for it anyway!

Well, that's all for now.  I love you all very much.  Thanks again for the love and support!

Elder Rosier

This photograph was posted on the mission blog on Monday and was part of a number of pictures posted under "mission tour". I'm not sure when or where it was taken, but I believe it is related to the tour Ross wrote about a couple of weeks ago.