What a fast week this was! It went by in the blink of an eye! Months are getting shorter and shorter it seems. This week i hit my 15 month mark; I'm now down to single digits left.
Elder McIntyre and I spent most of this week tracting. I'm not the biggest fan of it, but you need to find people to teach. Fortunately, people here in Toowoomba are really kind. Most are usually willing to have conversations with us. At the very least they will hear us out before they tell us, "No thanks, mate." This week we were able to find two families that have invited us to come back and share our message with them. One family is from the Congo in Africa, the other is from Papua New Guinea. The PNG family has apparently met with the missionaries before.
We had one of our investigators come to church yesterday. Her name is Sophie. She is 15, and is very interested in the gospel. We're planning to set a date with her this week.
I hope everyone enjoys Halloween! Thank you for your love and support!
Monday, October 21, 2013
What a week this has been! After two weeks of spending most of our time tracting, Elder McIntyre and I are finally reaping some of the rewards of our efforts. One of the biggest miracles that we have witnessed this week was the last 3 days of the week, we didn't tract into anyone who was very rude to us! This week we were able to find 2 people to teach, and we also found a less-active member who isn't on our records.
The first person we found is an elderly lady named Maggie. She is in her 80s, and is active in the Uniting Church. She is mostly interested to learn the differences between our faiths. She is very kind a sweet to us.
The second one we found was also a miracle. While we were out tracting yesterday (Sunday) evening, we found a lady named Kayleen. She was the last door we knocked on before going to our tea appointment. When she opened the door she immediately said "It seems every time something goes bad in my life, somebody from a church knocks on my door." We were able to share with her about the book of Mormon and the power of prayer. She accepted a Book of Mormon and said she will read it. We see her again on Wednesday.
On Saturday, the two wards in town (Toowoomba ward, and Darling Heights ward) sponsored a community family activity. It was a lot of fun and gave us missionaries a good opportunity to talk to people about the church. Unfortunately, Elder McIntyre and I didn't get any teaching appointments from it.
On Sunday I had the opportunity to speak in church. Elder Pickett (one of the other missionaries in the ward) me, and the ward mission leader spoke on missionary work. When I was preparing for my talk I felt prompted that I needed to focus on encouraging the ward to focus on the Work of Salvation, rather than encourage them to tell their friends about the gospel (as is the usual talk you hear from missionaries). I was able to share with them personal experiences I have had in participating with wards in focusing on the work of salvation. I honestly can say I have never felt myself speaking so powerfully to a group of people as I did yesterday.
Well, that is all I have for this week. Once again, I love you all!
Monday, October 14, 2013
Hello again everybody!
This week was kind of a slow one for me and Elder McIntyre. We've spent the week just trying to get the area up and running and figuring out the best way to split the area with the other 2 missionaries. We've finally got it all down and we should be up and running this week. So far it appears we have 5 investigators. One of them has a baptismal date set for two weeks from Saturday, I believe. I haven't met her yet, but we have a lesson with her tonight. I cannot recall her name. 2 of our investigators are university students from China. We had a good lesson with them this week. We won't be able to see them until their final exams are over.
This weekend we had the opportunity to view General Conference. I really enjoyed hearing from the Prophet and the other general authorities. My favourite talks were given in the Priesthood session by Bishop Causse and President Uchtdorf. Bishop Causse emphasized the importance of making sure that nobody feels like a stranger in the church. Even those who walk in off the street should be able to feel welcome in our meetings. We need to be sure that all members in the church receive fellowship from one another. Being in the mission field has taught me how crucial that is. I also enjoyed all the talks on members assisting the missionaries. I hope we'll see a world-wide effort of members and missionaries working closely together.
Well, I believe that is all I have for this week. Love you all!
In his letter to me, Ross wrote:
I have enjoyed Toowoomba so far. It's a beautiful town. It really reminds me of home...well, more so than anywhere else I have served! The bishop of the Darling Heights ward is the brother of the bishop in the Redcliffe ward (Bishop Thayer. I'm not sure if they told you, but Bishop Ziesel was released just before they left on holiday), so I am excited to work with him. I'm hoping that they are like-minded, because Bishop Thayer was the best ward mission leader I have worked with on my mission.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Hello again everyone!
Transfers have struck again, and I am now serving in a town called Toowoomba! It is a town high up in the "mountains" west of Brisbane--about 190 km away from the city. I am excited to serve here, as I have been hoping for the opportunity for most of my mission. There are two wards here: Toowoomba ward and Darling Heights ward. I am serving in D-Heights ward. My companion's name is Elder McIntyre. He is born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, but has lived in Orem since he was 13. So I guess you could say he is my 1st Aussie companion, and my 3rd American companion.
As far as missionary work goes, the past week was pretty uneventful. Much of the same for Elder Tobe and I. On Monday we attended a festival in Deception Bay celebrating the cultures from the Pacific islands. It was a blast! Lots of food! And there were performances from groups from all over the islands. It was a really great opportunity for Elder Tobe and myself since we were able to talk to heaps of people about the church.
I had a couple of miracles this week. First was a while back, Elder Sualevai and I met a girl who hadn't attended church in a long time. A few weeks after he got transferred, I received a call from her saying she wanted to come back to church. She came that Sunday, and said she was going to come every week. Then I never heard from her. I wasn't able to contact her. She didn't respond to phone calls or anything. I figured she changed her mind. On Monday, I ran into her at Pacifika (the festival). She had moved out of her boyfriend's house, and was living with her family on the Gold Coast again and attending church with them! And she seemed like she was heaps happier than before!
The second miracle happened on Monday as well. If you remember Sebastian, I was hoping to be able to say goodbye to him. I was told he was at his father's house, which is a long drive away. I figured I wouldn't be able to see him before I left the area. On Monday evening, I went to a basketball court in Redcliffe to say goodbye to another ward member who was there playing ball. When I arrived, I saw Sebastian shooting hoops with some people there. I was really happy to be able to see him before I left!
I think that's all I've got for this week. I love you all!
In his letter to me, Ross wrote:
As you are aware, I was transferred yesterday. I am serving in a ward called Darling Heights in a town called Toowoomba. It is in the middle of the country, but the town itself is probably the size of the whole of the Ogden area. It really reminds me of home. I am excited to serve here. There are two wards in the town: D-Heights and Toowoomba. There are 8 missionaries serving in town, 4 elders and 4 sisters. The 4 sisters are in Toowoomba ward, but we are trying to get president to approve having 2 of each--Elders and sisters--in both the wards. As you are aware, I was transferred yesterday. I am serving in a ward called Darling Heights in a town called Toowoomba. It is in the middle of the country, but the town itself is probably the size of the whole of the Ogden area. It really reminds me of home. I am excited to serve here. There are two wards in the town: D-Heights and Toowoomba. There are 8 missionaries serving in town, 4 elders and 4 sisters. The 4 sisters are in Toowoomba ward, but we are trying to get president to approve having 2 of each--Elders and sisters--in both the wards.
We had the wonderful opportunity to meet Bishop Louis Ziesel and his lovely wife Connie over conference weekend. Ross worked very closely with Bishop Ziesle while serving in the Redcliffe Ward. Bishop Ziesel said that all missionaries are special, but there are a few with a "little extra something", which Ross definitely has. He told us that Ross was mature, hard working, and well organized. Sister Ziesel was very impressed with Ross' knowledge of knots when she witnessed him secure a refrigerator while helping to move a ward member. You just never know when the stuff you learn in scouting will come in handy!