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.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Weekly Update June 4, 2014

Hello again everyone!

Great week again for Elder Bly and myself as we worked here in Cleveland.  We've been continuing to see a lot of miracles and reap a lot of blessings.  I apologize that this email is a bit late, but today was our temple p-day.  I always enjoy going to the temple.

We were able to go and see Ofa only once this week.  He's progressing really well.  He sends us text messages when he has questions for us.  He told us he reads the Book of Mormon for 30-60 minutes a day so that he's able to understand what he reads.  He's struggling a bit with the Old English, but who didn't the first time they read the Book of Mormon.  He was unable to attend church this Sunday because he was stuck out in Ipswich after a family party.  Apparently, nobody there was sober enough to give him a lift.

We had a good lesson with the Turner family this week.  I really enjoy teaching them.  They're always really engaged and attentive.  We've had to drop the baptismal dates we had for Leon and Ernie, but for a good reason.  The mum, Aria, is having her father come over from New Zealand to visit towards the end of June.  She's not sure exactly when he's coming, but asked that we wait to find out so he will be able to attend the baptism.  It's been 9 years since they last saw him.

I think the biggest miracle Elder Bly and I experienced this week occurred on Sunday evening.  We went around to visit a potential investigator we met last week (or the week before.  I'm not sure which) who had already rescheduled meeting with us.  So I'm sure you can imagine we weren't 100% certain it was going to be much of anything other than "sorry boys, I'm really not that interested."  The fella is a big Samoan-Moari guy named Niu (pronounced "new"), and we did think there was a possibility of him turning out to be a less-active member.  Fortunately, we were wrong on both counts.  Niu grew up in New Zealand attending a Samoan Methodist church.  He's been over here for the last 3 years with his family.  Niu told us that he does have some friends and family that are LDS.  He wants his children to learn about the gospel, and he wants for it to be a part of his family's life.  He mentioned that because of some things that have been going on with his family back home, he's decided he's not too keen on having the family church be the Methodist faith.  Long story short, he wants us to come around and teach the family.  We're pretty excited about this!
Anyways, that's us for this week.  Hope everyone has a good week!

Elder Rosier