Hello from Sydney!

Hello from Sydney!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Week 12 - There is sunshine in my soul today :)

Wow, this week has flown by so fast! I can't believe we're already about to head into October!! 

Monday was P-day, I was on tradeoffs with Sister Ho, so that was fun. We just walked around the city a bit and enjoyed the sunshine.  
Tuesday we had Preach My Gospel study with the Zone Leaders. We talked about revelation and that was really good. Some points I got from that were:
- God uses the unlikely to do the impossible (young missionaries to invite others to come unto Christ...that's an insane idea...insane but inspired)
-Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking less about yourself, and more about others
-we need to obey to receive revelation and receive to obey

We had quite a few lessons that day, which was awesome! We had four of the members help us which was pretty cool. The members here are great. They're so willing to help us!! Their testimonies are so strong and it's great when they're able to share them with our investigators. Fellowship if you get the opportunity to, because it's great! 

We taught English class, and that's always so much fun. The people who come are so funny...

Wednesday was my first Zone Conference! That was really good :) I learned SO much! We're combined with the Harbour Suburbs Zone, and we all went to the Hyde Park chapel. A few of the missionaries gave great talks, then the Zone Leaders and Assistants did training on effective planning. 

We always need to listen to the spirit when we plan, so we know how to teach. Also, we can't teach effectively if we don't have companionship unity...so be united with your companion!! Also, love is a huge part in our teaching. We need to plan according to the needs of each individual. "We are representatives of Jesus Christ, we are to love like Him". Also another huge part is that we teach people, not lessons. So we need to focus on what they need to be taught, rather than what they need to be told. One thing I really liked was "if we allow the Lord to change us, he will allow us to change the world". We need to be humble in all that we do. 

After morning training, we had lunch/dessert, then all the missionaries sang the national anthem to thank Sister Archibald, who apparently is very patriotic. It was funny to have more non-Americans singing it than Americans. One of the elders convinced me to sing the high note on 'free' which was a terrible idea. Afterwards, we had more training by the ZL's, Elder and Sister Killebrew, and President and Sister Howes! So good!! We always like to refer to our mission as an 'escalator' mission. This means that we're always progressing and moving up. We learned about obedience and being dignified in our work. We talked about receiving referrals. Sister Howes shared a talk by Elder Bednar, which was about being a PMG missionary. It was so good. One point I really liked was that we know we've been forgiven when we feel the Holy Ghost working through us again. Another thing we learned was that when we're disobedient, we're punishing ourselves. We miss out on the blessings and opportunities that come from being obedient. Obedience is greater than sacrifice. When we reject the Lord, we reject the privilege of being Queens and Kings. I thought that was super profound. The Howes always have something incredible to say. We're actually the only mission that has mission presidents who were previously temple presidents. Which makes us special, and essentially the best mission ever :P We like to refer to ourselves as Zion because that is our goal; to have a Zion mission. It sets the standard of excellence well above excellence. It's hard, but it's so so so good. 

Thursday and Friday I was with Sister Ho while the other sisters were on Tradeoffs. Thursday was stormy, so a lot of our appointments cancelled last minute, which was kind of frustrating, because we couldn't go out and do contacting because we were waiting for them. But all is well. The lessons that we did have were great! We taught one RC about patriarchal blessings. Since I've been in the field, I've learned so much from my patriarchal blessing. It's one of the greatest gifts Heavenly Father has given us. We also taught one of our investigators with a baptismal date about Law of Chastity and Tithing and he said that 'Heavenly Father gave us commandments to bless us'. That was one of the best responses to 'why do we have commandments?' I've ever heard. He's so great!!! 

Friday was spent contacting and finding. That is so hard. I have an incredibly hard time talking to people and introducing them to the Gospel. Some days are good, some days are bad. It's sometimes hard to have a positive attitude about it, but it's okay. 

So, in the middle of town, there's this photo exhibit thingy where you take pictures with a group of strangers, so our district went, and that was a lot of fun. 

Sister Kuo and Cluff came back that night so that was nice to have them home :) I love having two moms (trainers). haha it's a lot of fun and I learn so much. Especially since Sister Ho is about to die, she has so much experience and knowledge to share. 

Saturday we helped clean the chapel. Then went to a japanese resturant with some members. We had two members do tradeoffs with us, so we went out contacting, and that was really good. The members are so enthusiastic about missionary work!
 Then we all went to a baptism that afternoon. We had 3 people get baptized, which was awesome! The spirit was so strong during the meeting. So peaceful. The missionaries from Ryde and Greenwich were there, so I got to see Elder Vaughn and Sister Tian! Afterwards, we all went out for Thai food and then we went to the chapel to practice a song. Ray, one of the members, is leaving in a few weeks, so yesterday was his farewell. Elder Fowler, Dean, Easton, Sister Cluff, Ray and I all sang God Be With You Til We Meet Again. It was such a sad arrangement...but so good. So beautiful! We didn't sound terribly great but it was still pretty.
Church was really good. we had 5/7 investigators come, so we were really excited!! :) Ray's talk was awesome and so was Reena's (institute teacher). One thing that they both talked about was that when we put God first, everything else falls into place. Life is hard and we have trials, but through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, everything is just a little easier and is a little more bearable. I love the ward here. I'm still getting to know the members, but the ones I do know and work with are so funny and loving. They really support us so much. 
So we also have a mini-missionary with us for 4 days! Her name is Jodie and she's a member in the ward! She's great and we're so excited to work with her :) So basically she was set apart by the Bishop and is officially a missionary...so has to abide by all our rules, schedule, and live with us :) It's been a lot of fun so far. 

That's about it for now :) Today is Zone p-day, so we're going to a park and having a picnic and just enjoying each others company haha. 

Hope all is well. Know that you are all loved so much by me and Heavenly Father :) MISS YOU HEAPS AND BUNCHES! 

Sister Lew

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