Hello from Sydney!

Hello from Sydney!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Aussie, Aussie Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!

Taken outside of a member's home last night.
She's from China and she made us yummy steamed fish!!! 

Happy Australia Day!

To start off the holiday, we sang some Australian National folk song at the end of Sacrament meeting yesterday...only the missionaries were using the hymn books because we didn't know the song, haha. They printed the song out and glued it into the end of the hymn books, #342. It was cool to watch. 
It's pretty bogan (the Australian equivalent to rednecks) up here. 
We're supposed to go to a ward activity today at Redhead beach, but it's raining...so we'll see what happens. 

This week has been a little slower, but still good!  Working in both wards, arranging splits with members, and driving between Charlestown and Newcastle is exhausting. I really am grateful to serve in both areas though. We've seen heaps of miracles, including one with one of our own investigators! She's been meeting with missionaries for about 4 months now, and apparently the progress she's made has been absolutely incredible. She is not the same person. She's a recovering alcoholic, divorced, and had a stroke 2 months ago. She didn't believe Joseph Smith is a true prophet and had heaps of concerns. This week, all of those concerns have been resolved! She called us up saying that she was reading scriptures on 'hope' in the Book of Mormon...first of all, it's been hard to get her to read the Book of Mormon, and now she wants to share scriptures with us!! She's absolutely beautiful and her testimony is so powerful. We went to visit her and she calls up the elders' investigator, Bianca, who got baptised on Saturday, and was being such a great missionary. Bianca didn't show up to church last week, and Jenni was telling her how she had to come to church, no one would judge her, she needed to pray and read the Book of Mormon to prepare herself for baptism. It was amazing. She totally smashed her with her love and spirit! She came to the relief society activity and Bianca's baptism!! Which was a beautiful baptism, by the way. Bianca has really turned her life around to follow Jesus Christ. Her family, who's not religious at all, were so incredibly proud of her. The talks were great, and it was just beautiful. 

Now we just need to encourage our investigator to be baptised! We've invited her, but because of her stroke, her doctor doesn't want her making any big decisions right now. 

We also had special training this week, so President and Sister Howes and the Assistants came up. A lot of the training had to do with teaching by the Spirit, obedience, and leadership. It was absolutely amazing. Lots of personal revelation received, as well as prayers and questions answered. 
Revelation received/Prayers answered: "Sacrifice [and obedience] brings forth the blessings of Heaven" - Praise to the Man Hymn#27...I think. This is absolutely true. Obedience is the key to success, and obedience comes through sacrifice. I've thought a lot about why I'm not seeing as much success in my missionary efforts (not necessarily in numbers, but in satisfaction), and it's because I haven't put everything on the Altar of Sacrifice. I decided to pray about and create my Altar of Sacrifice so I can figure out what specifically is holding me back from reaching my potential as a missionary. I feel good about it. As soon as I created it though, I already noticed the adversary working against me. That Satan... he thinks he's a clever one. 

The work up here is really great!! We had 6 hours of church again yesterday, and that was really exhausting, but good. The members are really nice. Quite a few have had us over (for meals) #gettingfat. This week, Sister Hu gets her new comp from HK!! So we will go back to Newcastle and smash the area these last two weeks of the transfer. 

Also, I have GOOD NEWS! The Assistants called me yesterday and said that both YanLin and Nora are preparing for mini-missions!!!!!!! I'm so proud!! :) 
It's amazing to see how much they've grown in the Gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ really brings light into peoples' lives and it is so amazing. I look back on everything I've learned since nursery, and I'm so grateful to have the Gospel in my life. The message of hope, peace, love, comfort, and joy is so powerful. The knowledge of having a Saviour, who is Jesus Christ, is absolutely amazing. The Gospel has really helped me understand my purpose and potential as a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. 

Well that's about it for now. If you have time, read the January Ensign or the talk "Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence". Both are great reads!! 

I love you all heaps :) Happy 'straya day!! 

Sister Lew

Trap-Door Spider #welcometothebush
Taken at our mission Christmas conference

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