Hello from Sydney!

Hello from Sydney!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mission milestones: 6 months as a missionary, 4 months in the field, and my first transfer move!

This week has been absolutely HECTIC but amazing and full of miracles. 

Few announcements and accomplishments:

I'm a 1/3 way through my mission!! It doesn't seem like much, but as a missionary who works every single day other than Christmas, wakes up at 6:30 every day, no contact with my family except for Mondays, constantly teaching, and is rejected by people all day, I would say that's pretty dang good. I know I have a long ways to go..like a year, BUT I officially know I can make it to the end! 

I've been in Sydney for 4 months now!! I feel like I know the city pretty well, and the people. I have come to love the people so much. 

And, I've been transferred to Newcastle, which is about 2 hours north from Sydney. 

I was incredibly sad to say bye to the city, especially the sisters, since Sister Cluff and Tseng both go home next transfer! I only had 4 weeks left with them!!! Saying bye to Sister Cluff was so hard...she's like my sister. We've been through so much together and she really gets me. Also saying bye to the Nolans and the Dicks broke my heart. They have really treated us like their own children and grandchildren. Sister Nolan and Sister Dick are absolute angels. Their impact in the city is absolutely amazing.  Serving in the city has been such an amazing experience. Earlier in the week, during DTM, we were asked to talk about one area we have grown in since our first day in the city. I reflected back to my first day and read my journal. I was overwhelmed, excited, but also felt incapable. I look at where I am now, talking to strangers on the street and inviting them to be baptised, teaching people about the restored and true gospel of Jesus Christ, and confidently bearing testimony that I know my Saviour lives! 

I was also very sad to say bye to the members, but especially the recent converts and investigators. When I got the transfer call, I was with Nora, and our phone was on speaker, and when we found out I was leaving, we both started crying immediately. It was heart breaking...we tried to continue our lesson, and I asked if she had any thoughts or questions on the Restoration, and she looked at me and said "Don't leave". It was very sad, but all is well. I know she is in good hands and her testimony is so solid. I was able to face time YanLin on Nora's phone which was good to say bye!! (at least it was temporary). 

So unfortunately, one of our investigators has disappeared off of the face of the Earth...as in not answering or replying :(   We had some pretty good finding though last week! We had 4 new investigators!! and lots of random little miracles. L.D. is still meeting with us, although she said she's not prepared to be baptised by the 24th. We have faith one day she will be baptised though. She is progressing very well. she took us to hot pot on Wednesday and that was lovely! So one of our new investigators is from China. We met her through English Class. She is SO prepared for the Gospel...she asks really good questions and she's accepted baptism for the 24th! 

Everything has been such a blur these past few days. All week, I was able to see Heavenly Father preparing me to be transferred...I was in denial the whole time but I knew. We had a training on Christlike attributes, and I thought of the attributes I really need to work on this next transfer such as humility and diligence. I know that this transfer will really try those two areas for me, but I know I can overcome it. 

Saturday and Sunday were full of goodbyes and packing. Like I said earlier, the city has been an amazing experience. The relationships that I've built here have been so special to me. I'm grateful that I was able to serve here. I have grown SO much and have learned so much from everyone, especially the missionaries I've served with. I'm a much different person than I was 6 months ago, and I can say that I'm proud of that change. I've developed and strengthened my relationship with the Saviour. I'm still learning how to trust God with everything, but I've seen the miracles that come from putting our trust in God. 

No photos this week so here's an image of Newcastle from Google.

So currently, I'm in the beautiful land of Newcastle!! and with my beautiful new companion, Sister Weiss!! she's from NY and speaks Mandarin a lot better than me. Our flat is in Charlestown so we share it with the Charlestown sisters, Sister Hu, and whoever she will be training!! We actually might be a tri-panionship depending on the visa of the new sister!! It is so gorgeous up here!! Lots of greenery and cute little beach houses with a gorgeous lake nearby. My District Leader is Elder Fowler, so that's awesome! and one of my zone leader is Elder Brimhall! so at least I have a few familiar faces. The work is much slower here, but I know it's going to be really good! I'm excited to smash the area with Sister Weiss this transfer...especially since it's only 4 weeks!! 

I have a feeling I'll be back in the city one day, so I'm not too worried. It's a good chance to reconsecrate and rededicate myself to the work, and allow Heavenly Father to perform miracles through me to bring his children unto Christ. 

I love you all so much and hope you're doing well!!

Sister Lew

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