Hello from Sydney!

Hello from Sydney!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March Madness

Bar Beach
A couple items of business:

CONGRATULATIONS, CHRISSY!!!  I'm so proud of you!! You're going to med school!! YAY!!! 

Have fun on interim, Jess!! :)

Alex, you're cool too I guess. I love you!!!

Mom and Dad, you two are the best parents any kid can ask for.  zhi shi zhenshide. 

Also, congratulations to everyone who got into BYU Provo (TayTay, Stevie, and Jackson!!!!!!!)) I'm so proud of you all!!! and I can't wait to kick it with y'all next year! 

And Yay, I'm going to have a new cuz!! Congrats to the Takasaki's!!!

Happy March! 

We were blessed to see Tori enter the waters of baptism on Saturday!! YAY! It was a great service, especially with her parents being there. They're Seventh Day Adventists, and really enjoyed it. It was really beautiful.

Tori and her husband Mark
The Rayments are doing alright. We're really focusing on Dallas and Peter, but they slept in and didn't come to church. A member of the bishopric went to pick them up and they had just woken up, he ended up coming 10 mins late to sacrament and we felt SO bad!! *Don't get upset with missionaries when they ask you to do something and it doesn't go right and ends up being inconvenient* We do feel bad, but there's nothing we can do about it. Just love us and feed us and help us with referrals! :) Hahah but I do understand how important the member-missionary relationship is. Building that trust with each other is REALLY important!!! I love the members of Newcastle Ward. They've become like family to me and I'm grateful for their support in the ward's missionary efforts. 

Our investigator Joni with her arm around me
This week, I will admit, was not my best week in the field. I was distracted a lot of the time, angry, upset, but at the same time, I was also so joyful, at peace, and comforted.
After I received the news about the Lee's, I just laid on my bed, face in pillow, screamed, and cried. Then afterwards, I got up, started reading the Plan of Salvation pamphlet and felt so much better afterwards. Sister Weiss asked me what I thought Jesus would do if he were in this situation, and I wasn't too sure how to respond. I said something like "let me mourn, but give me comfort" and she said "yes, but I know that he would give you a blessing". So we took those words and put it into action. We called up the District Leader, Elder Ezra, and went to their flat for a blessing. It was really beautiful and I felt so much peace afterwards. Heavenly Father is VERY aware of us individually and He LOVES and CARES for us. He gives us peace, comfort, and HOPE during times of adversity and trial. I know this to be true because I have experienced it this week. If you're really struggling, and if you have faith that God will help you, then ask for a Priesthood blessing. I'm telling you, it helps heaps!!! I've been reminded through people, scriptures, testimonies, and through the Holy Ghost that God loves us so much that he's given us knowledge that there IS more after death. Death is no where near the end, but it's a state of separation. There are things we will never quite understand in this mortal life, but when we trust in the Lord, we know that everything will be okay. All that is unfair about life will be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

So here are a couple things that have helped me throughout the week, and I hope they can be of some benefit to you as well

"When you choose to follow God and keep His commandments, you grow in wisdom and strength of character. You can experience joy even in times of trial, and you can face life's challenges with a spirit of peace". 

"Silently we pray for courage to accept thy will, to listen & obey. We love thee, Lord, our hearts are full. We'll walk thy chosen way"

D&C 123:17
Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

D&C 133:53
In all their afflictions he was afflicted. And the angel of his presence saved them; and in his love , and in his pity, he redeemed them, and bore them, and carried them all the days of old; 

Christ will lift us up when we rely on Him. I can't express any further how powerful the Atonement is in our lives. We can't control what happens in our lives, but we have the ability to control how we face and endure the things that happen. 

I've had to take a step back and reflect and remember how blessed I am. We drove up to a look out point of bar beach on a beautiful day. Good and bad things happen to us, but we can look around us and remember how beautiful the world is despite the bad things that happen. 

Australia is beautiful, the people are amazing. I really do love them.

Lake in Pelican
Bar Beach
View from our apartment on the 6th floor
Other things that have happened.

We got a phone call saying we have to park our car as a punishment because we accidentally left it unlocked at the Elder Bednar conference, Sister Weiss had a Red Bull for the long drive down, and apparently that's not allowed, and then for the 'mess' it was...we had food in a grocery bag in the back for the ride down. Oh well, that's good! So we'll be on foot for 4 days within the next two weeks. We walked to the chapel and back, which was a solid 5 km. That doesn't sound so bad until it's hot, you're in a skirt and church shoes, heavy bag and scriptures up a steep hill….

I don't drive in Australia but I pump gas!
During MCM, our WML was saying how protected we are as missionaries. He was telling us his thoughts while he fellowshipped for one of the families we were teaching. They live in a dodgey as area..like you wouldn't go there if you didn't have to. It's not pretty. The first thing that came to his mind was, "where are the exits, how could I escape, and if something happens, I have a sister under each arm and we'll go out that door"...and then he looks at us and how calm and chill we are about it all and just start playing with the kids. It's so true, we are protected. I know we have angels watching over us. 

Anyways, that's about it. I'm becoming bogan....#strayamate.
Being a Novocastrian is fun. 

I love you all heaps. 

Sister Lew

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