Hello from Sydney!

Hello from Sydney!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

9 down, 9 to go...

I hit hump dayyyyy. That wasn't terribly exciting. Just kidding, I lied. It was so good! It was the first day I was with my new soa (Samoan for companion), Sister Uitu! We had a miracle day! Two new investigators and one of them accepted the invitation to be baptised!

Me and Sister Vaovasa
Last week was CRAZY. On Monday, I was companions with Sister Vaovasa, and we just had a nice, relaxed, and rainy p-day. Tuesday morning, we headed down to Sydney for our Train-the trainers meeting with President and Sister Howes. There's 22 of us training! It was cool to be down there and see everyone, including Sister Ah Fua and Elder Dean, missionaries I served with in the city. It was heaps fun. We talked about how trainers are one of the most important leadership roles in the mission. Terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. How you train someone has a large impact on the success of the missionary and the mission in the future. We stayed the night at the Normanhurst sisters' flat for the evening and then went back to Carlingford the next day. Down there, I got roasted duck and crispy pork rice...sooo good. I missed Chinese food. Then we were hanging out on the Temple grounds, so pretty!! After that, we met our babies!! The room was PACKED! We had a great meeting with them and had a testimony meeting where all of the new missionaries bore their testimony. The spirit was so strong and it was really neat. I loved the training, because it reminded me how important this work is and how privileged we are to be called as the Lord's missionaries. It reminded me of my purpose in being here. One thing that stuck out to me was that 'commandments are blessings'. We don't keep the commandments in order to receive blessings. Commandments are blessings to us and provide us the way to return to our Heavenly Father. About 3/4 into the meeting was when President announced the new companionships! I'm with Sister Uitu from American Samoa. She's really sweet and keen on doing the work, so I'm super pumped to be working with her! Greenie fire! :) 

My new "greenie", Sister Uitu!

Yay!! Chinese food in Sydney!

So, serving in Newcastle while living in Charlestown without a car is pretty dang difficult. The bus system here is pretty bad. It could be worse, but it's just not efficient. If we miss the bus, we have to wait an hour. Also, it gets dark at 6, and some areas are pretty dodgey, so it's not super ideal to be taking the bus back after dark, which limits our finding. The first day I was training, or maybe the second, I was super stressed. During studies, I freaked out in my head a little thinking, "Heavenly Father, WHY AM I IN THIS SITUATION???" I was about to call president to tell him to send a more qualified trainer who can drive so Sister Uitu doesn't have to suffer. I'm not looking for pity compliments to make me feel better, this is honestly how I feel. I know the Lord needs me to learn something from this situation, and ultimately, I know he has a purpose for his children in Newcastle by me being here, but it's so hard to remember sometimes. We did end up having a miracle first day though. Jason brought his Korean friend, Chris, and he was super keen! They both ended up coming to General Conference and loved it! We also met a really nice girl who knew a little bit about Latter-day Saints because of the Book of Mormon musical! She said she liked the way she felt about the Joseph Smith story and how there are prophets to carry on His 'legend' today! She wasn't super interested because she's not religious, but I think there's potential there. Teaching with Sister Uitu has been really good. She's a powerful missionary and she listens well. The next day, we met some of our recent converts and they already love her. So that's good!! 

Miracles happened that day as well... we missed the bus and I got stressed, so I prayed at the bus stop, thinking what we should do, and I felt prompted to go finding while waiting for the next bus. After about 3 minutes of walking around, I ran into a girl that's on the same rugby team as Janet Parkes' sister...we met her one time and so I stopped her and said Hi! She offered us a ride to Jenni's place which was sweet! Then afterwards, we stopped by the Metcalf's to introduce Sister Uitu to some members, and they invited us to stay for dinner, which was take out Thai and Chinese, so yummy. Then they drove us home. On the way, S. Metcalf asked if we wanted to stop by the Mooseman's, some other members, so we did and ended up having a really spiritual lesson with them. We shared Alma 26:12 and Sister Mooseman said that that's exactly what she needed to hear. For with God, all things are possible. It is so true. Without God, we are weak. He lifts us up to accomplish the impossible. 

General conference this week was awesome! I didn't take heaps of notes, but I did take some. The whole conference being on marriage didn't seem terribly appealing to me as a missionary right now...I understand that everything said is super important and applicable, and I'll need to follow the counsel of our leaders, but it just gave me weird vibes. I can't believe there's a temple in Bangkok! That's awesome! I love listening to conference. The spirit is so strong and I know that they truly are called of God. 

This transfer is going to be one of challenges, trial, learning, growth, and miracles. I can feel it. Just keep praying that I'll be alright :) 

Have a great week. alofa atu :) 

Sister Lew

Me and Sister Ou.  We had the same trainer so we are "sisters".

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