Hello from Sydney!

Hello from Sydney!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Still in Newcastle!

It's official, Newcastle is my longest area (so far)! :) I'm happy I can stay, but a little bummed because I won't be speaking Chinese as often. Sister Hu went home and Sister Yu got transferred to Ryde ward! We're getting Sister Afualo and she'll be training a new missionary :) It's crazy how fast time flies. This transfer will be 4 weeks...and then after that I have 6 months left. How did that happen????

It's been a beautiful week here in Newcastle. The weather is starting to cool down heaps, leaves are changing colours and falling, and the work is moving! 

Hot chocolate on a cool winter day :) 
Shulin is progressing really well. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he just loved it. He's already read through Enos in the Book of Mormon (It's been 2 weeks), and he reset his own baptismal date! The date we initially set for him was a little rushed, but he is now preparing for June 6th. We're so excited!
We have an investigator, Kylie, who is progressing really well. She's been keeping the Word of Wisdom and she's started to pray regularly! 
June, Jenni, and Tori are all doing well, and now we're helping them prepare for the ward Temple trip in June! 

Yesterday was an interesting day.
We went to a special stake conference and got to witness the birth of Gosford Australia Stake, and someone opposed the new Stake President. We got a ride home from a member and started to chitchat, a couple of conversation topics later, we were almost in Sydney!! None of us realised that we were going in the wrong direction! The ride back seemed heaps longer.

Then we went to visit a referral who happens to be a Pentecostal Missionary for the Church of Christ. We walked in at the end of her service in her home. The congregation consisted of 2 young Filipinos and their old Aussie husbands...Lots of Hilsong and then "tithing" got passed around. Let me remind you, this is in their home. Then we got Bible bashed, thankfully we were able to get out of there in 40 minutes.

Afterwards, when we were on the bus, there was an old drunk man getting off, and his pants fell down so everyone saw his bare butt...what ever happened to wearing underwear?

Despite all the weird events, I learned heaps.

Our church leaders, whether they are the Prophet, Apostles, Stake Presidents, Bishops, etc. are called by God through revelation to those holding the Priesthood keys. this is the Lord's church, and things are done in His way. As members of the church, we accept the responsibility to do what the Lord asks of us. If we truly have faith in Jesus Christ, we will be willing to follow Him, and trust that everything is happening according to His will. 
Prophets are called by God to testify of Christ, and to warn and protect us. When we heed the prophet's counsel, we will not be led astray and we will be safe. We can avoid misery, sorrow, and pain. I was studying this earlier today, and it's so true!!! Following the prophets is one of the greatest commandments. I think about the times where I didn't listen, even to the most simplest of things like daily scripture study and prayer, and how much better off I would've been if I had followed His teachings. 
I also learned that as a missionary/minister, we don't need to know everything. It's okay to not know the answers to questions that people have. This Gospel and this life in general is all about continual learning and growth. It never ends!! (It's a good thing I'm Chinese and I enjoy studying...everyone here assumes that I'm good at math, little do they know I got held back a year in math). 

Everything else is Newcastle is going well. I love this work, even if it makes me exhausted by the end of everyday. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. 

I hope you are all well! I love you :) 

Sister Lew

Winter is coming...

With Bianca a recent convert

I'm so glad I got to talk to you guys yesterday!!! (sorry Chris and Alex... :(  )

Happy Mother's Day to the best mum in the world!! 
I was thinking about the motherly influences in my life and I'm so grateful to have such great examples. This includes the best mum in the whole world, strong and courageous grandmothers, aunties who always give advice, and the mums from church, whether you were my youth leaders, teachers, or parents of my best friends. I've learned what qualities I want to obtain as I prepare to be a mother in a million years time. So to all you mother's that have impacted my life, THANK YOU! I love you all!

Mother's day was great this year!  Sacrament meeting was very touching, and then the Priesthood had costco cheesecake and apple pie for refreshments for all of the sisters afterwards. :)
Then we had an awesome feed at the Boeree's home. Their family is amazing, I'm so grateful for the Newcastle ward and how they really take us in like family. Their love and support has helped us so much in this work. 

Mother's Day Dessert with Sister Boeree.
This week has been hectic! We had a training meeting on Monday for all of the trainers which went to almost 9 pm. It was SO good. Although much of it was the same content as when I first came into the mission, the impact was so much stronger. I've started to rediscover my purpose as a missionary. Because of this, it made calling home heaps easier. I was less distracted and more focused on what Heavenly Father wants for me and His children. So much new revelation was received on how I can improve and best do this work. 
We also had a zone training meeting on Wednesday which was focused on feeling our purpose. It seems to be a common theme, but it's definitely inspired. 

Wednesday we had a Zone p-day at the beach and that was really fun! We played a long game of touch footy...haven't played that since senior year, and I was so sore afterwards. 

Zone P-day at the beach

Sister Metta, Sister Remington, Sister Smith, Sister Hu

Aside from the fun and revelation received, we've also had miracles!
During our 5 hour session of weekly planning (yes, it took FIVE HOURS), we were confirming with Shulin and Allen, our Chinese investigators with baptismal dates, to see if they're coming to church, because they said they would. Then Shulin hesitated and said he had a lot of assignments due and that he couldn't come. Eventually, the spirit guided the conversation and he agreed to come to church. Then the next day, his ride was 45 minutes late, and he called us saying he wasn't going to come because he didn't think his lift would show up. However, in the middle of sacrament meeting he walked in with a suit on! (We made a boo boo and forgot to tell him what to wear the first Sunday he came to church). At the end of church, he told the elders he was glad he came to church because he learned a lot and he wants to keep learning. He basically said that he has so much he needs to do, but he knows God needed him at church. That's amazing to hear from someone that we've taught 2 times!!! 

Other miracles...we got fed when we forgot to plan our lunch and dinner and didn't have time to buy groceries! Heavenly Father is definitely looking out for us. 

Also, we got back in touch with Chris!!! Our Korean investigator. We went over and he made us a Korean feed and we were able to really figure out what was holding him back and he's agreed to continue meeting with us to seek the truth and if it is for him. 

Something that's been on my mind lately is how relevant the Gospel is to each person in their own individual circumstances. The Gospel is applicable to EVERYONE, and more specifically, the Atonement. We have trials and challenges and we assume that no one knows how we're feeling because they've never experienced it, but Christ suffered for each one of us individually. Regardless of the obstacles we have, Christ knows how we feel, and if we truly have faith in Him, our burdens will be lifted, our guilt, sorrow, and pain are taken away. 
No one said the Gospel will make life care-free and easy, but it makes it more bearable. It reminds us of our purpose and our individual worth. It builds us up to become the very best that we can be. 

This is the last week of transfers! My goodness.... 

I hope you all have a good week. Remember to choose the right. 

I love you all!
Sister Lew

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Rain, rain, GO AWAY

Seriously, this rain is killing me. It needs to stop. 

Do you want to know what's crazy? I went to the Temple for the first time one year ago. Time flies by so fast. I can't believe it's already May. I'm excited for this month. Good things are happening in the mission. However, winter is coming, and proselyting in skirts is no bueno when it's cold and windy. 

It's been an up and down week. In terms of finding and referrals, we have 6 new awesome investigators, 2 of whom are Chinese and are preparing to be baptised at the end of the month!! Billy, on the other hand, is avoiding us and that scares me heaps. He is SO prepared for the Gospel. I don't know what's going on. But we just keep praying that the will of the Father will happen and he will accept the Gospel in his own time. 

We had an amazing fast and testimony meeting. Jenni turned and asked me if she should bear her testimony, and I said, "if you want to", so she immediately got up.  She bore the most incredible testimony. It was simple and powerful. The spirit was so strong! She was saying how everyone was telling her not to go to church, especially with her health condition. She was so tempted not to go, but she prayed and received confirmation that she needed to go, and so she came and she knows she made the right decision. I am so proud of her!!! Words cannot express the joy I feel from seeing Jenni's growth and progression in the Gospel. It blows my mind! 

This week, we had interviews with President and Sister Howes. Those interviews are always so amazing. The love from President and Sister Howes gives me a glimpse of the love my Heavenly parents have for me. I hardly see Pres and Sis Howes, and I've known them for less than a year, but the love I have for them is so strong. I've learned so much from them. I'm really sad to see them go, but super stoked for the new mission president. 

What else happened...

We had tradeoffs with the STL's this week, so that was cool! I was with Sister Metta who's from Papua New Guinea. She has an AMAZING voice, so talented.

I bought a onesie at K-mart for $12...best investment ever. It's so fluffy I'm going to die. 

Sister Yu (from Aberdenn) with her face mask on
Life in Newcastle is great. I love it here and the ward is amazing. The missionaries are so great and I am so thankful for God's love for me, he knows that I need to be here at this time to learn and progress. This Gospel is amazing, and I feel like it's changed my life heaps more than the people I've been teaching in these past 10 months. It's a beautiful Gospel and it's because Heavenly Father loves us enough to send Christ as our Saviour and Redeemer. 

I can't wait to talk to Mum&Dad&Jessie on Mother's day!!!!

Love you all heaps,
Sister Lew

Finally, our all mission Christmas photo