Yes, yes, it's my birthday month. (and Chrissy's!)
This week has been incredible and incredibly exhausting! You know how Joseph Smith was so physically worn out after the first vision (and after all of his spiritual experiences)...I now understand why! I received so much revelation throughout the week and I'm wiped, but it's good!
We had a meeting with Elder Cook and that was so good!!! We woke up at 4:30 to drive down to Sydney...cold, dark, early mornings are bu hao, but so worth it to see an apostle of the Lord. We got to shake hands with him and his wife. The area president, Elder Pearson was there as well along with Elder Leota (another seventy) and their wives. It was pretty cool. They emphasized our role as missionaries. One of the main things that Elder Cook pointed out is to be a ward/branch builder. We are here to build and strengthen the branches and wards we serve. Not just find people and baptise them, but to really work with the members. Without the members, missionary work is ineffective. We had a Q&A session and there was a lot of revelation received from the answers of the leaders.
- Converted unto the Lord means that when we come off our missions, we will endure to the end. We will not go back to the person that we were before the mission...not only that, but we will not look back. We will come home and do all that we can to serve the Lord in our communities. We won't think twice about being married outside of the Temple.
- Being a consecrated missionary means that we will take the habits and the schedule of the mission and apply it to our lives back home. Being perfectly obedient to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and fulfilling every calling that we are given.
I also had a pretty unique experience. I know that we're supposed to go into these meetings with a question in mind, but I honestly couldn't think of anything until right before the conference. We were given time to study before Elder Cook arrived, and as we were doing so, I was going through my Patriarchal Blessing and got my questions from there. Then throughout the conference, EVERY single one of my questions got answered. It was a huge testimony to me that Heavenly Father is very aware of us individually and he has called Prophets and Apostles to lead us, and give us revelation today.
We had zone conference on Thursday and that was also really good. We talked a lot about 'feeling' our purpose, not just knowing it. It's important that we act on the things that we know we need to do as disciples of the Lord. We also talked a lot about the transitioning of mission presidents...sad. But I'm super excited to learn from President Checketts. I know that he's been called by God to serve here and I am called to Him to serve the Lord.
On the teaching side of things, the work has been a tad slower. Unfortunately, Shulin doesn't quite feel ready but please pray that he will continue to progress. He has such a great desire to find the truthfulness and reality of our Saviour. We are so incredibly proud of him and the progress he's made so far.
We also finally have meal roster going around the ward haha. It's not filled out much, but we're still so grateful that the members are willing to work with us.
This leads me to my next point that I talked about earlier. Missionary work is ineffective without the members. Missionaries in your respective wards are called there to serve YOU (and the Lord of course). Look for opportunities to do missionary work. Pay attention to your peers, family, etc. around you. Heavenly Father has prepared people for the members to find and for the missionaries to teach. Fellowship them, as well as reach out to the less-active and struggling members of the ward. Let them know that you care, even if they don't want anything to do with the church. As you do so, you will see the Lord's miracles even more.
That's about it...
2 more weeks in the transfer!! crazy! This week, we have another zone conference with Elder Pearson, and Shulin will be baptised!! yay!!!! :) :)
I love you all heaps!!!! Have a great day and stay warm! (I am freezing…)