Hello from Sydney!

Hello from Sydney!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


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…)

Sister Lew

Fat Sister Lew - I call myself that so skinny chicks like you don't do it behind my back

I felt like having a trunkie moment with Pitch Perfect. We went to dinner with two sisters in our ward before they went to see Pitch Perfect 2 and I was like...okay cool, just tell us all about it. So they're two mothers, you would think they're old and motherly, but they're like high schoolers. It's great. 

Anyways. This week has been LONG, cold, and rainy. One of my goals was to be less bossy, not take the lead. That was so hard. I've been blessed to have companions in the past with just as strong personalities, that we worked well together and with each other, but for the past 7 weeks, it's been me doing the planning and organising. I try to guide my companion through it but she expects me to do it all, so this week, I made her do it. Wow, that was frustrating... Most of it was like figuring out which bus to take, where to, and where and when to transfer buses. Simple city life stuff, and we had been doing it for 6 weeks prior to that, so I figured she'd have some sort of clue. Not at all. But I made her do it. It's so hard to sit back when you know it's easier to just do it yourself. But that's okay, it was a learning experience. She's patient with my lack of patience and I'm very grateful for that. 

We did have a miracle though! We missed the bus and we decided to help out an older Chinese lady who was nearby. It turns out that we were an answer to her prayers because her arms were sore and tired and she didn't want to do the front yard chores, but had to, so we helped her. She invited us into her home and it reminded me of Asia, super cute. She even gave us slippers to wear inside haha! She's Christian herself and definitely sees the hand of the Lord in her life. It was beautiful. 

Shulin is progressing really well! He came to church, and as our WML pointed out, his countenance from the first time he came to now has changed so much. We are praying that he continues to have spiritual experiences so that he will be prepared to be baptised next month. 
Kylie, unfortunately, suffered a mini-heart attack, but she's alright. We've been seeing her so it's good and she's recovering. 

We've been doing a lot of less-active work this week, and my testimony of doing less-active work has increased so much. It's so powerful when we work with people who recognise the presence of the spirit in their lives and the steps they're taking to come closer to our Saviour to feel the spirit more. 

Other than that, life is good. We have new sisters in the flat who are great! Sister Afualo from American Samoa and Sister Stigen from Mesa, AZ. They're so fun to be with, and so the four of us have been having a ball. 
I love the missionaries here. The spirit is always so strong when we're together. I'm grateful to be in such an amazing mission where everyone here is so purpose driven. We know why we are here and we're willing to work. 

Last night, Elder Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve did a fireside, so we watched the broadcast, and surprise surprise...it was all on marriage.. It's good for us missionaries to know how we can better help the families we work with. Lots of revelation received. Families are ordained of God. They are so so so important. A successful family comes from first, having a successful marriage built on the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Elder Pearson, the area president, also brought up a really good point. The fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:12?) are a choice. We can choose to feel the spirit in any circumstance. When crappy things happen, we can still choose to be happy. We're only miserable because we're allowing the natural man to take over. 

I'm excited! This week is going to be really good! Tomorrow we have a missionary conference with Elder Cook then we have zone conference on Thursday. I love trainings and meetings!! They always have the perfect balance of being rebuked and motivated to do the Lord's work. 

I hope you're doing well. Have a great week! Love you all heaps!

Sister Lew