Hello from Sydney!

Hello from Sydney!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hugs, Kisses, and Goodbyes OH MY! Letter from June 29, 2015

Last zone conference with Pres and Sis Howes
I haven't been this spiritually, mentally, and emotionally drained in a long time. The draining came from amazing experiences though. 

We had our last Zone Conference with President and Sister Howes. That was intense. As soon as it started I was already bawling. The spirit in that meeting was so incredibly strong. There was so much love. I feel so safe when I'm with them. I realised that as missionaries, we leave our parents to be under the direction of Heavenly Father, through our mission parents. I know that we have Heavenly parents who love us far more than we can possibly imagine. This love is incredible. We have divine potential as children of God. I have come to know this love through President and Sister Howes. God loves ALL of His children. This is why He has called us to serve, to invite and help His children to return and live with Him for eternity.
We had last interviews with Sister Howes and President Howes gave us each a blessing. It was one of the most beautiful blessings I've ever had. We did workshops with the Assistants as well, and one of the activities was to share a scripture and bear testimony of what it means to us. That was really cool! So many good insights and testimonies. We have such great missionaries in Newcastle Zone. I am so blessed to be able to serve with some of the elect. 
It was incredibly hard to say goodbye to President and Sister Howes, but I am looking forward to serving with President and Sister Checketts. They arrive on Wednesday. Exciting stuff!
I know that the Lord has called me at this time to serve both the Howes' and the Checketts'. There are lessons I need to learn from both of them, and that their leadership is needed for the people of the Sydney North Mission at this current time. There is a purpose behind God's plan for us. 

We also had to temporarily say 'bye' to Jenni :( She went up the coast to live with her parents for a while. 

But enough goodbyes! 

I'm 20 years old now! Sister Howes called and wished me a happy birthday! One thing really stuck out to me. She said, "thank you for being worthy to be here for your 20th birthday". I know that without the Atonement of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, I would not be here. Forgiveness and repentance is a beautiful gift from our Heavenly Father. I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to share this message with everyone. Nobody is perfect, but we are all given the chance to overcome all of our flaws, mistakes, and sins through the Atonement. 

June 27, 1844, Joseph and Hyrum Smith were shot. I studied D&C 135 in my personal study. My testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith grew so much that day. I'm so grateful for the sacrifices that were made so that we could have the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth today. I'm grateful that I now have the knowledge that I can be with my family forever. I would not be here (like...alive) had Joseph Smith not had the humility and faith to pray on that beautiful spring morning in 1820. 

I didn't tell anyone, other than the sisters in our flat, that it was my birthday, yet they all found out. Those darn elders... sneaky sneaky. But it was sweet! I got to celebrate by doing a service project with the ward and cleaning a house of a member. Then we had pizza with a few members, taught Allen, then were with Marlies. Finally we went to the Skelton's for my birthday dinner, where they made pizza! The elders told them, so they ran out and got this delicious chocolate macedamia nut cake and other sweets :) It was really nice and low key. Then we came home to a decorated room full of streamers and balloons! LOVED IT. It was a great birthday! Full of miracles as well!
Throughout the day, we lost keys and we were with people that lost keys. The first thing to do when you lose something is to PRAY, not look for it quite yet. Prayer works. We will be inspired on what we should do to find/replace whatever was lost.

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Celebrating with the Skeltons

Also, we learned that persistence is key in this work! We've been working with a less-active part-member family since I've been here. They've shown interest on and off, but lately, as we keep going by and showing our love for them, they've started to open up. The dad and son came to the service activity and were able to interact with members of the EQ. After that, they came to church the next day for all 3 hours!! (they have only been to church 1 time since I've been here). The Lord truly prepares his children in his own time. It was amazing to see them there. Now we're working with the ward to help them progress. 

Sister Uitu and I were walking to an appointment, when suddenly, I said, "we shouldn't go there". I had the strongest impression that we weren't meant to see Bianca. Sister Uitu then said, "I was just thinking that"...Then we were troubled with what we should do instead. We decided to call a member who lived nearby but said she didn't want visits for the next few weeks because she had a lot on. We were nervous, but as she picked up, she said "I was just thinking about you sisters...come on over!" We had a really nice discussion with her, which led me to tears...Her name is Margaret, and she's an older lady. She's so lovely and sweet. We love visiting her. Her faith is so amazing, and we're so grateful for the bold testimony she shares with us every time we see her.
I also got so rebuked last night. I felt prompted to go see a member after saying bye to Jenni, but it was dark and cold, and we knew she had a big day and probably wanted to spend time with her family. I was even in the middle of writing her a text, then let the natural man take over. DUMB IDEA. We were on the bus, after waiting in the cold for 30 mins, and the member called us and asked how far away we were and if we wanted to come over for dinner and she could drive us home. I felt so stupid for not listening to the spirit. Don't do that. 

My invitation to you is to ALWAYS listen to the spirit. Whether the prompting is big or subtle, follow it! 

Anyways, today, we're going over to Nelson's Bay! That should be good. 

ALSO. I got my birthday package! THANK YOU!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!! and Janet Parkes loved the milanos :P 

Love you heaps! Have a great week!

Sister Lew

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