Hello from Sydney!

Hello from Sydney!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

And the rains came down...

Sister Rupper and her daughter Emily dropped off a package from home (Hong Kong).
Thank you!!!!!
A package from home!
 One of my favourite parts about being a missionary is going finding in the rain! I was on trade-offs with Sister Ihler, from Pocatello, ID, and we just walked around the city, sharing our unique message with everyone that we possibly could. People thought we were crazy for being so happy and "working" in the "horrid weather". It wasn't raining that hard by HK standards, but the wind was strong. It was so much fun! It reminded me of why I am a missionary. I am here to serve a righteous cause and help bring salvation to God's children. That rain was nothing compared to the weather conditions the pioneers faced. We got to watch Ephraim's Rescue with the ward (with our investigators). It was awesome! I'm so grateful for the faith of the early saints. Their faith literally wrought miracles. I've seen that on my mission more times than I can count. As we have faith, the Lord will work miracles. God is so real!
        A little break from the rainstorms
Seasalt chocolate brownie soft serve…omnomnom  with Sister Ihler
This past week has been phenomenal! We had so many miracles and heaps of good finding. I think this was a record of New Investigators on my mission...8!  2 of them are a beautiful couple from Colombia! We are referring them to a family ward, but they're so great. They love the feeling of the church and can definitely see how the Gospel will bless their family. 

Our investigators are doing well! Especially Chimgee and Eva! 

Ever since we've been working with Chimgee, we've been witnessing a miracle. From being curious but not believing in God to knowing that God is real, He loves her, and is helping her in her life in the span of 3 weeks is absolutely incredible. She brought us to tears as she bore her testimony in broken English that she believes in Heavenly Father. It was so beautiful. I love being a missionary! Feeling the spirit so strongly in all that we do is such a blessing. Eva is a miracle as well. She knows the Gospel will help her become a better person. She loves coming to church and she is excited for her baptism on the 14th! 

I received the terribly sad news that Nora is going back to Mongolia this Wednesday... :(  But I know she's going to be so strong and be a leader of the church there. She is absolutely incredible. She and Yan Lin are the best ward missionaries I know. 
I'm going to miss this girl.  Nora, you're amazing!
This is Boa
Lately, I've received a lot of revelation on how I can become who the Lord needs me to be. For the past few months, I have been feeling very inadequate and incapable of doing this great work. I have discovered more weaknesses in myself than I thought I had (Pride and humility have never been such a focus in my life until now...) But I've really learned that to overcome it all is to just focus on others; something that has been brought up again and again in my mission. That is what it means to "forget myself and go to work" and to "love the people". Simply serve them. Care for their welfare...and be genuine about it! I hate how selfish the world wants us to be...but the way of the Lord is to serve others. As we do so, we will feel the greatest satisfaction and joy and love that life could possibly bring us. 
This also applies when we teach. We need to love our investigators enough to help them keep their commitments to prepare for baptism. If we truly desire their salvation, we will make sure that we help them keep commitments rather than simply learning the Gospel. Conversion comes from living it. I know that as I've lived the Gospel, I've been blessed, and this has helped me come even closer to my Saviour. It has helped me know that He lives and that through Him I can return to live with my Father in Heaven. Everything will work out as I continue to do what is right, fully relying on the Lord. 

I love this Gospel with all of my heart. I love my Heavenly Father and my Saviour. I love being a missionary.

Sister Lew
Mexican food and Ginger Beer
Zone P-day at Centennial Park

Zone P-day at Centennial Park

Zone P-day at Centennial Park

Zone P-day at Centennial Park

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Try to be a quail

We had an amazing ward conference yesterday! President Hamilton, the stake president, made the analogy of how we all need to be like quails. When it's cold, they huddle together to keep each other warm and comfortable. In the church, we need to huddle together as members, and keep bringing each other in to keep ourselves warm from the cold (safe from sin). We need to support and fellowship those who are coming into the church or who are feeling left out. We need to reach out to them in love and help them know that their Father in Heaven loves them and has sent His servants to minister to His children. 

This week has been crazy! Lots of finding and teaching. We had trade offs with the South Harbour sisters. It was nice working with older people again...it reminded me of Newcastle and the beautiful people I associated with there. 

Our Mongolian investigators are doing really well! Eba and Chimgee both are pretty on track for baptism. It's hard to meet with everyone though because they all have different work schedules and many are on-call. We have a lovely investigator, Eva, who is SO prepared. She has the greatest desire to become a better person and knows that it is through Jesus Christ that she can accomplish that. She is on date for Nov 14!! Amelia didn't get baptised because she's underage and going back to China in 2 weeks...but she's coming back!! We are constantly seeing miracles. 
We actually had a pretty cool experience.
One day, we were finding for a few hours and we just weren't "feeling it"...so we stopped in an alleyway and prayed to feel the spirit and help us act on it to find people enthusiastically. 
After our prayer, everyone we talked to was super cool! Although we didn't have many new investigators out of it, we had great lessons with them. We even placed a few copies of The Book of Mormon! Something I have learned, especially being in such a huge city, is that EVERYONE deserves to know about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Everyone deserves the opportunity to have exaltation. 
Fun with Yan Lin and Nora

I also had one of the coolest spiritual experiences on my mission. Yesterday, we were teaching Yan Lin about Temples and Missionary Work. She's gone on 2 mini-missions and is a fantastic ward missionary. She started sharing a part of her patriarchal blessing about serving a mission and as soon as she said that, the spirit hit me like a bolt of lightning. I was speechless and started crying, then she started crying, then we hugged and all was well. It is so beautiful to see how the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ can change lives. Literally. It's also amazing to have a personal witness from the Holy Ghost of these spiritual truths and to have these experiences. 

Other than that, life is pretty great! I love being able to serve my Father in Heaven and His beautiful children. I love being able to share what I know to be true, and allow people the opportunity to experience the countless blessings that come from God. 

Have a great week!!!!

Love you heaps,
Sister Lew

Monday, October 12, 2015

What Lack I Yet?

How amazing was General Conference?!

The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is on the Earth today. It is a fact. Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet and Elders Rasband, Stevenson, and Renlund are true apostles of the Lord. I'm so grateful for the many answers I received to my questions and the many revelations I had for the Lord's work, His children, and my future. 

The themes that stuck out to me most were Sabbath-Day Observance and the Plan of Salvation. 
It's so important that we keep things in an eternal perspective and remember our ultimate goal - exaltation with our families. In order to achieve this, we need to fully rely on our Saviour, His teachings, and His Atonement. His teachings include keeping the Sabbath Day holy. I never recognized the significance of this commandment until coming on my mission. But I know that as we fully dedicate this day to God, we will be blessed immensely (there are specific promised blessings...I just don't have my PMG with me right now to help me out #failmissionary). 

I'd invite you all to really take the things you learned at conference and apply them everyday. We tend to remember them for a week or a month or so...but really try to make a conscious effort to heed the words of the prophets in all that we do. I promise as we do so, our lives will be more spirit-filled. We will become the people that Heavenly Father desires us to become. It's such a blessing to have prophets and apostles on the Earth today. They truly are called by Jesus Christ and God. 
Sister Luo and I waiting for our interviews
This past week was great! We had interviews with President and Sister Checketts...I just realised this is my last cycle of interviews, zone conferences, etc.... so that was my last interview before my exit one! Crazy! I love President and Sister Checketts. I'm so grateful for their love and leadership. They have a great vision for this area, which is 4 x in White. Baptism, Temple, Endowment, Sealing. This is a vision that we try to create for every single child of God that we meet. 
We had stake MCM with our Stake President, Pres. Hamilton. He is a very wise man. It felt more like a training than an MCM, but it was SO inspiring. It was fantastic. Great insights on how we can really hasten the Lord's work in this area and how we can encourage all of our members and missionaries to rise. 
Fun fact that he shared. The word 'Enthusiasm' comes from 'entheos', which means "God with them"....so when missionaries are enthusiastic about the work, it's because God is with us. STRUTH!

Sister Luo and I have had a miracle week! Especially with Mongolians. In the past week, we've had 3 new Mongolian investigators, 2 of whom have baptismal dates for Nov 14! Super exciting! Nora has been able to fellowship, and watching her teach and testify in her native tongue is so powerful! The lessons we've had this week have been some of the most powerful lessons I've had in my mission. The Gospel is made for every single one of God's children! It's tailored perfectly to everyone in their individual circumstances. 

We had a district fast yesterday for a harvest of souls...specifically for every companionship to baptize many on November 14th. I know that fasting is so powerful. Please pray that we can meet this goal and that we'll have the faith to do so. 
Faith without works is dead. True statement. However, we need ABSOLUTE faith, no doubts, in order to accomplish the Lord's work. 

We went on tradeoffs with Sister Nelson & Sister Munoa and Sister Smith & Sister Toluta'u last week! I love trade-offs! They're just such great learning opportunities. I love being able to see the Lord's servants the way He views them. God sees us for what we can become. As His children, we have incredible potential. 

I love this Gospel and I love being able to share it with everyone. I absolutely LOVE my companion! We have the best time together. Lots of laughs and lots of love. :)

Have a great week! Love you heaps!

Sister Lew 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

My Soul Hungered

Enos is one of my FAVOURITE books in the Book of Mormon. My soul hungers as I plead with my Heavenly Father every night on my knees. Christ feeds our souls as we rely on Him and His Atonement. There is no mistake, sin, weakness, trial, or heartache we can't overcome. How great is that?! All of this sparked from Sister Munoa and Elder Bartlett's stunning musical number of 'My Soul Hungered'. It brought tears to my eyes....absolutely stunning!! 

We have been able to set 5 baptismal dates with our investigators for October 17th!  We are praying and hoping all will go well and that they can progress! 
That is probably one of the biggest struggles, helping our investigators keep their commitments. We by no means want to rush them, but this is salvation we're talking about. It's hard to help people see the urgency and importance of our message, even when we bear testimony with our whole hearts. 
But our investigators are so great! We had some very powerful lessons, including one with Viviana! We went over to the Asplunds for a yummy dinner and we brought her with us. We taught The Gospel of Jesus Christ and we had such a powerful lesson where it was so clear that the Spirit was teaching. 
Yan Lin and Nora are "my twins" baptized 1month and 2 days apart!!
They love dressing up the same! I'm so happy to be back in the city with them.

Cupcakes with Sister Derrick
We went on trade-offs in Summerhill with Sister Derrick from England and Sister Smith from Utah . I just love our sisters so much! They are such great examples; constantly working with all of their heart, might, mind, and strength…it definitely motivates me. We have SOOOO many new missionaries, so it really pumps us to work hard and be good examples. 

Our Zone before the last transfer
Also, 3 new apostles! I'm so stoked! Elder Rasband came to the mission in Feb with Elder Bednar. The Restored Gospel is true and I know that God has called prophets and apostles to represent Him on the earth to lead and guide us. I am SOOOO excited for General Conference. We got to watch the Woman's conference at the stake center. Definitely so inspired! It was all on hastening the work of Salvation, something we all play a huge role in. 

This week of studies was really good. As I was studying some of the commandments, I learned that God promises us very specific and beautiful blessings. Sometimes the commandments can seem like restrictions that prevent us from having fun, but it is the complete opposite. I know that living the commandments brings even greater joy into our lives. They liberate us from guilt and shame, feelings that hold us back more than any other feeling. When we keep the commandments, we are safe and protected. We avoid pain and heartache. We are filled with peace, joy, and love. It's such a great blessing to have commandments. Especially the simple ones like CPR (Church, Prayer, Read the Book of Mormon). These things help us have the spirit in our lives. When we don't have the spirit, we feel stuck....so keep the commandments! 

It's getting really hot over here. It's nice! My tan is coming back! #missionarytanlines

Anyways, I hope you all are doing well!! Have a great week! 

Love you heaps,
Sister Lew