Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Week 49

Launceston, Tasmania: Dec 12-18, 2016

P-Day at Riverview, visited Perth and Hobart, exchanges with the Sandy Bay Sisters, Zone Christmas Party with the Vidmars, Jason's miracle, and many more...

Dec 12, Monday - District P-Day at Riverview Fishing Retreat.  Todd, LDS, owned the property.  Others fished and played ukulele while I ate chicken, rice and donuts..haha..

We then continued to look for souvenir shops in the town. The big Christmas tree and Quadrant Mall behind us...
Had dinner with the Wheeler family; also visited Bec and met other ward members helping her in the kitchen.  She offered us Dory Ice cream and we shared with her #LightTheWorld video.  Bec had been through a lot with her Dad in the ICU, but despite all, she remained true and strong.

Dec 13, Tuesday - After District meeting, we visited Luz, mom of Kathryn, the investigator being taught by the elders.  Luz is Filipino, lost both her legs after an infection of in-grown toenail, but she remained positive and strong.  She wanted her daughter, Kathryn, to learn more of the church and be baptized.  Luz was introduced to the church by her husband. Then we then did some visiting and tracting in Perth; some were receptive to our Christmas message.
We then continued to Hobart and stayed with the Sandy Bay Sisters.

Dec 14, Wednesday - Exchanges with the Sandy Bay Sisters. Nativity stickers on the window of their flat.

Lunch after studies to get ready for the day..
The Sandy Bay usually GQ..while walking found this tree with fruits, sour, good to eat with salt but didn't know its name..
A miracle for today..It was very windy and we stopped a guy named Jason. He said he was not interested to join a religion but he studied the Bible.  Sister Pratt did all the talking as his English was not that great and my Chinese was no better. He was not interested but we gave him our number, Book of Mormon and pamphlets. Two hours after we parted, we received a text message from him saying that he read the pamphlets and wanted to meet with us again and learn more. Miracle!

Dinner with the Glen Huon Sisters at Sandy Bay flat.

Dec 15, Thursday - Exercise time.  The Glen Huon Sisters showed us the damage of their car when hit by a loose trailer because of the strong winds yesterday. This happened while they were about to start a lesson at an investigator's house; the adversary's way of stopping them but failed.

Our Zone Christmas Party with Pres. Vidmar.  A gift to the Vidmars - Kangaroo skin with messages from Us.
Played games

Elder Nilsson challenged Pres. Vidmar for handstand competition; Pres. Vidmar won.
Photo above: The TAS Sisters
Photo below: Dinner at an Italian restaurant

Ice cream time.

The Vidmars gave us awesome gifts and a Mission emblem - necklace for the Sisters, lapel pin for the Elders.
Zone Photo with Pres. and Sis. Vidmar

Dec 16, Friday - Shared a gift with the Sisters
After DLC, on our way back to Launceston, we bought fresh cherries, very sweet!
We made it to the Ward Christmas Party!  The McPartlins invited Sony, a friend from Nepal, her first time to visit the church. Awesome family for inviting Sony!

In our flat, Sister Burden fixed our tree.

Dec 17, Saturday - The Elders' excited faces for the Bread Run.
We met Adam today and followed up about his readings of the Book of Mormon.  He said he bought a new book, The Power of Now, and read it instead of the Book of Mormon.  We read 3Nephi 11 and invited him to read more.  I thought of how the adversary stopped people from finding the truth.  We also visited Kerren, then Peter.  Peter convinced us to drop our faith and receive the Gift of the Spirit evidence speaking of tongues.  We dropped the bread and continued to hold on to our faith.

Flat tyre again.

Dec 18, Sunday -
Charlotte's birthday today.

The Johnstone's will be leaving next Sunday.

Dinner with Sister Kaye and Maddi; Kaye gave us presents; Maddi was excited for their trip to Melbourne.

While visiting Kaye's place at Swan Point, 40 kms away, we visited other people on the ward list at Gravelly Beach.  We were able to contact three of them, also met Dennis from Brisbane.  We shared to him the Restoration and said that "you might get me to join your church." We invited him to read, pray and talk to missionaries upon his return to Brisbane. 

Monday, 26 December 2016

Week 48

Launceston, Tasmania: Dec 5-11, 2016

MLC in Melbourne, service at Rosemarie's garden, Zone meeting, singing Christmas carols, visiting and teaching, Christmas Devotional, Willard's miracle, and many more..

Dec 5, Monday - The usual P-day.  We went to Penny Royal near the Gorge for souvenir items, then to QVMAG Art Gallery which showcased art works of students, then to the city center for other souvenir shops. 
Jackie then drove us to the airport for our flight to Melbourne.  Too late, we learned that our flight was cancelled due to the storm in Sydney and the aircraft would not arrived.  The mission office booked another flight for us tomorrow. 
We called Jackie again to pick us up. As a penalty for disturbing the family home evening, we helped make truffles, which the family named Phantom Drops, for the less active youths in the ward.
Dec 6, Tuesday - We left home at 5:30 am and drove to the airport as it was too early for Jackie to drive us.  The West Side STLs picked us up from Melbourne airport.  It was a good time to catch up with them regarding the successes and miracles in our areas.
Today, we had our MLC in the mission office and lunch in the mission home.

With caramel and choco fudge for dessert, Sister Burden was stoked. 
Hanging from the Christmas tree in the mission office were printed badges of the missionaries serving in the mission.  On top of the tree were the badges of Pres. and Sis. Vidmar. 
On our way back to the airport, the Assistants and Zone Leaders shared some of the unforgettable memories in the mission.  When we passed by Flemington which is part of Footscray area, Elder Howell mentioned how time flew so fast when we used to serve in Footscray.

Dec 7, Wednesday - We helped Sister Clark's neighbor, Rosemarie, with her raised garden.  Funny thing was Elder Nilsen helped build this garden a year ago, and now he was back to help break it down.  Rosemarie cooked a very good lunch and dessert.  She used to own a restaurant and cooked.  We shared the #LightTheWorld with her.
We tracted Perth.  It was amazing that the people from the first and last doors we knocked, Andrew and Patlouise, were interested in learning more of the church.  Then we rushed to  Deloraine for the Stake Mission Coordination Meeting with Stake President Walters and President Vidmar (on skype).  President Walters emphasized working with members by working on splits with them.  On our drive back to Launceston, we called on Sister Vinen and other members regarding their progress to share the #LightTheWorld.  Also met Willard Ruvinbo and set a teaching appointment this Saturday.

Tonight, the Sisters from Hobart and Glen Huon would stay with us for the Zone meeting tomorrow. We prepared dinner..actually Sister Burden did all the cooking..haha..she cooked spaghetti.  It was good to catch up with the Sisters and the miracles in their areas.  I am grateful to be able to serve with them; they were hardworking and diligent.
Dec 8, Thursday - Zone meeting: My companion and I gave a training of working with members.  We shared the steps that Pres. Vidmar shared - PLAN-PREPARE-PERFORM- EVALUATE, the steps to use when preparing members to share the gospel to their friends.  We made it a bit different.  Instead of Evaluate, we used PROGRESS, thus 4Ps, easier to remember.  PROGRESS, to follow-up the members and see their progress and their friends' progress.  We also used scripture Mark 5:18-20.
 The struggle of trying to get a Zone photo.
After the Zone and District meetings, we tried to visit former investigators but none was home.  We then joined the ward council and caroling around Prospect area where 3 of our recent converts moved.  We joined the elders in singing carols and giving of cards and gifts.  It was fun to be able to sing Christmas songs and see the smiles on their faces.  We also got the chance to ride with Sister Honey who just got back from the States to attend her daughter's wedding.

Dec 9, Friday - Today, we did a number of visits to  members and non-members: David and his questions about prophets and races, to which we were able to address and he wanted to learn more about Jesus Christ; Rachael, to whom we shared the #LightTheWorld and 3Nephi 11:2-7; Mario, whom we spoke to over the fence, said he attended Church of Apostles, but said that modern apostles not necessary because of pastors; Saga, 13, from Nepal, said he would like to visit Church but would ask parents' permission first; Kaye, who said we could come back to share message.We then had a meal with the McPartlin.  Brother McPartlin was born in the Philippines, moved to Australia 10 years ago, met the missionaries 2 years ago, was baptized and got sealed to family last January 2016.  Awesome family - they raised their kids, 2 boys and a girl, in the gospel.

We called Leanne earlier, she said she was not feeling well and would love a priesthood blessing, so we called Bro. Challis and Bro. Peri. When we went to Leanne's place, she was not home and nobody answered the phone. We got the chance to catch up with Bro. Challis about Sandra. Then when we went around the area, we met Paul (through Bro. Peri), a former investigator, and his kids.  We gave a card to his daughter and she said that she would check out the website Mormon.org.

Dec 10, Saturday - We joined the RS sisters with their Christmas card making and breakfast prepared by the brethren.
We then sang carols at the age care facility beside the church and gave the elderly flowers.  What a great activity!  We then visited Alison and found out that she was moving to Perth.   We also visited a few names on the ward list that we haven't met yet.  Sad, they had been members for a while but stopped coming.

We met Willard Ruvinbo today and shared the #LightTheWorld.  Willard was so excited to do the calendar and plan what to do.  Willard shared that our visit last Wednesday was a miracle.  When we knocked, he stopped vacuuming and turned off the vacuum cleaner.  After we talked, he went back to his vacuuming, but as he turned it on, it blew.  Willard said that if he hadn't turn it off for a while to talk to us, it could be more worse, it could have blewn harder and could have caused fire,  because of overheating. He said that we were God-send messengers.

Dec 11, Sunday - Bishop invited us to join the ward fast for Brother Gugliotti ho was in the ICU.  After church, we met a former investigator, Elfreda and her daughter Victoria. Victoria asked us to share more so we shared the Restoration.  She said she will read the Book of Mormon and visit the church.  We also met Shana who had 4 kids and agreed for return appointment next week.  We then joined the ward for Soup Sunday and Christmas Devotional.  Then we drove to Legana to meet a referral, Angela.  Angela was not interested to learn but accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon. Maybe she would read it or a visitor might see it..who knows?

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Week 47

Launceston, Tasmania: Nov 28 - Dec 4, 2016

The Christmas Spirit is up!  Sharing the #LightTheWorld initiative to all! 

Nov 28, Monday - Bringing our Christmas Spirit to Tamar Wetlands Center...

Free.. but watch out for..

We then visited the Wheeler family and shared a meal with them, as well as 1John 1:5-7 going with the #LighttheWorld initiative.  The family accepted the challenge to share the pass-along cards.  
Baby Eve Wheeler growing up so fast
Also visited and shared the #LightTheWorld with Amanda and her non-LDS husband Chris.

Nov 29, Tuesday- Brought our tree to the District Meeting; we also did a lot of role-playing on how to be bold but not overbearing and to invite more people to come unto Christ. 
L-R: Elder Nilsson (fr Nova Scotia), Elder Parone (fr Phils), Elder Symons (back of tree), Elder Morones, Elder Valenciano (blue suit), Elder Payne

We visited a former investigator, Tony, who appreciated our message about Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness but he was not interested to have more lessons. Maybe next time he will be ready.

Then to the Challis home where the family invited their neighbor Sandra.  Sandra loved the #LightTheWorld video and very interested in family research.  She asked a lot of questions why we value family so much.  The Challis were very helpful in answering her questions. Such good member missionaries. Bro. Challis also cooked a lovely meal of BBQ chicken, porterhouse and salad.

We met Adam, a referral from the Say family, his wife Ali and the 3 kids.  This family recognized the great example set by the Say family.  Adam has been searching and learning different religions, had strong beliefs in God and his own set of beliefs.   His family had been taught by the missionaries before.  we shared the Restoration using the cups and he said he will read the Book of Mormon, which was good.  We set up another appointment with him this Saturday.

Nov 30, Wednesday - Today, we travelled to St. Helens, stopped by Falmouth to see Elizabeth.  She said she still believed but had not been in church, in her words "gone like Emma Smith."   She showed us her Nativity and Jesus as the focus of Christmas.  We then visited Peggy in Scamander, already shared the #LightTheWorld video, awesome!  She showed us her garden and played "Sweet Hour of Prayer" on her organ.  She told us about her parents, strong Catholics, that we could visit them, too.

We visited James, an investigator.  His friend Stan was with him.  A miracle, I would say, Stan used to live in NZ and was visited by missionaries, had lots of questions but not able to ask because he moved to Tasmania, then he met us. We shared about the Restoration and asked if we can meet again tomorrow before we go back to Launceston, and they said yes.

Yes, we got a chance to stop by Peggy's parents.  We met her mom, 2 brothers and a sister. We shared to her mom the video of #LightTheWorld and she loved it.  She showed to us a birthday gift of not so long ago, a Book of Mormon.  We asked her if she had read it and she answered "not yet."  We asked if she wanted to learn more about it and meet with us, sadly she said "No dear, I have my own beliefs."  It's okay...someday.

The Terry family - the kids were excited to show us their trampoline back flip skills.

Dec 1, Thurs - We met James (Stan did not make it) and shared more about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and gave him church dvds before we proceeded back to Launceston.  We took the Scottsdale route which was the other way back to Launceston. 

In our search for an address of a referral, we drove through unpaved roads and got to a very steep scary muddy road.  We decided to turn back, did a 3-point turn, and prayed when we got to the bottom.  We both agreed to try another time because its raining and dangerous.  We continued to drive and reached Scottsdale, met McKlenan  family and the couple agreed to be part of the #LightTheWorld initiative. 

Dec 2, Friday- DLC, fundraising at the Ravenswood Community Center and a message to Sis. Gugliotti who used to take missionaries to far areas to do missionary work.  Now, she couldn't do it anymore because of health conditions.
We helped wrap the items for sale while the elders sold sausages.

Dec 3, Saturday - We sorted the breads into the bags for our bread run. (Yesterday, Brother Pawson from the bishopric brought the breads in behalf of Bro. Peri who was in Hobart.)
Some of the kids to whom we gave bread gave us roses in return.  We also taught a few people and got return appointments.

Dec 4, Sunday - We met Brother Victor Phillips from Utah who was in Tasmania for a business trip. He took a video of us and told us that he would send a copy to our families. He asked if there was anything he could do to help.  Such great faith!

We visited Bev as well LA, and she came to church today.  We shared a meal with Bishop Rogers family as well.