Thursday, 18 February 2016

Week 5

Footscray: Feb 8-14, 2016


The week’s highlight was the baptism of Stephen on Feb 13th!  What an amazing journey from the time he was found biking by the Polynesian sisters, then to our teaching moments, his leaving behind smoking and coffee, and his commitment for baptism. Stephen's efforts not to give in to temptations are commendable! Now he's no longer camera shy.  Bro. Matt Wittington (who works in Antartica on seasonal basis) was with him during the lesson and made the drawing on the board while Elder Mahendran, district leader, did the baptismal interview and Derrick Leatitagaloa, ward mission leader, baptized him.  Sister Albania sang while I played the piano for his favorite hymn, Abide with Me, hymn no. 166.

As we come closer to Christ, we will face challenges and temptations, but as long as we seek God, He will give us the strength to overcome them.  Just like Stephen.














The sisters (R to L), Sisters Tempaiia, Bennett and Edrada, saw Stephen biking everyday; one morning they decided to talk to Stephen. They came to the baptism with special permission.



Other activities during the week were:  
1. Chinese / Vietnamese New Year on Monday, Feb. 8 - a program was held in the city branch, though out of our area, the zone leaders approved our presence together with Stephen, still an investigator at that time, and Bob Gilchrist, a recent convert and Stephen's fellowshipper. The Elders sang I Need Thee Every Hour in Vietnamese with Elder Howell playing the guitar.  Elder Howell and Elder Rands are the zone leaders.


It is amazing how the gospel unites people of different cultures and traditions.  It is exciting to search for our family history and learn the traditions and cultures of our forefathers.



Jake of the Australian Ballet also performed during the program.



Jake or Elder Mangakahia served in Canada Toronto Mission from 2013 to 2015.  Before he performed, he introduced me, saying that he was serving in Oshawa Ontario YSA Branch (my home branch) when I received my mission call.

Jake is the son of the famous performer Bernard Mangakahia.


2. Zone meeting on the 9th where I played There is Sunshine in My Soul Today and The Spirit of God on the piano.

3. My first companion exchange on the 10th where I got to plan what to do and where to go. With Sister Chen (senior training leader), we went to Altona Meadows, the farthest suburb in our area. We tried to find Collin, a referral, but when we couldn't find his address, we did tracting and found 5 new contacts. Sister Chen said she didn't feel that I'm a new missionary because I was thorough with maps, train and bus schedules and no time was wasted in travelling.  What also amazed her was that I woke up at 6:20 ready for the day.



4. A visit to Altona with Sister Albania on the 12th. 

Our goal is to do finding 2 hours each day or 14 hours a week.  When we obey, we find people to teach.  Obedience brings blessings.

5. Sabbath Day, the 14th and Valentines Day


Our investigator, Wilma, and the kids attended church. I was Wilma's GPS so we rode with them to church. Wilma's girls are Nyageith (in pink) and Akoch (in car seat) and the 2 boys (Kiir and Juma) at the back who both said 'duck' when they saw the camera.  Juma prayed twice already during lessons.  We will follow-up on their church experience in our next visit and hope they will come to church again next Sunday. 

I gave a talk in church today about how the Book of Mormon influenced me to go on a mission.  The members said that they enjoyed my sense of humor, found my talk funny, fascinating, and inspiring and will always remember me.  I know that they were just being polite.  I will probably post my talk one of these days.



And oh, the Bardzinski couple, Steve and Satomi, are moving to another branch! I'll miss them, they were the first to give us a ride to our investigator. Steve served a mission in Japan and can speak Japanese. Steve and Satomi met in Australia before his mission. 





Our Valentine treats - got to share them!






Canadian Eh!

I got this Canadian flag from Elder Stebner who will be going home next week to Alberta, Canada.  I signed my name on the flag and will give this to the next Canadian missionary that I will meet along the way.














MORE PHOTOS: 


Our flat on Ruperts St. 


Checking for mail..it's empty, so sad!



Seeking shade on a terribly hot afternoon









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