Thursday, 25 February 2016

Week 6

Footscray: Feb 15-21, 2016

The week had been about historical tour during preparation day (P-day), pondering and likening scriptures, member visits, teachings, flat inspection, and transfer news.

Zone Preparation Day 
(P-day), Feb 15

From the train station on Flinders Street, we passed by the Cathedral and Melbourne Visitors Center.

Melbourne Visitors Center at Federation Square, opposite Flinders Street.

The tram from Flinders Station to the Shrine had the ad about the Book of Mormon Musical. Though making fun of the book and the missionaries, this musical is an opportunity to arouse interest of the people about the BOM and could be a venue to know the truth. 

Shrine of Remembrance
For the Australian soldiers who fought valiantly to defend their country. I found they had poppies and "Lest we forget" inscription just like Canada.  As I pondered on this, I was reminded of Captain Moroni who led the Nephites so that they could preserve their rights, privileges and liberty to worship God (Alma 43:9); and also of the faithful pioneers who endured persecutions and painfully traveled to Salt Lake City.

I can stretch my arms for a few minutes while Christ lengthens His arms out all the time for those who repent and come unto Him (2 Ne 28:32).

Columns- Just like how these columns support the building, we too shall be supported in our trials, troubles and afflictions if we put our trust in God.

Elder Higham, DL in the other district of our zone, is from Washington DC so I asked him if this place reminds him of home and he said "the Abraham Lincoln Memorial without the pond".. haha.. I told him I visited Washington DC and he said I should go back coz there's more to see.

Behind me is the city of Melbourne.

Medals of Honor - we will never get medals of honor for our service.  We, missionaries, invite people to come unto Christ not for more membership in the church or for honor of the world, but "for the glory of my God," (Alma 60:36).

Our District comprised of 8 Elders (teaching in Vietnamese), my companion and I. 

L to R: Elder Mahendran (DL), Elder Rands (ZL), Elder Vo, Elder Erekson, Elder Howell (ZL), and Elder Roberts.

Two Elders did not show up - Elder Finau & Elder Valenciano.  Also, no zone photo because the other district left early.

The Elders took care of the Vietnamese members and activation of the less actives (almost 400 in the list but some might have moved already).  Every Sunday, those Viet who couldn't understand English very well were provided with headphones and the Elders took turns in translating.  Elder Rands got his mission call to teach in English, however, when he got here over a year ago, Pres. Maxwell assigned him to teach Viet instead.  He was surprised but amazingly, he learned to speak Viet really well.  Gift of tongues? This gift can only be obtained with effort; I'm pretty sure Elder Rands labored and struggled and did all he can to learn the language.  Sometimes I struggled to express myself plainly, simply and clearly to the people we teach but put my trust that the Spirit will help me. The Spirit carries the message of truth unto the hearts of the people and its up to them to accept the truth.

From the Shrine, we went back to Footscray with Elder Stebner and Elder Banner (L-R). Elder Stebner will be going home to Edmonton, Alberta on Feb. 23rd.

Bought the infamous Footscray Donuts with the raspberry filling.  Previous missionaries in this area loved the donuts because they're warm and fresh.  For me, they tasted like shakoy with raspberry filling.  We delighted ourselves in fatness (2Ne 9:51).

Bell Family 
In the evening of same day, we joined the Bell family for dinner and Family Home Evening (FHE). They moved to Australia from Nauvoo, Illinois more than a year ago, with 3 young boys – Colton, Rylan, and Rhett.  We shared about the importance of speaking kind words.  Since the family came from Nauvoo, I shared my Nauvoo experience last year and our conversation touched on how I was able to save money for travels and my mission.  I know that I have been blessed by giving tithes. Sister Albania also asked me to share my oatmeal diet, where I bring oatmeal to work instead of buying lunch to save money for mission and travels.   Just like Alma, with much labor and blessings of tithing, I was able to support my travels.

Sister Barnes
The next day, we got to join Sister Barnes, Primary president, for dinner. She was very generous to accommodate us when our appointments with Sister Neist and Leha family (mom was sick) were cancelled.  She drove about 20 minutes to pick us up.   

While waiting for her, a flower sculpture caught my attention.  I want my testimony to grow to the height of this sculpture and a way to do it is to go to the temple often, a house of prayer and learning, a house of God.

Sister Barnes works as PA for a CEO and likes to plan events.  We shared Alma 37:37 about prayer "Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good;.." Sister Barnes said this reminded her how she used to pray so hard when she was searching for a place to move near her workplace and how that prayer was answered.  She accepted our invitation to pray often and vocally.

My first tim tam slam!  Had success after two attempts. Fun to be Aussie!

Sister Barnes said that "your call picked me up."  Then I replied "thank you for picking us up." She laughed, thought I was cheeky smart.  Oh, the phrase "pick up."

Williamstown Beach is 2 minutes away from Sister Barnes in the background.

Flat inspection on the 19th - the senior missionaries said our flat was clean, horray!! just needed to fix the blinds to ensure privacy in the living room. 

L-R: Elder & Sis McFadden, Elder & Sis Wilding.  The Wildings will replace the McFaddens who will be going home next month.

Wilma and family 

With  Baby Akoch during our visit to Wilma this week

A call from the Bishop for almost an hour directing us to visit recent converts.  The Bishop directs the missionary work in the ward.

Did I tell you that my senior companion, Sister Albania, comes from Makati, Philippines? Her 18th month will be June 2016.

Sunday -
Madlen gave a talk at Sacrament meeting about speaking kind words.  She's Austrian and worked for the Bell family.

Relief Society served cupcakes after the class.

Transfer news? transfer - both of us will stay at Footscray! 

We rejoice - horraay!


Standing on guard

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