Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Week 10

Footscray: March 14-20, 2016

"Hard as things seem today, they will be better in the next day if you choose to serve the Lord this day with your whole heart." - President Henry B. Eyring

March 14: Today is our P-day and Labor Day holiday: Together with the missionaries of the Heidelberg Zone and the Chinese Program, we visited the Twelve Apostles Marine National Park.  Our tour guide is a recent convert who was baptized 2 days ago. It took us 4 hours to get to this place.

The arches reminded me of Moab, Utah. The smell of the ocean was soothing.  The sand and the waters were inviting but we couldn't go near them unless a baptism would be performed in the waters. 

The Grotto behind us. 

 Group photo of missionaries of Heidelberg Zone and the Chinese Program.

The day after P-day, my companion, Sister Albania and I, bid goodbye to each other.  Sad to see her go..Sister Albania was transferred to ... and I remained with Footscray Ward 3. 

My new companion is Sister Santos from Samar, Philippines and a graduate of Computer Information Management.  Same hobbies as mine!

Sister Santos is on her 9th month in the mission field and is my Follow-up Trainer. 

Below, with the Filipino missionaries except Elder Padilla (in glasses) from China. Beside Sister Santos is Elder Angar from Panabo, Davao del Sur, Philippines, on his 3rd week.

Now we have a car!  I need to get used to the way of driving here, same as in Ireland, opposite to that of US and Canada.  The steering wheel is on the right, lanes on the left, and the roundabouts. Prayers, prayers for me....

As we were looking to buy a GPS, we went inside the JB Hi Fi store and met Sister Carla Parrott who was also buying something.  I was looking to buy Garmin GPS but there was no stock available for the model I want.  The salesman suggested the Navman GPS ($109) and Sister Carla offerred to buy it. She was very persistent and gave it to me as a gift for the blessings she grateful!

On the train to Latrobe Valley. With the permission of President Maxwell, we went to the previous area of Sister Santos to get her medicines.  Four hours ride!

Had a sleepover with the Latrobe Sisters. 

L-R: Sister Santos, Sister Tuhod, Sister Wara Anu, and Me.  Sister Tuhod is from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines and she has an aunt in Opol where my paternal grandmother lives. She emailed her aunt to ask if she knows my Lola Minay.  Sister Wara Anu is from Thailand.

Visiting the Hanley family....super Hanley kids!

Success with the car!  For the first time, we went to the Bishop's home in Altona Meadows which is not accessible by train or bus. A bit of a walk from the station.

Bishop said that we were the first missionaries to visit their home. 

Got a cake from Sister Aileen Newlassie when our appointment with her was cancelled.

Simone phoned us to set another appointment.

Week 9

Footscray: March 7-13, 2016

We teach of Christ...

         Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, the only way by which we can return to live with our Heavenly Father.  He suffered and was crucified for the sins of the world, giving each of God's children the gift of repentance and forgiveness. His resurrection prepared the way for every person to overcome physical death and spiritual death. These events are called the Atonement, which He did to save us from sin and death.

       Joseph Smith said, "The fundamental principles of our religion is the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, 'that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended up into heaven,' and all other things (pertaining to our religion) are only appendages to these."  The modern-day Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reaffirmed that testimony when they proclaimed: "Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God...His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come."

Missionary experiences for the week ....on our way to our daily street contacting...

March 13: Stake Conference

Heidelberg Stake Center

2nd Row: L to R: Sister Maxwell, Pres. Cory Maxwell, Jake Mangakahia
1st Row: L to R: Sister Daroy (Me), Sister Albania

The main focus of Heidelberg Stake is to find people to teach through working with members.  I remember in the Book of Mormon, Alma 20:4, King Lamoni saw how Ammon relied on the strength of the Lord.  King Lamoni trusted Ammon so he was willing to go with him to the Land of Middoni and meet King Antiomno, a friend, to convince him to release Ammon's brothers from prison.  Much like working with members, if the members trust the missionaries and they can see how the missionaries rely on the strength of the Lord, they would be willing to refer their friends to be taught of the gospel.

After the conference, a visit to the family.  In the photo (L to R) are: 

Downtown Footscray on a Sunday

On the bus .....

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Week 8

Footscray: Feb 29 - Mar 6, 2016

Multi-Zone Conference with Elder Haleck of the Area Presidency  
Gospel discussions with investigators  

Monday, Feb 29 - preparation day (P-day), also a day for receiving and writing emails to President Maxwell, family and friends.  I'm grateful for the inspiring messages and for those with questions who want to know more about the gospel.

Received this from Pres. Maxwell:

Sister Daroy,

I wish I could have heard your talk. I don't think the members were just being polite. I hear good reports about the kind of missionary you are.

Warm wishes,

President Maxwell

Later part of the day, we had a cottage meeting with the Phillips family, Bob, Stephen (newly baptized) and Adam (investigator), where we shared thoughts and testimonies about finding faith in Christ and the Book of Mormon.

Then we received a call-out from President Maxwell that we will have a zone conference with Elder Haleck the next day and be prepared to give a 5-minute talk from Elder Christofferson's "The Divine Gift of Repentance."  That night, we figured out how to get to Deer Park Chapel, then studied and prepared our talk.

Tuesday, March 1-  we woke up at 5:30 a.m., made it to the train station at 6:50, then took the bus and got to Deer Park Chapel at 7:30.  We thought we were the first ones but found out that some Elders were already there the night before because of the 4-hour drive from their area. Four zones participated in the conference.

Sister Haleck and Sister Maxwell gave instructions about planning and challenged us to find an example from the scripture.  I got excited and I shared Mosiah 22.  In Mosiah 22:1, King Limhi consulted the people, just like in a ward council meeting or district meetings or zone meetings where everybody can give suggestions and ideas and then be edified. In V. 6-8, using a map to plan how to get around the land of Shilom, Gideon proposed that they go through the back wall, planned how to get past the guards by getting them drunk, gathered the people and their flock, at the right timing when Lamanite guards remained asleep.  I related those verses to planning in missionary work - praying and seeking for the Spirit, attending meetings, setting goals and planning how to achieve goals.  One of the important tools in planning is a map.

L to R: Sis Albania, Me, Elder Sifuentes, Elder Kanaupu

In that conference, I met Elder Sifuentes from Davao, Philippines.  Later, I learned that he was the same "Spencer Sifuentes" whom  I met during the Multi Stake Youth Conference at Mergrande Resort in Davao City ten (10) years ago. 

Yes, 10 years ago. His father was District President of Mati at that time, called us both on stage, and asked us questions..haha. He didn't remember that youth conference and so I didn't remind him how we met and what the questions were..haha..

With Elder Stokes and Elder Kent (L to R);
I missed to get the name of the Elder beside me

L to R: Elder Xiao, Elder Higham (of Wash, D.C.)

After the conference, we met Rose and taught her English.  Her partner, James, was home too.  They're a nice couple. We first met Rose a week ago and she would like to know more about the gospel while James is already LDS.

This week had been a bit sad. It seemed that we lost our three investigators - Jim, Lolita and Tita Amy. Jim lived in the Altona area and when the Doust family invited him for BBQ, he did not show up.  When the Doust family picked him up to church, he did not come and said that he would like to remain in his catholic faith.  We thought the lessons were going well; we're sad but its alright.  About Tita Amy - when we knocked at her house, nobody opened the door but we heard somebody answered the phone when it rang. When we tried to call her again, our call went straight to voicemail. About Lolita - two of her kids were still in the Philippines but are LDS and returned missionary.  Lolita liked to talk a lot, had her own sets of beliefs, claimed that she had manifestations from saints, returned the Book of Mormon and said she had the Bible.

Saturday, March 5 - we met Adam again who was ever curious how he can have a relationship with God or if God exists.  He said that it is like convincing people from ages ago that the world is not flat.  So I shared to him the history about the Spaniards who sailed to the oceans to discover new worlds.  Some were scared that the ships might fall at the end of the horizon because they believe the world is flat but the Spaniards back then were willing to take the risk.  When they came back, they told the people that there are other worlds out there and that the world is not flat.  Not all people who were not part of the journey believe all their stories.  Some people wanted to find out for themselves and wanted to discover lands.  Similarly with the Book of Mormon (BOM), we shared our testimony because we had been on the journey of discovering the BOM.  We invite people to start on their own journey, read the BOM on their own and find answers.  Reading it might be scary at first but we must try to know.

After I shared this, Adam was thrilled and asked me if I just thought about the analogy at that very moment.  For me, it just wasn't me thinking about it.  I knew it was the Spirit who inspired me to make the analogy by bringing to my remembrance the lessons I learned decades ago.  That is how the Spirit works.  

Keeping ourselves fit:

Vitamin C
My morning fruit - Papaya!
See how much I can devour?

The Aussie way:

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Week 7

 Footscray: Feb 22-28, 2016

There is no stopping in missionary work even if responses do not seem positive or favorable. Just believe, no missionary effort is wasted.

During our morning exercise; the sun rises every morning, hope for another day!

Monday, Feb 22:  Monday is preparation day (P-day).  We do our thing such as one-hour emails to family and friends at Footscray Library, laundry, and grocery for part of the day. 

We went to the shopping center at Highpoint which looks like Eaton Shopping Center back home.  While waiting on my companion in the fitting room, I took the opportunity to speak to the saleslady who was waiting on her, what Big W means (name of store).  I thought it was short for Walmart (knowing Aussies like to shorten words) but not Walmart. Anyways, I learned a few things about the saleslady so I also introduced myself as missionary.  She was very nice but refused to accept pamphlet or card. Not the right time. Hoping to meet her again when she's not working.  Later today, we visited the Dutt family from Sudan.  Their 3 boys were very active in the lessons and had fun doing the activity "Tying Knot" analogy for prayer.

Tuesday, Feb. 23: Went to Altona Meadows, very hot 40 oC and stopped by the home of the Doust Family. They were very nice and offered us a glass of water which I consumed in a second.  Then we moved on and looked for Jim, a retired teacher, whom I found with Sister Chen 2 weeks ago. We talked to him by the door and he shared a lot of his experiences teaching grade school. He was very nice but we had to end the lesson because he was perspiring a lot because of the heat.  Next time, we will invite the Doust family to help us with a lesson with Jim so we can get inside his home.Then we continued to visit some LDS in the area but we had to go home early because of the storm forecast.  There were train delays, the winds were strong but didn't really rain that hard.

Wednesday, Feb 24: We went to the house of a referral from the office who requested a free bible. When we got there, the wife said that they only accept Orthodox books. That was strange to me. Then we visited Reina. She had been through a lot and we comforted and taught her. We will meet her again next week. As we hurriedly made our way to Footscray Library to meet Adam (a referral from the Elders), we were stopped by a man named Tarun who said that we should teach 'humanity' first so that people will become receptive to our message. We told him that we teach of Christ because it helps people to do good (2 Nephi 33:10). We also taught him the plan of salvation; he accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and pamphlet but firmly expressed that only God knows what will happen to us after we die and its none of our business to know about it. We then met with Adam at the library.  After getting to know him more and vice versa, we shared to him the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. He agreed to read the Book of Mormon and meet us again on Friday.  

Then we joined the De los Santos family for dinner - Sister Nessa's birthday!

This is Ayeesha; she loves to play.

Thursday, Feb 25: Had our district meeting with new faces in the district and zone.  I was excited to meet the new Goldens but the Trainers said that they were still flying somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. We were invited to fast and pray on Friday to achieve the mission's baptism goal for February.

Friday, Feb 26:  Our second visit to a part member family, Batshon, but we were told to come back again...again..and we will.  We also met Adam today and he was curious how to have a personal relationship with God.  He had a lot of questions and we invited him to read, ponder and pray about the Book of Mormon to find the answers.  Then we went to Seddon but seemed like the Makaea and others were not home. We spotted a calamansi tree and asked for some.  Then we saw Rose painting a table and learned that her partner is LDS. They moved from New Zealand a year ago. Rose wanted to know more about the church! 

Saturday, Feb 27: Visited a recent convert, Mario, who enjoys biking and scuba diving. He went scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef a few months ago. I was jealous..haha..then I repented; I will scuba dive after mission. Then we challenged him to a tim tam slam, his first actually.

Mario had a lot of faith and was preparing to receive his patriarchal blessing and go to the temple. 

His mom was not LDS but was very kind to offer us fried rice for lunch, which was delicious! We each had a big bowl of rice. 

Then we went to the ward BBQ activity at Williamstown Beach.  

Adam came and enjoyed the activity.

A few of the members who came: some were at the sand but since missionaries were not allowed to go there, some members stayed with us and played cricket.

The way to Church is a bit tricky. Be careful or you'll end up someplace else.

Sunday Feb 28: We had a stake broadcast and Adam came to church.

In the photo with us is Adam and a little kid with pretty blue eyes, although we didn't know her, she wanted to join us.

This is Holly.  She wants to serve a mission as well.  Her conversion story is amazing. She told the Elders that they were devil worshipers but they never gave up on her, until she felt the Spirit, got the answer to her prayers and decided to be baptized.

This week I challenged myself.  I called it  "Confidence Builder"  which is to talk to as many people in the bus or train.  It seemed awkward at first but it got easier. I learned that confidence in sharing the gospel should be founded in the Savior, relying not in myself but in the Spirit.

From a generous neighbor:

fresh peaches