Monday, 30 May 2016

Week 18

Footscray: May 9-15, 2016

May 9, Monday - We had the usual cottage evening at the Delos Santos home. We were glad Shirley and Junseop joined us.

May 10, Tuesday - After District Meeting, we drove to Linda's place in Port Melbourne.  We shared the story of Nephi and his obedience to the Lord (1Ne3:7).  The Lord always make a way for us to be able to do the things He asks of us.  We then visited a less-active member Aida.  She was not on the ward list printed last January but her name appeared on the printout this month.  Aida is Filipino; she opened the door but told us to come back next week at same time because she was busy.  We then tracted the neighborhood and met Diane from Turkey with Islamic background.  She told us to come back Thursday because she had to take her kid to Karate class.  We took photos of Port Melbourne.

Traffic was heavy when we left Port Melbourne and got late to Junseop's appointment at Delos Santos home.  We shared with him the Law of Chastity and the Word of Wisdom.  He studied the lesson in advance, shared what he learned and agreed to follow and live it. When we checked the meal roster, found out that the Juresko signed up for dinner today. We picked up the food prepared for us and then drove to Heidelberg Chapel for my companion's patriarchal blessing with Patriarch Mullis.

May 11, Wednesday - Today was Temple Day.  We left our flat at 7:40 and arrived at the temple/mission at 9:00, just in time for the temple session at 9:30.  Going to the temple is always a great experience.  Later in the day, we had our ward council.

May 12, Thursday - Got our flu shot today. We then drove to Port Melbourne to visit Linda, Diane and Aida.  When we called Linda on the phone, she told us to come next time because she was busy.  We knew it was her 56th birthday and greeted her on the phone. We proceeded to Diane's place, she invited us in and offered us dinner.  We shared the Plan of Salvation with her and she shared her story of life in Melbourne and her 3 kids. She asked us if we could teach her kid Sefika (6) math and English (spelling and reading). We asked her permission to teach Sefika some gospel words too and she agreed.  Then we went to Delos Santos home to teach the last discussion about keeping the commandments to Junseop.  Mommy Nessa cooked chicken pochero and pinoy beef steak and had our second round of dinner.  I never knew that pochero is made from mashed was delish!

May 13, Friday - Holly Nguyen worked with us.  She joined our lesson with Stephen and Uncle Bob.  After that, we drove to the myotherapy appointment of my companion. We ate lunch at a Vietnamese Restaurant and had coconut and soursop smoothie.

We then GQ'ed at Footscray station by talking to people who are waiting for the train or bus. Sis. Aileen Newlassi got off from a bus and pretended to ask us questions so other people around us would be able to hear and become interested.  We also pretended to teach her while she asked questions (in loud voice..haha..) 

We then went to the chapel for Junseop's baptismal interview.  Yeonghee Choi, a Korean member, was there to help Junseop with his English.  Junseop was excited for his baptism the next day.  Back in the apartment, we updated the area book so as not to miss important information about investigators and their concerns.

May 14, Saturday -  We met with the zone leaders who asked us about the area.  After the exchange with them, we went to the chapel for Junseop's baptism at 3pm.  Junseop was happy.

           L-R: Me, Sis Santos, Eugene Delos Santos, Junseop, Nessa, Wilma

After the baptism, we visited a few referrals, then to the Trang for bbq.  This was the home of Song Trang who was taught by Elder Rands and Elder Howell and baptized last week by his dad.   

                With Tim Doust trying to hide from the camera while Holly is photobombing

                                     Junseop was happy of his baptism and the food

L-R: 1st row - Jennifer, Trang kid, Elder Rands, Elder Vo, Junseop, Bro Hai
2nd row - Sis Rawenata, Sis Neist, Me, Holly, Sis Santos, Madlen, Trang kid
last row - Kevin, Trang Dad, Trang Mom, Elder Howell, Elder Marshall, Bro Neist with first baby (3 wks), Kathleen and investigator (while other members had left)


Sunday, 29 May 2016

Week 17

Footscray: May 2-8, 2016

May 2, Monday- We had our Monday cottage evening at Brother Foster's place with a lesson about the Plan of Salvation. This was a great message and also a reinforcement of the lesson we had shared with our investigator from Korea, Junseop. Every time we met with him at the Delos Santos home, he had studied the lesson in advance and ready for discussion. He was excited to be baptized, which we moved to the 14th from May 21st. Junseop learned fast, did the commitments and been to church and every activity. He also wanted to improve his English and join the Australian Army. 

May 3, Tuesday - We went to Port Melbourne, my first time to be here, to visit a referral from the office, Linda Little, which was ironic because her house was so big and she lived there alone with her cat.  She was golden, had been visited by the missionaries, and had a friend Estell, LDS, who encouraged her to meet with the missionaries.  She wanted to repent and be baptized to have a new life so we set her baptism on May 21st.  She requested to do the opening prayer in our lesson where she also prayed that people would not be rude to us. Linda had great faith that her eye surgery on May 27th would go well because of her baptism and the Holy Ghost that would comfort her.

After meeting with Linda, we went back to Footscray for dinner and a lesson with Junseop at Delos Santos home.  Eugene and Nessa were really great fellowshippers to Junseop and helped him understand the gospel in simplicity.  

May 4, Wednesday - We had Zone meeting where each one shared how the Book of Mormon helped us and would help us in the mission. 

Then we met with Sis Aileen Newlassie who took us to a fancy Vietnamese Restaurant. Sis Aileen is from Surigao, Philippines and served a mission in her country.  

She had take-out food to give to the Neist family who just had a baby.  This was how Relief Society and ward members supported and loved each other. 

Sis Aileen was so kind and invited us again to have lunch with her next week.
We then visited the Hanley family and asked each one to share their favorite scripture.  Rob, the non-LDS Dad, had not read the Book of Mormon yet, we invited him to open the book and point to a random verse and he did on Alma 20:27, which was pretty cool because it talks about how we must be teachable.  If Rob would become teachable, then he would eventually accept the gospel and be baptized.  His only problem was he couldn't give up coffee.  Pretty much, he knew a lot about the gospel, always participating and encouraging his family to pray, read the book and attend church.

May 5, Thursday - I visited the dentist today and had comprehensive exam and cleaning. Dentist found 2 cavities and advised me to eat less sugar..hehe..Then we drove to the mission office to get the Patriarchal blessing recommend of my companion.  On our way, I nearly hit the rear bumper of the car in front of me.  He just suddenly turned right using wrong signal and stopped in front which was weird. We had 40 minutes drive in the freeway, felt great to see the temple across the mission office.  (The trunk after the sudden brake..hehe..)

May 5-6, Friday-Saturday - Visited Sis. Eames at the Nursing home who always had stories to tell.  We met Shirly at Uncle Bob's place with Stephen and shared with her the Restoration video and she was eager to learn.  We then went to the Bell family who had a party to celebrate the miraculous cure of Rhett from cancer.  We had the chance to speak to some of their non-LDS friends.

With Sis Aileen at the Vietnamese Resto

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Week 16

Footscray: April 25-May 1, 2016

April 26, Tuesday - We had district meeting and did scripture challenge: Footscray sisters against Sunshine Vietnamese elders and we won, 3 memorized verses against 2. Our prize was a big box wrapped in birthday wrapper but should not be opened until the next transfer. Whoever would win the next challenge would get the box. The next challenge would be about birthdays of members and investigators, so every after lesson, we asked members and investigators about their birthdays, a way of getting to know them more. 
Zone Leaders: Elder Howell and Elder Rands

After the district meeting, we went to see Bro. Santos Martinez for the myotherapy appointment of my companion, then emailed or sent emails (as in P-Days) and then had dinner with the Bell family.  Sis. Nicole Bell cooked chicken pasta which was good.  We then had a lesson about overcoming trials and trusting God, with emphasis about her talk last Sunday which was about the miracle when her son Rhett became cancer free.  We had a lovely time with the family.

April 27, Wednesday - We met Stephen to encourage him to prepare his testimony and write it down for this fast and testimony Sunday and planned to meet with him again this Saturday. Then we picked up Holly from the West Footscray station who worked with us the whole day.  We visited a few referrals, one of which led us to a wrong address and the guy who lived there was very rude and gave us a sermon. haha..  Then we went to Maria Cullen's place. Holly was like our miracle because when we knocked at the door, Maria was home and invited us in and we got to meet her and her mom. Her son Sheldon was already baptized and could receive the priesthood but unfortunately, they had not been to church. We encouraged her to pray with her kids and invited them to church. 

After Maria, we went to see the Hanley family who treated Holly like a new sister. We found out that Joel and Holly have the same birthday (Nov 3), were baptized by same missionary (Elder Rands) on the same month and day (Feb 7) though different year (Holly-2015, Joel-2016).  How cool is that!  Then we tracted the Altona area and visited the less actives to hand out invitations for the RS activity.  We also met with Melissa Stewart (the Canadian), she was home and sick but we were still able to share with her about keeping the Sabbath day holy which was the topic for the RS activity.  Then we went to the Delos Santos home where we met Junseop for a lesson and watched the Restoration video in Korean with English subtitle. He wanted to find out if the church is true just like how Joseph Smith received an answer. We had a bit of language problem but he still understood.  The Spirit is the best teacher. Holly shared her testimony and conversion story. Holly was great and we're happy that she was able to work with us.

April 28, Thursday - We did planning and visited some homes.  Kathy Robson, the referral we met last time, put a note on her door that she was babysitting the kids of her stepdaughter, that's why she was not able to come to church. We also dropped by Pamela (the one we did service), said she had her own church and was only interested in service. We invited her to RS activity but she said she's tired from work and wanted us to come back on Saturday to clean.  As to the RS activity, few people which is about half the attendance the last time, but it was great.  Sisters shared their ideas on how they can keep the Sabbath Day a delight. There was another class about Self-Reliance, maybe that's the reason for the less attendance in RS activity.  

April 29, Friday- We met with Wilma and shared her about prayer. Her husband, Aban, didn't join our lesson because he was on the computer searching for repairs of their car which was hit while parked on the street. We ended our lesson with a prayer that included her husband and hoping that his heart would be softened. We also visited Sister Eames in the nursing home. She said no one visited her from church except during Sundays to bring her sacrament bread and water. She was happy that we came and shared some stories about her family. She has no family left in Australia and turning 94 this coming July.  We felt strongly impressed of her great faith and testimony.

Then we proceeded to Altona to visit the Truss family at 6pm.  Close to their house was a former investigator, Elise, and when we approached her door, we saw flowers and cards marked RIP.  When we asked the neighbors, they said that Elise died a week ago and that today is her funeral. We missed her by a week. The neighbors attested of her being religious and lonely which made us feel guilty why we haven't visited her sooner. In the Truss home, Sister Truss shared us an Italian food (forgot the name) while Brother Truss shared about his mission in South Australia and would be willing to share object lessons in our next visit. We taught the family about the church foundation using the cups. 

When we got back to the apartment from the Truss, the STLs were waiting for us because of exchanges the next day.  I would be in the city with Sister Lee while Sister Santos and Sister Chen would be in Footscray.  I expected to be doing GQ or Golden Questioning (stopping people or approaching people), my first time, in front of the library in the city.

April 30, Saturday - Early the next day, we went to the park at 6:30 for exercise time.  I forgot to bring my exercise clothes and shoes so Sister Lee lent me her shoes, good thing we had the same shoe size.  I wore my pajamas to the park with my jacket.  I also met other sister missionaries from the Chinese zone who lived above us and just around the block.  I found it very nice to meet many sisters, exercise together and looking out for each other.  After the exercise, Sister Lee and I had our personal study and companionship study. She shared 1Ne 8:5-7 where Nephi saw a white-robed man who told him to follow him and Nephi was led to a dark and dreary place. I learned from Sister Lee that even though we followed a white-robed man, it didn't mean that everything would be okay but that we would still experience darkness/trials/temptations.  Through those trials, we would be stronger and become more blessed as long as we put our trust in God and do our part as well.  

After the study, we drove to the city branch for the English class where I saw Junseop. He attended English classes twice a week.  He was excited for his baptism schedule on May 21 and we were excited too.   Then we went to Victoria State Library to do GQ but when we saw that there was a refugee protest, we stayed away and proceeded to the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.  In front of the school, we GQed with some students after which, we had our exchange interview.  At 3 pm, we drove back to Footscray, and joined back with Sister Santos.  She informed me that Stephen cut his beard and already wrote down his testimony and conversion story which he would share on Sunday. We then had dinner with the Doust family who had BBQ, lamb chops, sausages, chicken kebab, corn salad and more. We met their children, one is a magician who will be going to Scotland in a few weeks.  After the Doust family, we drove down to the Delos Santos home where we taught Junseop about the Plan of Salvation.  Junseop understood it well and explained it back to us. He desired to serve a mission and be in the Celestial kingdom.
With Junseop, our Korean investigator
May 1, Sunday - We dropped by Wilma to check on her but she was busy cooking for visitors, so obviously she won't come to church.  Junseop won't be able to come to church, too, so we expected to see only Martha from our investigators. In church, we noticed Tracy sitting in front of us with Sister Connie. Tracy bore her testimony with Sister Connie standing beside her.  She said that she was misled by philosophies of men and she didn't feel the Spirit in the other church. She talked about the gift of repentance, thanked us, the sister missionaries, for visiting her and apologized for talking crap to us during our visit.  For me, it was a miracle how she changed.  Her testimony was powerful and I felt her spirit.  After the meeting, she hugged us really tight and would like to schedule a lunch date.  I felt it amazing that our visits did have impact on people's lives.  Then Mamush, who used to talk very softly, also shared his story and bore his testimony . Mamush came from Ethiopia and was baptized on May 20, 2004 in Sydney.  Sister Santos also shared her testimony about the divine gift of repentance and invited the members to visit and care for one another. Stephen did not bear his testimony.  

Then we met Marcus Tom, an RM who got back in 2013, and shared how to serve one another as companions and explained some points in the white handbook, which was great. Uncle Bob told me that I did not keep my promise to bear my testimony.  He had asked me to bear my testimony because he liked to hear it.  He liked my talk last February and he was really serious that he wanted to hear my testimony before I would be transferred.  

After church, we went to Debbie's place but she had a note on the door for church people not to knock.  She dropped us which was sad but that's her choice.  We also saw Tisna from across Debbie's place who was going to the market.  She also dropped us but still a friend. We then went to the missionary fireside at Deer Park Chapel.  Shirley came with Uncle Bob and Stephen to Deer Park.  I also saw Sister Albania (my first companion) and Sister Cruz (from Taytay) who were serving in Sunbury.

With Sister Cruz (from Taytay, Phils.), comp of Sis Albania in Sunbury

With Holly and Jennifer


Driving Sister Tehahe and Dulaki to City Branch

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Week 15

Footscray: April 18-24, 2016

This Monday's cottage evening was held at Brother Foster's home. Professor Foster (as we nicknamed him), as usual, gave a very good lesson.  Then he showed us his mission journals and his "Book of Life" which he had kept until now.  He had been very dedicated in writing journals everyday and encouraged us to do the same.  Our journal is our scripture and helps us count our blessings. Just like Nephi, the Book of Mormon is his journal and of the other prophets.

April 19, Tuesday - The responsibility of being the Senior companion was given to me. We received 21 referrals from the office.  Some of them were follow ups from 3 years ago.  One referral named Kathy was very receptive when we taught her about the Restoration and a bit of the Plan of Salvation at her door.  It was sad because her partner just committed suicide. She wasn't interested in the gospel but now she's more open to us.  People who experience changes in their lives such as death in the family, moving, loss of job, and others, are potential investigators. Church members could help these people cope with the changes in their lives by introducing them to the gospel and the missionaries.

April 20-21 - We did the usual tracting and teaching. While our District Meeting was on Tuesdays, we did it on Wednesday.  Tuesday was transfer day, nobody from our district was transferred though.

April 22, Friday - We had Stake President Fireside in the city branch at 6 pm.  We took the train because I don't want to drive through the city traffic and find parking.  Stake President Parton and his wife Jodie held an open discussion on how to work with members to get referrals. They taught us that we just ask more questions, get to know them better and build trust so that they will trust their friends to us.  We were assigned to work with 7 families every week for 2 months.

April 23, Saturday - Uncle Bob brought his friend, Shirley, to church.  Shirley was keen to learn about the church.  Today, we taught her a lesson at Uncle Bob's place with Stephen. Shirley said that she would commit for baptism if she would find the church is true.  One concern was that she lived in Braybrook which was a few steps outside our boundary.  We needed to ask permission from the bishop and the mission president what to do with her. She preferred to attend Footscray Ward because her ride was Uncle Bob and Footscray chapel was nearer than Deer Park Chapel. We needed to teach her more because she was not convinced that there is a difference between our church and her Catholic faith.

Then we had dinner appointment with Sister Rawenata, YW President.  She lived a very busy life but still had time to visit the less actives and do visiting teaching as well.  She was single and lived alone in a very big nice home near Altona Beach.  

While I was parking, I saw this lady biking with her 2 dogs.
April 24, Sunday - Our investigators, Shirley and Junseop, attended church.  Junseop is Korean with Filipino mom.  Bishop Brinkworth taught Gospel Principles class where he discussed the Priesthood and the foundations of the church. Both the English class and the Vietnamese class were combined since the teachers were on holidays.  Melinda, one of the Vietnamese recent convert, did the translation for the Vietnamese group.

Bishop's lesson about the foundation of the Church


Sis. Nessa's yummy bulalo

Me and Holly with Sis. Nessa's yummy Cinnamon roll