Sunday, 26 March 2017

Week 62

Dandenong: March 13-19, 2017

Sports in the church gym on Labor Day Pday, awesome LDS and investigators, transfer news, the huntsman spiders and more...

Mar 13, Monday - Zone Pday. Played some sports in the church gym.

Played monopoly as well..Photo below: (L) - with Sister Tuu'u; (R) -  my comp, Sis Manosig
Zone photo

Dinner with Sister Soh and visited Estelle tonight. ooops, parked wrong..haha..

Sister Soh had been a member for long. Her daughter was baptized first, then after coming to church with her daughter for 5 years, she decided to be baptized. Her husband was nice but not a member yet. He would leave every time the missionaries would share a message but Sister would invite him always. Invitations could go a long way too. Sister Soh volunteered in the temple for more than 5 years now.

Mar 14, Tues - District Meeting
 Elders Mahendran, Hsieh, Knight, Walbeck, Me, Sisters Koroi and Manosig
          Looked like she's holding a brocolli..
We did our emails today 'coz yesterday was Labor Day. After doing emails, we went to a referral from one of the members. The referral opened the door and when she noticed our name badge, she suddenly closed the door, oh well..Then we popped by Des place, another investigator named Des. We met him in church last Sunday; it was a miracle because we planned to visit Des on Sunday morning but we didn't have time, then we met him in church. He lived across an LDS member who had been his friend for so long. He had been coming to church for over 10 years now but did not believe. Weird..He liked that the church is family-centered.

Next stop was dinner with the Tham family. We shared the BOM campaign and the family shared the video on facebook on the spot. Awesome family!

Mar 15, Wed - Early morning in our neighborhood.

Ate Mary.. (Filipinos call an older girl "Ate" as a sign of respect.) Ate Mary from Moorabbin Ward brought us Bulalo (Filipino word for beef stew)..YUM!!

We met Sister Inu today and learned that she grew up in the church but left when she was 18 after attending Seminary and Institute classes. She said that she did not believe anymore after having a Muslim boyfriend. Anyways, we shared about Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life; she remembered and even explained more. She was surprised that she could still remember. She said that she would read the Book of Mormon again.

Then we met Liliana and shared more about the BOM. Liliana and Sister Inu were neighbors; Liliana wanted to be invited during lessons with Sister Inu so she could also fellowship..Yeay!
We had dinner with Sister Perreira and the Olivares family. Sister Perreira is the mom of one of the featured personalities in the BOM ads.

Before we went back to our flat, we decided to visit one more former investigator. We knocked and we were just gonna set a return appointment because it was already 8:30 pm but the son invited us in. The mom changed from her pajama clothes and the dad came to the living room. The family gathered and we found out that the dad was a member. He shared his mission life in France. He said that his family went to Catholic church and he went to his own alone, then later joined his family. He said that he never lost his testimony but it was weakening. At that moment, he said that he wasn't ready to come back. For me, it was still a miracle that we were invited in and the whole family gathered around to meet us.
                 The BOM Missionaries

Mar 16, Thursday - Met Sister Taufa, strong mom, husband was not a member but she constantly shared the scriptures and invited him to read them. The husband was a strong member of another faith and because Sister Taufa didn't like arguments, she went to church with him too. We shared about BOM video and Sister Taufa said that she would set up a family home evening schedule where we could meet her husband.

Had lunch with Sister Bataillard, awesome LDS, and suggested that we visit a Filipino nearby.

We visited Sister Foundulaki, formerly Sister Dichoso, a cousin of Uncle Boy De Dios..small world!  Then we took the train and GQ'ed; met a few people and able to share some gospel points.

We then had dinner with Sister Balmes. She used to work in the mission office and an awesome mom. Then we met Touraj and Ehsan at the chapel and watched Finding Faith in Christ. After the lesson, Touraj said that he couldn't join the Addiction group recovery tonight because he was not feeling well and just lost his job. When they went out, the car did not work. We asked some members from Hampton Ward who were practicing Dance if they had jump start or knew cars. Two men came out and helped. One served in the Philippines and just got back 5 months ago.They happen to know a certified mechanic. Touraj did not lose his patience with his series of unfortunate events and asked for the names of the guys who helped him. He was happy despite. Those guys were great in fellowshipping even though we were not in same ward. The gospel is one big family!

Back in our flat, we saw two big huntsman spiders. Sister Manosig was brave enough to grab one spider and put it in a plastic bag. She asked me if I could grab the other one, hahaha...I left it morning, it was gone..I don't know where it went, hopefully outside.

Mar 17, Friday- Did our weekly planning in the park again.

We visited our new contact Mikayla and his son said, "Mom, those people are back!. haha..interesting how those kids remember even though we just met them on the streets walking. They were heading out so we set another appointment with Mikayla.

On our way to dinner with the Fainga family,  we knocked one door and met somebody from Samoa. She was a seventh-day adventist but had been visited by missionaries before. She was really nice and she mentioned that we should also visit the Fainga family because they were also nice..haha.., now I have a challenge to the Fainga family to get to know their neighbors. Later on, we found out that the Faingas gave her some treats last Christmas. Amazing family who reached out to their neighbors. Neigbors did remember and appreciate such.

We tried to visit another former but Lisa was not home. We called her phone, she was nice and we invited her to family home evening this Monday with the Danielsons. She said she would

Mar 18, Sat - We GQ'ed in the plaza today. Paul, the dad who served us pancakes last Sunday, was happy to see us in the plaza..haha..he said that they were going out tomorrow so we could not meet them.

We met Laura today and shared the Restoration cups. She had interesting questions, understood and liked the Restored church especially the sealing power that binds families. She said she would come next Sunday, though she was really involved in her church, she would like to visit other churches to compare..she was really keen.
Des brought us lemons from his garden, one of those we call dry mormon.

TRANSFER News! Wrong guess means the water goes to their head...

As for us, we were still TRIO, staying for one more transfer...Yeay!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Week 61

Dandenong: March 6-12, 2017

Pday with Maroondah Zone, exchanges and splits - tracting, knocking, meeting people on the streets and trains.. the miracle of how scripture verse/s could soften the heart and enlighten the thanks to all who shared food and dinner..

Mar 6, Monday - We joined Maroondah Zone Pday today to play lazer tag
                                                Zone photo
                     Elder Rafon from Mati and Elder Seifert from Matina Davao
                             Glen Waverly, Mooroolbark and Wantirna Sisters
                                  Pingpong and board games in the chapel

           With the Moorolbark Sisters

We then had our family home evening with Sister Latreille's family and we shared about the temple. This family comes from Mauritius and they fed us with a lovely French dish. 

Mar 7, Tues - We met Liliana today and shared about hope from the Book of Mormon. We sat on some brick wall corner of the street when two LDS drove past us during the lesson. A hot day indeed, and one of them returned with gatorades for the four of us, same member who gave gatorades to Sisters Manosig and Caguimbal the last time. We then drove to the city for exchanges with the Richmond Chinese sisters.

With Sister Chen and Sister Pratt. Sister Pratt will be going to Dande with me and Sis Koroi

We met with Touraj at the Burton's place and saw the Burton's reptile collection with 3 green anacondas.  Bro. Burton was busy at that time so we were not able to hold the snake..hehe. The family invited Touraj and Ehsan to join them in their camping and fishing during Easter weekend.  We shared with Touraj the atonement of Jesus Christ.  He had a lot of questions and had the desire to continue learning..he's awesome

Mar 8, Wed - Combined District meeting today. Fun facts: Sister Chen's best friend is Elder Hsieh in our district; Elder Knight and Sister Pratt went on same high school and they are also same intake.

    Narre Warren zone Sisters

Then we had lunch with the Fear Family. One of their son's friend, non-LDS, came and we showed her a video about the BOM. She did not accept a copy of the Book of Mormon but she was nice. We then went on splits with Samantha Fear, the daughter. Sister Koroi and Samantha went to visit less active young women, from the list given to us last Sunday of YW to visit.

Sister Pratt and I visited Raymond. Raymond remembered that he read the BOM when he was 10 back in Chile but he lost his copy. We gave him another copy of the Spanish BOM; he said he would read it again and compare to the Bible.  At this time, he was more into teaching us than us teaching him. He said he could not believe that Jesus Christ visited America. We're excited for him to read the BOM again.

We then met with Ehsan in the Library and shared more about the Priesthood and Prophets. He was really excited to learn and told us that when his English would get better, he would be the one teaching us. He couldn't wait to learn more.
After Ehsan, our next appointment was Chelvam but couldn't make it, so Sister Pratt called Ivy, talked to her in Mandarin and set up another service project with her tomorrow. then we joined the Sisters in the city for dinner. they prepared Mexican food, an advanced treat for Sister Pratt's birthday on March 10th.

Mar 9, Thurs - Flat inspection today.  Then we helped Ivy move some stuff from the truck to her house. the Churchill Park Elders, Elder Knight and Elder Hsieh, came to help as well. Ivy prepared beef fried rice for us.

After the service, we did our weekly planning. We got invitation from the Agawin family for a 'binignit' snack. (Binignit is dessert soup from Central Philippines made from slices of bananas, sweet potatoes, with edible and shaped powdery starch in colors, cooked in thick coconut milk.) We went and taught Fewan about the plan of Salvation. He was 7, turning 8 and preparing for his baptism on April 1. We visited Krishna but he was not home. We also popped by Megan but her mom was not home so we would visit her another time. We also tracted the street of Stephanie (LA) but her mom told us that she was not home. As we were heading back to the car, we met Mikayla who was walking back to the house from the park with her two kids. We shared a bit about the Plan of Salvation and she said that we could visit her again when we would be in the area.

Mar 10, Friday - Exchanges with Moorabbin Sisters. I went with Sister Marlowe in Moorabbin while Sister Schaub joined Sisters Manosig and Koroi in Dandenong. Sister Marlowe had been out for 11 weeks now and she would be leading the area. She said she was nervous but it did not show. She was great and she knew who to visit and where to find people. She had this keyboard thing that I did not know about, but President Vidmar said that she could use it. She could type her emails and save them in files and upload to the computer. Really cool and effective journal writing for me. I needed this..only if I had known earlier..huhuhu.
(L) - keyboard thingy I mentioned above; (R) - mini-Venus fly trap plant

We went GQing in the train and talked to some people from Moorabbin station to Parkdale. I talked to a Filipino but declined because she was strong Catholic while Sister Marlowe got two contacts. As were about to take the next train, we met this lady, Margaret. She said that she had a pretty rough life and she lost her husband which she really missed. She hoped for life after death. She said that it was really a miracle that we met her because she was supposed to take the train but she missed it and then she met us. She refused to give any more details (address and number) and told us that if it was meant to be, we would meet her again. She accepted a pass-along card with our details.

We got off at Ormond station and tracted for a bit. We met Dona and set a return appointment with her tomorrow. We also met Ursula, Hindu, studying Masters in IT, accepted a BOM after we invited him to read the Intro part. He was not going to accept it but we kind of insisted to just read the Intro, and then he asked, "how much do I owe you?" We told him that it's free, he was surprised and said that he would visit church this Sunday. We also visited a few of their less actives and a referral from the office who requested a copy of the BOM but he was not home. We also called a former investigator, John, who had moved to Endeavor Hills. He agreed for a visit tomorrow.
       Back to our companionships...Sister Marlowe cooked bacon cheese pasta for dinner.

The Wantirna Sisters came to our flat and Sister Cehajic stayed with us in Dandenong while Sister Fraedrich and Sister Manosig went back to Wantirna. (Sister Cehajic is from Austria and speaks German, Bosnian, English; she was baptized just over a year and the only member in the family. Been here in the mission 11 weeks.)

Mar 11, Sat - We met John and talked to him in his porch. He said that he did not believe in God but he had survived car accidents. He fell asleep while driving and woke up just in time to avoid an oncoming truck. He wanted the best for his two kids but just not religious. We set some expectations for him and asked him if he would act if he would learn that what we shared were true. He thought about it for a while and said that we could come back next week. Miracle. He was really hard and not serious at first, but we'll see.

We followed up Seni, the guy we met on the street. We knocked and her mom-in-law opened the door. She's Croatian, what are the odds. Sister Cehajic spoke to her in their language. She said that she's too old to change beliefs and told us that Seni was in NZ for holidays. We also popped by Amanda's place but she was sick. We talked a bit about horse riding because Sister Cehajic and Amanda both love it. 

Then we had lunch, some studies and drove to the Fear family. We would be having splits again with Sister Fear this time. Sister Koroi and Sister Fear would pair to visit people on the RS list. Sister Koroi was awesome working with members even if she was new.

Sister Cehajic and I visited Marlene, said she enjoyed coming back to church after 3 months of inactivity. She listened to BOM vocals on her phone and showed us where she's now. She remembered that I love kumquats and she was gonna give me a bag but I told her that I would pick it I picked 2 again..hehe.

We tracted for a bit and met the Lawrence family. We shared the Word of Wisdom with them. She told us that she did her commitment to call her brother in Brisbane about her son's baptism, that it boosted her brother's confidence and desire to return to church. We suggested that the goal for Matthew's baptism be on April 27th. She said that she would inform her brother and would always come to church from now on with Matthew.

Sister Fear brought us fish 'n chips and we ate these in the chapel while waiting for Mehdi. He was a former investigator who called us out of the blue and wanted to meet us. We had been canceling our appointment with him for the past 3 days now because he was only available 7pm and we could not do it this week. 

Mehdi came at 8pm. He met the Elders in the city 3 years ago which he still remembered. He also remembered the Sisters who visited him - Sisters Almond, Tupu and Albania. He said that they invited him to be baptized and to pray about it but he didn't receive an answer. He liked to meet missionaries though and he could understand English better now. He said that he would read and study the BOM and meet with us. We were happy that we waited for him today even though it was pretty late for us because of the exchange. We felt his desire to know more.
     Had been a fun exchange with the Wantirna Sisters.

Mar 12, Sun - Yeay..finished exchanges with all Sisters. Today, we planned to visit part members in Endeavor Hills. We visited Joan, investigator; her mom opened the door, Filipino from Bacolod (Central Philippines). She invited us in for pancakes and strawberries. We sat around the table with Lily and Paul, Joan's parents,  the only time to get together as a family, and talked a bit about traveling. They said they were strong Catholics and didn't want a copy of the BOM. When asked if we could share a verse, they agreed and so we shared Alma 37:37 about prayer and receiving guidance from God. Lily cried and Paul's heart was softened. They shared about their other daughter who had depression, that they did not know how to help her and the scripture enlightened them. Miracle. They said we could come back next Sunday, same time, and share why there are a lot of religions. Lily then introduced us to her son, a barber, with his clients in the garage.

We also met Medina, Des neighbor, who helped her move her stuff. We shared the Plan of Salvation with her and she had a lot of questions. She did not like the the idea of eternities. Music made her happy but she did not want to listen to music for eternities. We invited her to join us for dinner with a member family and she said she would try. Medina is Chinese-Turkish.

The Agawin family invited us for dinner. They cooked us 'bulalo' (beef stew) and 'chicharon'. They are from Cagayan de Oro City (Southern Philippines). We shared the Restoration cups with them.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Week 60

Dandenong: Feb 27 - March 5, 2017

Missionary work continues. My companions pursued the work despite of sad news in their families. Had Temple day. Found Neville and Laura; finally got to Raymond's house..Des was awesome in Gospel Principles class, and met Dumapias Sisters, originally from my birthplace.

Feb 27, Monday - Shopping for food and got permission to go to Brighton Beach and see the colorful houses. 
Bonding time at this difficult time where my two companions just learned of deaths in the family - Sister Manosig's father passed away 2 days ago and Sister Koroi's grandfather passed away 2 months ago. A stroll in the beach was one of the Manosig family funtimes in the Philippines.

We then drove to the Mission Home and talked to President Vidmar. We also met Elder Fackrell who would be flying home back to Utah tomorrow together with his twin brother who served in Brisbane.

Feb 28, Tuesday - District Meeting today.  We did some role-plays about the Plan of Salvation.  The Ward knew about the sad news about my companions and they shared some words of comfort. Then, we had lunch with the Fear family. Sister Fear was awesome and did splits with us so we could visit more people.  We visited some new contacts and found more contacts when we tracted the street.  The Lynbrook Sisters stayed with us tonight for Golden review tomorrow.  Sister Caguimbal and Sister Manosig were companions before and knew each other back in the Philippines, my same intake.
Fijian Power, prepping themselves for Golden review

Mar 1, Wed - Lunch before battle

Golden review. Did some fun games to test knowledge about the fundamentals and commissions.

Dropped the Sisters at the train station.

With the Chinese-speaking Sisters; Sister Koroi (closest to camera)
Front row: Sister guan, Me and Sister Patchell
Back row: Sisters Tamani, Caguimbal, Manosig, Dobberfuhl, Fong and Johnson

Then drove Lynbrook Sisters back to their area.

We went to the address given by Ali, the guy we GQed on the street; turned out he gave us wrong address but we met 2 new contacts. The man living in the address is Neville, been to the Philippines, and had neighbor Laura who came outside too; while we talked to Neville, Sister Manosig spoke to Laura. We both have return appointments with them on Saturday at 4 and 5 pm. Neville had a Filipino friend in Cebu who was strong LDS, though he said he was not into religion but willing to listen. 

We also Touraj and taught him more about Faith. Touraj really liked to learn more about Jesus Christ and watched Bible videos. He had heaps of trials at the moment, from searching jobs and learning English but he said,"I have trials, many.  I don't like them but I know God would help me." Simple but powerful testimony from him.

Mar 2, Thurs - Today was Zone Temple day.  We had a great time; always best experience going inside the Temple.  We then got a call from the Zone leaders if we could help out a member who just moved in Hampton Park.  When we got to the place, we found out it was Ivy.  I met her during exchanges with the Glen Waverly Sisters.  She was so grateful for our help and she cooked us fried rice.

After correlation meeting with our Ward mission leader, we drove to Mooroolbark.  It was a big area and the Sisters did not have a car. The bus system was not really good and very hilly and not good for biking.  So we grabbed this opportunity to double into their area and help them visit people who lived far away.

Mar 3, Friday - I was with Sister Chang and Sister Koroi while Sister Manosig paired with Sister Cruz.  Their parents are best friends in the Philippines and they visit each other twice a week.
Mooroolbark Sisters drink juice in the morning, made of tomato, onion and lemon. I was brave enough to try this one.

We visited Bill, nice and funny, and commented that we were smart Sisters for answering his questions. We invited him to read the scriptures because he could also find answers for himself and he said that he would come to church.  We also talked to a few people on our way back to the car.  We met this Irish lady and we get to talk a bit about Ireland and the places I visited. She lived in Belfast before.  We did not have much time to talk but she accepted a card before she hopped into the car, her husband picked her up.

Dinner with George family.

Mar 4, Sat- Cooked some lumpia (spring rolls), we added carrots and broccoli.

We did our weekly planning in one of the parks and we got to talk to an older couple having BBQ.  We also met Anita, LDS, having birthday party with some family.

Sister Clark came with us to visit Des and she served us Tinola (Chicken stew).  Sister Des was stressed at the moment looking for a place to move by Monday, March 6. We comforted her with our message of patience. She was strong and said that she would come to church tomorrow.

We did splits today; Sister Manosig paired with Sister Clark to visit Laura and Neville.  I was with Sister Koroi to visit Raymond and the Seppings family. The last time with Sister Tuu'u, that was not the Raymond who called us whom we met.  Raymond called us again and asked why we did not come.  We tried to look for his address in Keys St. but saw only buildings 2, 3, 4, 6, 7. As we were walking back to the car, we noticed that the perpendicular road where we parked had house numbers 15 and 17, which meant that the opposite houses were even numbers. We looked for house #16 and found it, knocked, and Raymond opened the door.  Turned out that he was the man who I saw walking towards that door when we were looking for the houses but I didn't stop because we were in a hurry for appointment. Lesson learned: It is important not just to go swiftly but also pause and look for opportunities to always talk to everyone.

When we came to Brother Seppings, we found out his concern - he did not want to change his religion, rather born and die a Catholic.  Sister Seppings said that we should not give up on her husband (the only non-LDS in his immediate family) but pray for him, tapping Bro. Sepping's shoulder while she was talking. Brother Sepping said that he felt good going to LDS church (not going to Catholic church anymore); because he felt good, he did not see the need to get baptized..hmm..people's agency sometimes is frustrating but we are working on our patience..hehe..

We then had dinner with Sister Clark and she cooked us corned beef..yeay, my fave.  Sister Clark was grateful for the experience today and for inviting her.  She said that though she had trials of her own, she realized that other people had harder ones than her.

Mar 5, Sunday - We had Ward council.  Des came to church though she was stressed about her moving. She cried and said that she could not stay but we still invited her to join Gospel Principles class.  She stayed for class and said that she felt good. Lesson was about prophets, she participated and answered questions during discussions.  She was awesome but had to leave after the class.

I also met two Sister Dumapias. They said that there were many Daroys in Iligan, asked if I was Norman's daughter.  When I asked if they knew Daniels..haha..the other Sister not in photo said that Norman visited her sister in Sweden, also said that my mom was smart..the thing I did not inherit..haha.

We visited Des after church and helped her a bit in packing. She was grateful and introduced us to her neighbor, Medina, and invited her to church..what a great fellowshipper already.

We had dinner with the Lavaka family, former Bishop in Dandenong but now serving in Stake presidency.  Their oldest son was serving in Philippines Olongapo mission, sometimes ate porridge (Arroz Caldo, has chicken meat) as the best food the family can offer.  The Lavaka both served missions. We had a feast, very yum food.

Walking back to the car, I was the last one but I saw this big full tattooed man walking his dog, wearing headphones. I waved and he waved back and removed his headphones. We talked for a bit and then later, my companions joined.  He was Seni from Tonga and he had LDS friends too. He was nice and gave us his address and number. We invited him to meet the Lavaka, Tongan family as well, and he agreed. We just needed to set an appointment with him. Cool experience, not to judge but to talk to everyone.

We also met the Te Hiwi family, Maori, with 10 children. Nice family. Sister Te Hiwi knew a lot of church doctrines.  She stopped coming to church because of cancer..forgot the name but it affects the vocal chords and 10% of Aussies get it. 

Great week!