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 mind..my 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 myself..so 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.

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