Touraj received his Aaronic priesthood, Mehdi (muslim) wanted to learn, catching Dory (the huntsman), meeting the atheist, Jason McCallister's baptism, the car did not start but we figured it out, special conference with the Church History Department, exchanges with the Moorabbin Sisters, Des and Bing came to church, and more..
Apr 17, Mon - Our Pday errands and shopping: pork here was expensive, $19/kg, and we cooked sinigang (pork stew in tamarind). Then, we had family home evening with the Danielson and shared about Looking to Christ and Live in Alma 37:45-47. We then ate the famous Danielson chicken.
Apr 18, Tues - Did our emails in the library. After lunch, we had District meeting where we role-played some common questions by investigators and resolved them using Book of Mormon verses. (We had a mission challenge to find answers from the BOM to the 11 most common questions asked by investigators.)
We then visited some formers in Noble Park. We parked in Blaby Street, visited the formers close to it, marked our map, but most of them had moved. We were able to talk to this lady who had strong faith and claimed to be the prayer person (intermediary? I forgot her term) for those who didn't know how to pray. She said that she would not accept any religious materials. So we moved on to the next - someone (a Buddhist) who came from Laos and needed Laos pamphlets, then a man weeding his garden but did not need any help when we offered but accepted a pass-along card, said that he knew where the church was and that he always passed by it. It was a fun day walking.
Apr 19, Wed - We had special conference with Elder Snow and other brethren from the Church History department. There were 4 zones in there and we learned about the goals of the church history department, also got to ask questions in the end of the common church history misunderstandings. After the conference, we drove some sisters to the train station and ate lunch at the plaza.
We had our flat inspection today, after which, we drove again to Noble Park and continued to follow up the investigators. We went to Michael's place for our appointment, we could hear people inside but no one opened the door. So we left a note. We then drove to the Hampton Sisters flat to drop a package for Sister Salesa. She said the garage door was open but we could not open it so we left the package by the door, covered it with plants and hopefully no one would steal it..hehe..
That night, the Glenroy Sisters stayed in our flat because Sister Tuu'u had to take driving test today in Dandenong. Dory came out. We named this huntsman Dory from Finding Dory because sometimes it disappeared and reappeared in the same location. We thought that it was feeding ground. Anyway, as long as Dory would not go to our bedroom, we let it roam around...hehe..But the Glenroy sisters did not like it so we asked the brave Sister Tuu'u to grab it and chuck it outside. She agreed after a few while of convincing her to do it, no one else would dare.
Apr 20, Thurs - A beautiful morning.
We visited Mulgrave and met Bro. Murrison whose wife died in Nov 2016. He had not been to church for a long while now but wanted to go back to the temple. We tracted his neighbors and met Zeni, a Filipina. She opened the door, maybe after a few minutes, and shared her whole life to us. She wondered why there are many religions, said that her sister who lived in France found a religion that made her really happy, and what's the difference of religions if each can make someone happy in different ways. Great question. We set up a return appointment on Sunday morning. (We popped by then on Sunday morning, but no one opened the door even if we could hear people inside.) We continued to tract and met a few new contacts and gave out a Book of Mormon.
We popped by Mary's house and helped her carry some groceries. She said why we did not come yesterday because she waited. We had an appointment with her yesterday but because of the special conference which we found out the night before and we could not call her because we did not have her number. We said our apologies and set another appointment for Friday morning. (We popped by Friday morning, heard baby noises inside, but no one opened the door.)
We also did weekly planning today. We also visited more formers and met the Remo boys. We arrived just in time that they got home from school and they invited us in. Very nice Sri Lankan family, but they needed to go check a new house, they were in the middle of moving houses. They told us that they already found new church, that they used to meet American Elders to help the boys learn English. This family was a referral from the Kumarasamy.
We tracted the street and a lady opened the door, Talia, said that she was atheist. Her boyfriend came out rather stern and told us that they were not interested. I saw a gold medallion glued to their wall outside saying excellent energy saver house, so I quickly asked them about it to keep the conversation going but they said that they did not know. The guy, Chris, then softened a little bit, asked us where we were from and what we where doing. He asked us if we needed to do what we were doing and we explained that we were volunteers and would only stay in Australia for a few months. Then we talked about places where we could see kangaroos and purple mushrooms. It was a good BRT (build relationship of trust) in the end but they were still not interested. However, it was a great conversation.
Sister Tuu'u later called us because she found the dumbell that we sneaked into her bag earlier..hahaha..
Apr 21, Fri - The car did not start, it didn't make a funny noise like the last time when the car didn't start and we needed to jump start it. We said a quick prayer, I looked at the gear, put the gear to neutral and pushed the car, then tried again and it started..yeay!..Later on, Elder Gray returned our call and asked what's wrong and we told him that we already figured out. He told us that usually car won't start if the gear is on Drive..hahaha..I remembered the gear was on Drive, the reason why it didn't start, that it would start only on Park or Neutral. Later, we related this story to our DL, Elder Knight, who had an even funnier story, where same thing happened to him. They were in Wangaratta District, anything service is 3 hours away and they called the Holden Service. The Holden Service agreed to do it out of mercy and brought a battery to jump start it, but when the guy came, he noticed the gear was on Drive and told him rather angrily that there was no problem..haha..
We did exchanges with the Moorabbin Sisters. I went with Sister Schaub, visited a few new contacts and taught a lesson (Gospel of Jesus Christ) with the Maka family. We also visited Amber and her kids and shared about the Restoration using the pen analogy. The kids participated but later dispersed. Amber, however was teary-eyed when we got to the end of the lesson, and said that she would pray about the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was very strong in that lesson and we set a return appointment next week.
We then joined the Tamana family, a member-missionary family, for dinner and shared the Reach out with Love mormon message. We also picked up the Sisters from their dinner with the George family. They also had a miracle from the street we altogether planned for them to tract. It was already a bit dark, but they decided to knock just one house when the mom (Muslim) opened the door and invited them in. Mehdi, 19-year old son, said that he wanted to learn. They taught him about prophets and prayer. His family was Muslim but did not practice their religion.
Apr 22, Sat - Today is Jason McCallister (8 years old) baptism. I was asked to give a talk about the Holy Ghost and my companion was asked last minute to talk about baptism when the assigned speaker did not show up. Touraj came to the baptism as well. We were talking about the Book of Mormon when Bishop passed by and heard us. Bishop had encouraged Touraj to read from both the Persian and English BOM for one hour each day so that his English would improve as well as his testimony. Touraj had accepted the challenge and read 19 pages last night. So awesome. Bishop was so awesome too!
It was sunny in the morning but then rained in the afternoon. We stayed under a tree and later stayed in one of the houses' garage and called some formers in our phone. We got to talk to Pat from Sri Lanka who wondered why the missionaries did not come back to visit him, so we set up appointment.
We went to a house where the former moved and occupied by a family from NZ. They said they met missionaries before and we set appointment with them. They pointed to the next house and that Chinese people lived there, maybe the family that we were looking for, in the record, it did say Chinese. We knocked and the mom opened the door, but she could not speak English so she grabbed her phone and asked us to talk to the phone google translate. I forgot my Chinese and I was lucky I had a pass-along card in Chinese which i gave to her. When she read Yisu Jidu (Jesus Christ), she then said No, no. We understood that she was not interested, at least, she kept the card. That was a fun experience.
The Narre Warren Sisters needed some progress record so we dropped some and cooked dinner with them.
Apr 23, Sun - Touraj received his Aaronic priesthood today and Bishop called us to witnessed it. Des came to church and we saw him after Ward Council. Bing came with his son, not been coming for a while. Bing is LDS but his wife was not. They were taught at the same time but only Bing was baptized. (They were the Chinese formers we were looking for and called their number, wife was nice and we set up an appointment.)