Friday, 28 April 2017

Week 67

Dandenong: April 17-23, 2016

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.) 

Friday, 21 April 2017

Week 66

Dandenong: April 10 - 16, 2017

Nature hiking and science exploration, sharing the #PrinceofPeace Easter video, exchanges and emergency transfers, possums around, Easter Sunday and the Easter musical presentation Sunday night with non-LDS friends... 

Apr 10, Monday - Joined the Maroondah Zone Pday - hiking to Olinda Falls under the rain, wet and cold but was a fun hike.

After the hiking, we went back to the flat, showered and changed, picked up the Narre Warren Sisters and went to Spotswood (Footscray area) for another Pday in our zone. We went to the Planetarium but when we got there, it was sold out. The man at the service desk said that we could only do general entry. then the other missionaries from the zone arrived, They spoke to the man again. As we were about to pay $14 each, the man gave us free tickets instead because we're volunteers..yeay! Also, as we were parking the car, a lady stopped and gave us her all-day parking ticket, back to back freebies..blessings!

          Neon Room
To the Pumping Station - more engines to look at.
Had been a fun day. First, the hiking, then with Nature learning science facts. Fun fact: goats have rectangular pupils.

     Finishing the area map.

Apr 11, Tuesday - District meeting. Great day in the chapel today. During the District Meeting, we continued to role play how we can help Laura, our investigator to understand the restored gospel. For now, she believed that all churches are true as long as they share about Christ.

We visited the Boulle family and the young kids with cool names - Summer, Skye, Storm- who were very energetic. We shared the #Princeofpeace video with this family. We also visited the other names in the ward list and we met Lawless. She said that she's not quite ready to come back yet. We respected her decision and told her that she could always call us when she needed to.

We stopped by the Palalagi's place as we were in the area. In Samoan, the G is pronounced as Ng, thus Palalangi. We talked to the daughter, then Sister Palalagi came so we shared to them the #PrinceofPeace video and they offered to prepare dinner for us. We helped in the cooking..actually my companion did the cooking with the daughter, Mahi. haha..Mother Palalagi and I watched them while we set the table..hehe..they cooked a lovely Thai curry.

We then visited Margaret, Fijian, who lived near the area. While knocking on her door, we saw two possums climbing the neighbor's house..cute..actually huge. Anyways, we got to meet Margaret and shared the #PrinceofPeace with her. I memorized this video already but everytime we watched it, there was always something that would stand out to me, or other people point out that I hadn't noticed amazing.

Apr 12, Wed - Today is our Zone interview with President Vidmar. While waiting for the interview...

I also saw Elder Gray cleaning some of the mission staff cars...he was so awesome!
Sisters Salesa, Manosig and Koroi, then they moved beside me for another

After the interviews, we visited some formers in Mulgrave area. We met Mary, Sudanese lady with 5 kids. She said she couldn't talk to us at the moment but we could meet her next week when school starts again coz she could sit with us and listen.

After lunch, we tracted the street of Des before we went for our 3pm appointment with him. We met some of his neighbors, one of them was Dustin. Dustin talked to us for a bit and said that he had his own beliefs but his family might be interested. He invited us to come back next week after 7 pm when his family would be home.

Then we met Des. He shared some of his questions and thoughts about last General Conference. He listened to Elder Acosta's invitation to be baptized. Des was still skeptical and said that there is only one door to heaven as long as one believes in God. We told him that the door needs a key, referring to proper authority; he didn't believe but he was still nice and open to discussion. He gave us lemons from his garden and some easter eggs.

We also visited some former investigators in the area, some dated 10 years ago, to update our info if they moved or not.

We had dinner with Sister Coe; she cooked us macaroni and chicken. We were very full and still she gave us massive dessert and said that we could not leave without consuming all..hahah..she was kidding of course!

April 13, Thursday - Exchanges with Mooroolbark Sisters. I went with Sister Ete.
Sister Ete loved Filipino food especially fried rice. She knew heaps of Filipino movies that I don't even know. In the (R) photo, the Maka family.  We visited them today and taught them the Plan of Salvation.

The Narre Warren Sisters needed some members to go on splits with them today. Two Laurels from our ward, Freda and Nina, were so awesome and they went out with them. Freda and Nina were thinking of serving a mission.

We visited Amber and guess what? They had common friends with Sister Ete when both used to live in Brisbane. We shared the Shower of Heavenly Blessings with her.
We ended the exchange and these two sisters are excited to serve together, though only been together for a day. Sister Chang needed to go home because of medical reasons.

April 14, Friday - We received a call about Emergency Transfers; picked up Sister Tuu'u with her stuffs, left Sister Manosig with Sister Faletao and drove to the mission office.

 Meetup with the Glenroy Sisters
                                       Sisters Falani, Leilua, and Paratene
Sister Leilua would be going to Devon Meadows with Sister Faletao; Sister Tuu'u would join Sister Paratene.

We met Touraj at the Chapel today. He was still looking for a job. He said that he was patient, praying constantly and lots of faith. He stopped smoking for two weeks now. I told him that this was one of the ways Heavenly Father helped him to stop smoking, no job so he could not pay for smokes. He laughed and we all laughed.

April 15, Sat - Did a lot of updating our area book today. We visited the Giles family but told us that they were going to Perth for two weeks. The neighborhood was a bit quiet, a lot of people were out camping for the holidays.

We stopped by Hano and she was sick. We met Mushtak, friend of Sayid whom we tracted into the last time. We asked him if he could give these Urdu pamphlets to Sayid. He said that he was also keen to learn. On our way to the car, we saw Medina just got back home from shopping. She was kind of dodging us and we invited her to watch the #PrinceofPeace video, to which she accepted.

While we followed-up another former who moved, we met Zeeshan. He said he knew more about Jesus than us and invited us in for more discussion. We told him that we needed to invite another female; he said he would come to church tomorrow and so we got his number. (However, he got home from his job late so he was not able to attend church but suggested a time to meet. Awesome.)

Another house we followed-up but no one was home. As we were walking back to the car, we saw a possum in the middle of the road. I wanted to look closely so I walked towards it. As I walked, there was a man outside his house, doing some arrangements for his plants to sell tomorrow at the market, and he saw me. I felt compelled to talk to him..hehe..and my companion joined in. We talked to him and he kind of spilled his whole life to us. He was Vietnamese, said he sometimes felt lonely and desired to look for a church to join. He had colleagues who were Mormons. When we invited him to learn more, he paused for a bit, thought for a while, then said "it's ok, I'll call you when I need you."  That was an interesting encounter. As we left, guess what? The possum was gone...hehe.

April 16, Sunday - Matthew Lawrence and his whole family came to church; Bro. and Sister Seppings as well. Des came and talked to us. Sometimes I wonder how a man like Des, prolly now in his 70's, came to church a billion times and church members knew him already, but still he didn't recognize that he could receive many blessings if he would be baptized.

We had the Easter musical presentation at night which was very spiritual.  We were glad a lot of church members invited their non-LDS friends.

Had been a great week!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Week 65

Dandenong: April 3-9, 2017

Shrine of Remembrance, Temple Cleaning, General Conference, and more...

Apr 3, Monday - Sisters Pday. Shrine of Remembrance.

Missing the Devon Meadows, Wantirna and Hampton Park Sisters. (Spot the photobombers)
We then visited the Foundoulakis and we shared the Prince of Peace video.

Apr 4-5, Tues to Wed - Exchanges with the Devon Meadows Sisters: morning exercise and I cooked liver giblets for the Sisters.

We have pomegranate tree in our backyard and the Sisters liked it.

We visited Lucretia, the lady we tracted last February who gave us grapes. She returned the Book of Mormon and said that the Bible was enough for her. As we were walking back to the car, we asked this another lady who was gardening if she needed help. A Vietnamese, we had some kind of language barrier, but she gave us this fruit which we didn't know but tasted like guava.
We also saw this pomelo and so we asked the Chinese man sitting outside if we can have some. Their tree was full of fruits. 

We were asked to drive some Sisters for the Temple cleaning. Our zone was assigned to clean the Temple for two days. We were told late and we already had exchanges. For me and my companion, we were asked to clean on both days. Good thing Sister Tuu'u was up for cleaning. Great experience, first time. 
We also stopped by Samantha and helped her water the plants. 

After dropping the Devon Meadows Sisters back to their flat, we had dinner with the Mooroolbark Sisters. We cooked them the heart-liver giblets. Sister Marlowe was scared to try it but in the end, she liked it..I think, it was fun. Sister Chang made us dessert.

Apr 6, Thurs - Cleaned the Temple again. We used a machine to clean the tiles. It was so cool, tiles were super white. The other Sisters helped sand the endowment room chairs for varnish, I guess.

Apr 7, Friday - Exchanges with Lynbrook Sisters. I went with Sister Caguimbal. Also cooked sinigang with them.

Apr 8, Sat - After the General Conference and inspired by Elder Yoon Hwan, I looked up to the sky. opened my mouth and drank the rain.

Apr 9, Sunday - Really enjoyed the conference talks, loved the message of the prophets and apostles.  Des came to watch general conference. Later that night, we joined the Wantirna Sisters for dinner. They prepared full course.
Had a great time learning more about these Sisters.  They were so amazing. I also borrowed Sister Cehajic's rubiks cube and asked her for some algorithm because I forgot already.. he he he..
Stayed with them for the night because we would be joining their Zone Pday tomorrow.