Thursday, 25 May 2017

Week 71

Dandenong: May 15 - 21, 2017

Miracles - Driba and the family on the bus; Exchanges with Mooroolbark, Finley and Wantirna Sisters; Interesting teaching moments and meeting interesting people..and more.

May 15, Mon - Shopped for food but too expensive. For some reasons, I craved for corned beef. This was in a Polynesian store.

We then played tennis with Matthew Lawrence together with the Elders.

We also slept in Wantirna tonight and had a fun chat with Sister Laurenson, Fraedrich and Cehajic.

The Sisters needed a ride from their District Meeting to their flat. The Finley Sisters (Sister Tuu'u and Koroi) were working together with the Lynbrook Sisters in the Lynbrook area for the meantime while President Vidmar sorted some things out in Finley. Someone tried to break inside their flat.

We also met Desiree today and shared with her about Restoration. She said she wanted to learn more so we set another appointment for next week. Desiree was a referral by the other set of Sisters during exchanges who met her while GQing Dandenong Plaza.

May 17, Wed - Exchanges with Mooroolbark Sisters. The guy who did the service to our car said that it would take only 1 hour but then they had to change some hoses, thus we didn't make it on time for Mary's appointment at 11 am. By the time we got to her house, she said she was already busy. hmmm..We decided to meet Antonin, the referral from the stake, at 1 pm instead of 3 pm. After a few knocks, he came out and invited us in. Sadly, we did not have another female with us so we just sat outside by the door steps. We taught him how to pray. He said he would try to pray before we meet him again next week.

We then visited some formers in Kelvinside Noble Park and tracted the area. We walked from house number 32 to 111, and by the time we got there and knocked on the door, a car pulled in. The person we were looking for already moved out but Driba, the new resident, talked to us. He was interested and accepted a Book of Mormon. If we had not walked, we would have arrived earlier and no one would be there to talk to us.  We followed the prompting to walk instead of driving so we met Driba. Miracle.

I worked with Sister Marlowe.
                                                                                          I felt very light.
                  Me, Sisters Ete, Marlowe, Lambert and golden Sister Liutai

May 18, Thurs - Today, we took the bus so I could teach my companion the routes. She rode the bus only once and she needed to do this during exchanges. We talked to a lot of people and met Simon while crossing the street. He said that he would meet with us later today in the library at 4pm but he did not make it because he had to take his wife to the hospital unexpectedly.

We also did GQ on the train from Dandenong to Noble Park, ate lunch in the park, and followed up formers who lived nearby. I realized how much I missed using public transportation. We met Maulika on the bus and she gave us her address and number.

Just saw this while walking..hehe..

Did some companionship study in the library..

We picked up the Finley Sisters and invited them to help us with a service project with Sister O'Callaghan. 
Sister O'Callaghan indeed needed help, we needed masks too..hehe..

Later that night, we helped to resolve some concerns with the Finley and Lynbrook Sisters and we were grateful that the Sisters were willing to work on to improve their communication, one of our responsibilities as STLs.

May 19, Fri - We had the Finley Sisters for exchanges. We tracted and met some rude people telling us that there were pedophiles in our congregation, someone asked if I spoke English, another one walking his dog told us that a private act said we couldn't knock..haha..that was a pretty interesting street.

May 20, Sat - Exchanges today with the Wantirna Sisters and I went with Sister Fraedrich. We found a new investigator in the morning when our appointments fell through. 

Sister Fraedrich remembered a new contact who lived nearby. We knocked and we met Awatif who invited us in, and so we shared the Restoration with her. She was Muslim but all her children were Christians. She agreed to read the Book of Mormon and meet us again next week. We also met Treva who was baptized but left and attended different other churches. He said that he could never have a testimony of the Book of Mormon though he had family members who were strong LDS.

We also met Vicky and gave her a Hindi Gospel of Jesus Christ; she read it and translated it to English for us. We invited her again to pray about her baptism because she was scared that changing from Buddhism to Christianity would make her sick. 

We also met Laura and shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with her. She said she believed it to be true but she didn't believe that she needed to be baptized because she was already baptized in the Catholic and Pentecostal churches. 

                     Matching colors...

May 21, Sun - Ward council in the morning. None of our investigators came to church but we had a family who came and stayed for 3 hours and enjoyed the meetings. The Elders found this golden family on the bus - they pointed to the name badges and told the Elders that they would go to church and they did. Miracle.

We attended practice for the musical missionary fireside, then drove to office to get the white van. We had dinner with the McLean family, attended Narre Night and slept over at the Lynbrook/Finley Sisters' flat (for tomorrow's joint Pday activities).

Monday, 22 May 2017

Week 70

Dandenong; May 8-14, 2017

Miracles - Vicky, Rajinder, and Amber with the help of Bro and Sis Samau Oeti; Bearing my testimony during Eastside Zone Conference (as one of those leaving for home this transfer); My companion, Sister Lambert, had her 1-year mark in the field; splits with the help of Sabrina and Sammy, Te Haerenga and Nina; exchanges with Lynbrook Sisters; Mother's Day skype with family...and more.

May 8, Mon - Zone Pday at the chapel: played UNO, footy and secret combinations.

After that, we went to O'Callaghan; at the door, she was saying how busy she was at work. In my head, I was thinking of giving her a "drop testimony" then visit her again maybe in a few months...but when we shared about how putting God first in our lives could bless us, she paused for a while then invited us in. I think the reason why she was hesitant to invite us in was because her house was in a mess, trash everywhere because of the dogs and her 2 sons were not helping. We got to know her more, then shared more about Lehi's vision of the tree of life and the need to hold on to the iron rod. We then offered to help her clean. She said we could come back Thursday to clean.

We then popped by Aman again; she told us that she was happy where she was and did not want to change church because she was strictly vegetarian and thought that we should not eat animal meat. After Aman, we had family home evening with Estelle and talked about "Look and Live, look to Christ in everything."

May 9, Tue - After District Meeting, we visited some formers to follow up and update, then had splits with Sabrina and Sammy. Sabrina had plans to serve a mission while Sammy just got back from her mission in Utah 5 months ago. Sister Lambert and Sabrina found a new contact, Ron, when they tracted a bit while looking for a former. Sammy and I went together to a former who had moved but as we tracted the court, we met Vicky who invited us in right away. She was from Fiji, of a Buddhist background, and feeling down at the moment because her son got mixed in the wrong crowd. We shared about God's love and she asked us if Jesus Christ could help her. She was very keen and we knelt down to pray before we left. Miracle.

Then we picked up the Lynbrook Sisters for exchanges tomorrow.

May 10, Wed - Exchanges today: Me and Sister Caguimbal, Sister Lambert and Sister Manosig. Sister Caguimbal and I visited Antonin but we set another appointment after he told us that he was busy because he was selling his house. We also went to visit Mary again and this time, she invited us in. We shared more about the BOM and knelt down to pray. We then went back to visit Elise but she was not home so we tracted Baird Street. We met Jab who told us that we could come back next time. I didn't see the tow thingy from one of the parked cars and hit my knee..huhuhu. We received a text from Mayet (with whom we had appointment later today) that she did not want to meet with us anymore.

We then visited Amber and read with her 3Nephi 11:1-12. I thought we needed to bring a fellowshipper next time for her to progress. We also followed-up Pilaryo, a Filipino that the other Sisters met last time. He said we could meet his family next time. While Sisters Lambert and Manosig visited Ana and Santi, we tracted the street. One man commented why we kept coming back and giving out something. We were a bit puzzled and then he asked, "Are you JW? (JW means Jehovah's Witness.) We said, "no", still he said "Well, I'm still not interested." I thought that was a funny encounter.

     L-R: Me, Sisters Caguimbal, Manosig, Lambert

May 11, Thurs - East Side Zone Conference. My companion, Sister Lambert, and I gave training on How to Begin Teaching. We texted all of the East zones to prepare by studying their favorite teacher in the scriptures and how they begin teaching. During the training, the Sisters were very involved and engaged because they studied in advance. We then focused on King Benjamin and how he taught. We also invited Senior Missionaries and President and Sister Vidmar to be our investigators during the role plays. We gave them the information of our real investigators. President Vidmar acted out Des. At the end, President Vidmar invited those who were leaving this transfer to bear their testimony, me one of them..huhu.
                              Sister Fong and Sister Johnson

                     Giving the Sisters a ride to the train driver.

                 With Devon Meadows: Sisters Leilua, Faletao, and Solo

                 Driving the Lynbrook Sisters - Sisters Caguimbal and Manosig

Sister Lambert's one-year mark, so we celebrated by eating at Nando's, her fave food place.

May 12, Fri - Weekly planning in the morning. Then to Narre Warren for interviews with President Vidmar.

The Moorabbin Sisters gave us a referral Ayjang; we called to confirm our meeting but when we came, she was not home. We tracted the street and met Rajinder from india. He was bubbly and cheerful, "Don't worry about anything, just enjoy the sun and breeze." We talked a bit about baptism and the Book of Mormon. He read the introduction but still like casual and a bit mocking the book, and said that he did not want a copy. As we were leaving, he asked why we were doing this. He asked if he could look at the book again, then scanned and read random pages even the verse where it says "O Ye perverse and wicked generation.." After a while, he said that he felt good, gave us his number because he was moving, took the book and read it on his way back into the house. Miracle.

We then followed up Jab but he was not home. We also visited Amber, this time we brought Bro. and Sis. Samau Oeti. They clciked right away, Bro. Samau was baptized 4 years ago and bore an amazing testimony on how the gospel changed his life. Amber responded that this was what she needed. Bro. and Sis. Samau Oeti offered to pop by on a Sunday so they could also meet the partner. She said she wanted to learn more and be baptized. The kids were listening and paying attention, too. Miracle.

May 13, Sat - We met Josephine again but she forgot that we were meeting her today so we rescheduled for next week. We followed up on Sayeda, the Muslim mom we met last week. She invited us in and we shared the Plan of Salvation. She said that it's the same with their beliefs..hmm. She agreed to meet with us again to learn about Restoration and that we could bring fellowshippers. She asked about the difference between Islam and Mormonism and we told her about the priesthood, she was curious.

We then picked up Te Haerenga and Nina from the chapel just right after Mother's Day lunch. We did splits but we went together though to meet Abdul. Abdul did not know about baptism and he said he would come to church this Sunday.

Sis Te Haerenga and I tracted Amalfi Drive and met Rita who invited us in right away. She's a Muslim from Egypt. She wanted an Arabic BOM which we would bring during our visit again next week. We then visited the Lawrence family, played games with Matthew because he was not in a good mood. After playing Uno, he was fine, so we shared POS using cut-outs, or so we say, Matthew was the one teaching us. The family would come to church tomorrow.

May 14, Sun - Mother's Day and Skype with family at the Agawin's place. The family prepared lunch for us, Filipino food, pinakbet and adobo..yum!

                                             My dad..              and          mom..
Today, Abdul came to church, looked like he enjoyed it. He talked to a few people even Bishop. He said he needed to go but would stay longer next week. Matthew and his mom came as well, also Leila from Iran. Touraj passed the sacrament for the first time and said that he felt really good. Ehsan also told us about not drinking coffee and not smoking for long time now and his desire to go to the temple.

Last ward council, the brethren mentioned about visiting Hana Ah Mu and so we did. They came to church today with partner Solomon (non-LDS) and 3-year old kid, Peyton. We shared about Faith with them in their home. Hana had not been to church for a while but wanted to come back. She's related to the stake president. Solomon was a bit anxious with missionaries so Hana suggested that we could have a dinner appointment next week so Solomon would be comfortable with us.

We visited Sayeda and her husband, Azim and we shared about Restoration. Sayeda said that our message was good but she did not feel right leaving Islam. She said that we had the same message and it did not matter..huhu..but she said that she would read the Persian BOM. Azim studied different religions, very nice, but couldn't speak English so Sayeda  had to do the translation. We were not able to bring a Persian-speaking couple because families were busy on Mother's Day.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Week 69

May 1-7, 2017 : Dandenong

Very busy transfer this week, Elders coming to Narre Warren instead of Sisters, MLC, just when there was no point knocking, the last door... and more..

May 1, Mon - With Elders Christensen and Maumau

Finished packing in Narre Warren. Elders would be coming to Narre Warren this transfer.

May 2, Tues -
My last corned beef with Sister Manosig. I would have a new companion, Sister Lambert. Sister Manosig would be Sister Caguimbal's new companion.

Busy with the transfer; getting ready for the Elders to come

Sister Stack  (2nd from L) and Sister Cruz (1st from R) would go to Moorabbin

Sister Laurenson would be with the Wantirna Sisters
Sister Schaub (R on 1st photo) with Sister Percival Tafili (R on 2nd photo) to serve together in Burnie, Tasmania

Sister Koroi to Finley with Sister Tuu'u..this might be the last time that we would see each other in the mission as I would be going home in a month.

Sister Tamani would be with Sister Pope (previous companion of Sister Lambert in Wagga Wagga)
Do they need my help in loading the bikes to the van?

Sister Aalto with her amazing strength and after la long day of driving

 Picked up Sister Solo from Footscray; she would be serving trio in Devon Meadows

With Sister Alo

The new Lynbrook Sisters - Sister Manosig and Sister Caguimbal; Sister Lambert (in pink), my new companion

Picked up the Sisters to go Finley.. meeting place at mission office for west moving Sisters

With Griffith Sisters - Sister Fakahokatau and Sister Aitu

The West STLs would be driving the Sisters to Finley and Griffith..11 hours. Have fun driving.

After lunch, we drove to Samantha and did service and shared a message from Alma to the Maka family. Then we had dinner with Ana, Santi and Lucas. I learned a new word today from Sister Lamber. FROG - fully rely on God.

May 4, Thur - Goldens arrived. Lynbrook Sisters were supposed to get a Golden but delayed, she would be coming next transfer. The Mooroolbark Sisters got a Golden, Sister Liutai.

We met Sister O'Callaghan and read about Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life. We stood outside while sharing because she did not feel comfy inviting us in. We set another appointment to meet her next Monday. Did as well weekly planning then visited a referral, Atousa. The husband told us to come back the next day when Atousa would be home. We then had correlation meeting with our ward mission leader and his assistant, then to the mission home with other Sisters for MLC the next day.

Tassie and West STLs

Sister Murphy trained Sister Aalto; Me catching up with previous companion, Sister Burden

May 5, Fri - Exercise run to the Temple

'cause they said we're dyyinnng...

At the MLC

After MLC, we received a referral from the branch president in Wagga wagga about a service opportunity in our area so we drove there. We helped a family moved and scrubbed walls. Amy was baptized but she said that she didn't feel like she belonged so she had not been to church for a long time.

Then we visited Atousa again. She invited us in and we shared about Restoration. She was baptized in the Protestant Church four years ago from being a Muslim. We explained about baptism and she said she would pray about it. We would meet her again next week.

May 6, Sat - We went to visit Josephine, shared about Restoration and set a return appointment for next week. We then tracted a few houses in the street and went to a name in the ward list who lived nearby. When she invited us in, Barbara said she has a sister. When the sister came out, she is a twin, and we discovered that she's an investigator taught by the Elders..haha.. Anyways, Lynne had been thinking about her baptism but did not feel that she was ready. We read 3Nephi 11 with her. She liked to learn and go to church even though Barbara, already LDS, was not going.

We had our district meeting after lunch, then met Abdul in the library. Abdul was a name in our phone whom we called and was willing to meet us. We were working on calling all the investigators listed on the phone because we didn't know who they were.

Abdul was Muslim, said that Mohammad was like Joseph Smith and the Quran was like the Book of Mormon. He warned us that we should be sure of the truth before we spread what we were teaching because we would be accountable. We invited him to do the same. He also invited us to the open house of the mosque when we invited him to church. We asked him if we could meet his family and he said 'yes.' We were thinking that there was no point teaching him but in the latter part, he said that he wanted to learn why we believe it so much, so we would meet him again next week. He said he had a copy of the Book of Mormon which was good.

We then attended a baptism in the Hampton Ward, after which, we met the Lawrence family. We shared the importance of the Sacrament with Matthew. This time was the tennis season so they missed church but Sister Lawrence said that she was thinking of July for Matthew's baptism.

May 7, Sun - We visited a former investigator, Nabela, and she said that she would stay Muslim. We tracted all the units in her area and the man said that there was no point because they were all from Afghanistan but we tracted anyway. We met two new contacts. One was a dad named Hamid who had two young kids, said he was 50-50 about religion but when we mentioned about families, he wanted to learn so we set return appointment for next week. We had 15 minutes left to get to ward council but we decided to knock on the last door. A mom named Sayeda opened and we shared a bit about the Plan of Salvation. She wanted to learn a bit more about our beliefs of the after life so we set a return appointment for next week. Miracle. Just when it seemed like there was no point knocking on doors where they were from Afghanistan and Muslim, then we got two new contacts. We were 10 minutes late to the ward council but we were in time to share a bit. The ward was pretty amazing; they made a progress chart to see the progress of recent converts and returning less active members.

We were invited to teach Sunday School for deacons and beehives about what we could learn from prophets and apostles. Des came to church as well as Brother Seppings. There was also a new family who moved from Brisbane, her three kids were blessed today and non-LDS husband came along. We then met Hano's husband who said they were already going to church, said that he would listen to the unique message next Sunday, so we set another appointment. Then we practiced for the Musical Fireside, but we did not get the text that they moved it earlier to 4:30 instead of 5, so by the time we got there, it was already over. We then followed up on other former investigators, two had moved out but William still lived in same place. We met his brother Henry and he was surprised that William had been learning about the church. William was out at the moment but Henry said that we could come back another time.

Then there was the Narre Night at 8pm in the chapel where we gathered as a zone with scriptural thought and some games, also met the new missionaries in the zone. This week as well, we got a heater as my companion was freezing.