Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sydney Week 14

WOW! Where do I start? This week was "full-on!" :) I can start with my letter to President Howes I suppose:

I hope your day is well and that you have been blessed and strengthened to uphold your calling this last week. I am so excited for our zone training this next Tuesday! :) Also, I am very excited for the interview you will be able to have with Noy this next Wednesday at 4pm. She is such an amazing person and I feel so privileged to see the progress she has made in preparing for baptism. With the trials that she has overcome, I know that all things are possible for our investigators. It will be wonderful to see her be baptized and then confirmed this weekend. 
For my experience with God this week was during trade offs with the Zone Leaders. Elder Imeson and I were on trade offs and our entire mindset was to "have the faith to see miracles." We had 5 hours of finding set up and we expected to witness miracles according to our faith and diligence. And we saw them!! For me, the greatest miracle was seen through Candy. She is from Hong Kong. I was crossing the street when I saw her, and started my approach. After talking to her for a second, I noticed her english was quite poor. So I asked where she was from and upon finding she was from Hong Kong, was able to speak to her in Cantonese and help her understand what we do here as missionaries and also that we offer a free English class. When I met her and talked with her, she was not comfortable giving out her phone number, and needed to go to the post office at that time. However, she was interested in learning about the free English class and agreed to meet me in 15 minutes after she had visited the post office and walk with Elder Imeson and I back to the church. To make a long story short, she came, we shared with her what we do as missionaries more in depth and we were able to set a baptismal date for her. It was an incredible miracle for me to witness! I was so grateful not only that I could use my language in finding, but also have the privilege to help someone understand the need for baptism and set that goal for her. It was a great experience for me.
One way that I am being creative in my finding is by asking people how to say a word or two in their native language. I have found that it allows me perfect opportunity to talk with them about How I love to learn new things everyday, and that if they would like to, I would be more than willing to help them learn something new today as well that would bless their life more than anything they have previously learned will. Not only does it allow for me to bring up the gospel, but I have also found it makes people know more that I care about them. When I ask them for something and show appreciation for their help, it helps us to develop a small, but simple friendship instead of them thinking that I am just someone in a suit wanting to sell them something. I want to continue things like this in my finding. Whether it is complimenting, asking for help, or some other way, I want people to realize that I am not here to sell something, I am here to help and be their friend in their journey back to our Father in Heaven.

This week was so good! We were able to see our area gain 8 new investigators, set a baptismal date, set a new record for lessons taught since I've been here and just witness miracle after miracle! :) The biggest news is the fact that Noy Vayakone, from Laos will be getting baptized this Saturday. She is the best! Honestly, she has changed SOOOO much in preparation for her baptism. I don't want to go into detail as to the trials and weaknesses she needed to overcome, but I am so proud of her for the progress she has made and she now will be able to get baptized! We had to reset her date twice before, but now, Elder Wan and I both feel she is ready and she feels ready too! 

Other miracles from this week:

We met with Danny and had a pretty good lesson with him. He feels that in his life, he has nothing to be passionate about. He doesn't have much to feel he has been successful in (no solid career, house, family etc) and just wants to have a simple, life with something he enjoys and very little stress. Of course this is the ideal, but we were able to really just talk with him openly. He's been very interesting. He's been meeting with missionaries off and on since September and nobody has been able to really get him to open up. He understands the doctrine, even attends weekly institute classes more earnestly than any member has yet, but we haven't been able to get him to open up as to why he keeps saying no to baptism and wanting to be active in the church he already attends regularly. I don't think we are at the solution, but we are definitely closer. The last lesson with him I was really able to understand what he was saying and the spirit helped me to discern his feelings and thoughts and I felt very distinctly twice, that the things I had said were from the Spirit. They had an effect, and hopefully with the commitment we gave him, we will be able to help him out more. 

A short excerpt from my journal to finish off the letter:


Today was pretty great. we met with Damien and had a good lesson. I'm not sure exactly how to help him stop focusing on the bad and negative things which happen and be grateful for the good, but I hope today our message helped him out. Also, we met with Cindy for the first time in seveeral weeks. It was really good! Helped her prep for her Ielts test (english test students must pass to gain residency in AU) then shared a mormon message with her followed by dinner. After that we met with Haywind, Jo and Ronny. (3 cantonese friends who wanted to come to English class and we were able to meet with them and share about why we do missionary work etc....) It was so cool how much I was able to understand. Speaking is by far harder and I mess up a lot unfortunately, but I'll keep trying. I wont give up even when I mess up and people laugh at me. I'm stubborn in some things and I'm determined to improve my language eventhough I rarely get to teach in it. 

So yeah, that's about all the time I have for this week :( only have 2 minutes left. I'm sorry I dont have the time and opportunity to send all my thoughts, feelings, and answers to your questions. But know that the work here is really moving forward. We are going to accomplish our goal for 100 new investigators in the city for this month, I just know it! We have 2 weeks to get 25 investigators. This week alone we got 29, so we are going to smash this goal and set a great new standard for the rest of the zone to keep accomplishing in future months. As our teaching pool increases, I know that all other areas will increase as well. Love you all so much, thank you for the love and support you give me!!!!!!!

Elder Shafer

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