Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sydney Week 15

Exciting news! The word is out! Last week we had a zone conference where President Howes announced that SLC has authorized us to write home to all family, friends and so forth using emails. They have seen the tremendous effect that using technology has had in pushing missionary work forward and want us to have the opportunity to correspond with others throughout the world. If you could please inform others of the fact that they now can write to me using email that would be great. This way, if people have specific concerns, or as more people are preparing for their missions, I'd love to drop them a line or two of encouragement. I am not sure whether this news has been announced to everyone yet, but as to President Howes, this will likely be a worldwide movement to surge the work forward. Please post my email address on the blog and invite some friends to just drop a line or two every once in a while, that would be great! :) I know this can affect many more people worldwide. After all, my last companion, Elder Wan, his mom was baptized when he was on a mission because of his emailing home miracles that have happened! Having the opportunity to email friends directly, I believe I could make a bigger difference in their lives. 

I will attach my letter to President Howes:

I am having a great time getting to know and work with Elder Dade. We had great success yesterday while finding in order to help him get to know the area in an effective way. He is such a great missionary and I really look forward to learning everything I can from him. My core experience this week was definitely Noy's baptism and her confirmation the following day. She has been looking forward to this for quite some time and being able to see the joy and light that radiates from her was inspiring. She really is starting on the pathway back to our Father with vigor and a great energy. Also, seeing Elder Wan have the opportunity to be here for this event was humbling as well. He has been working with her for quite some time now, I think about 6 months, and he was very grateful to have this experience with her before being transferred to another area of the Vineyard. 
One way I am being creative in my finding is just changing my approach. I have found that saying the same things gets the same responses of "not interested, thank you." However, as I change my first words I speak from "hello, how are you today?" which often comes across as if I am trying to sell something to someone to something more sporadic and less common such as compliments, random things that happen, asking someone's opinions or help regarding things, speaking a word or two of their native language etc. I have found that doing these, if not making someone more interested, at least allows me to share a little bit more of who I am and what my purpose is as a missionary rather than those people thinking I am from a charity or a salesman that they see quite often on the streets. I have heard of quite a few people who say that they are not interested, but they believe that what we are doing is a good thing and of benefit. I believe that these people one day with some more preparation may be prepared for the gospel and will be willing to listen. My goal when I hit the streets is not only to find people to teach, but also to uplift everyone's outlook and views upon missionaries and the church. 
Elder Dade has already started helping me to have new ideas and great insights about how I can be a better planner, and become a more effective missionary. I feel very privileged to have such an experienced companion with me this early on in my mission. I can't believe that 6 months ago today, I walked into the MTC. I've never had time fly so fast in my life, and from what others say, it only goes faster from here. I often feel there is just not enough time. However, I have also come to realize that this is part of why using time wisely is so important. If there was nothing to press us to use time wisely, I am not sure we would use time wisely. Often in my life, I have found that I appreciate things more when I do not have them. For example, I remember quite vividly desperately wanting a heater and warmth when starting my car in the middle of winter when it was -3 Fahrenheit. I desperately wanted to get my car up and moving so I could turn on the heater so I would not be frozen by the time I arrived at work. This is the something Elder Dade I believe will be able to help me understand more. Being his last transfer he has stated he treats it like the last 10 minutes of a sports game where you have to give it all you've got. Having this extra bit of fire from him will really help us to surge forward in the work even more than we have been in recent weeks. 

Thank you for all that you do President. Please also tell Sister Howes her meal was delicious and I didn't mean any offense when I prayed the food would not make us sick :) 

So, yesterday was Transfer Day, and Elder Wan was transferred to the next area over. My new companion is Elder Dade. He's from South Africa (Johannesberg) and he is on fire! It's his last transfer for the mission and he has always wanted to serve here in the "promised land" of the city. We dropped off his stuff, got him unpacked and full of food, then smashed the streets for about 45 minutes before doing some planning for the rest of the week. He was so excited to get out and GQ (golden question) on the streets. He's a great companion and eventhough he wont be too much help for Cantonese learning, I think the other areas where he can help me improve will be of great value. He is more than qualified and is a very experienced elder. After all, he only trained the Elder who is now our AP haha :) I am looking forward to this next transfer. Our new zone leader is Elder Elder from Provo Utah. The apt is now White washed. I will miss Elder Wan, but he's not too far away and I know I'll see Him again soon. I have to go now, my time is up. I'll send pics next week.

Love you! 

Elder Shafer

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