Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sydney Week 23

So, unfortunately, this week will have to be a bit shorter. We are very shortly going to have a large "zone p-day" together a little ways away. We are going to play touch rugby in the stadium and then some soccer on the beach. (in the winter, we can go to the beach since there are no longer any sunbathers) it is quite funny that people here consider it cold when it's probably 65 degrees outside haha. But truth be told, it does start feeling cold when you are used to so much hot and humid weather. This week was pretty amazing! Please keep John, Sonam, and Jodie in your prayers. Sonam is getting baptized this weekend! Unfortunately, John felt he should push back his date, but I can understand the reasons why (explained in my letter to President) also, Jodie is still feeling some adversity from her family in being baptized, so we are trying to work with her and help her to just make her own decision regarding an important choice which will benefit her life. We had an awesome experience also with Trang this week. She has been struggling with Her testimony for quite a while and has been reluctant to pray and read the Book of Mormon. She is active in attendance at church, but not very strong really in her faith. We have not given up on her though, and last meeting, she said that she has noticed more happiness in her life now that she has tried my promise to "read 10 minutes a day, and tell me you are not happier in your life." it was a great miracle! :) Less active people really hold a special place in my heart because there is so much that they can enjoy and be happy with. I have a new desire and goal to focus a little more on less active people, because my goal is to not have a single one of my recent converts be less active when I leave for home. It is achievable, and I will do everything I can to make it so. They know how good the gospel is, as we all do, but sometimes we just need a reminder and a loving friend to welcome us back. I have to go now. I will copy the email I sent to President and then send the email, we are just about to leave.  Love you all so much! :)

My core experience with God this week came when Elder Larsen and I were on trade offs and working together for the day. We saw so many miracles! We were able to reset John's baptismal date (he was introduced to some anti-mormon materials, but upon meeting with him again, he is willing to be baptized beginning of June) We also solidified Sonam's baptism for this Saturday. She is very thrilled to be baptized and will make an amazing addition to building the ward here. We also saw amazing miracles when finding. When coming back from lunch, I talked to a man while waiting at the stop light right before the church. I mentioned that I was a missionary and our church was just the next block up. Without even thinking, the words "would you like to see it?" came out of my mouth. He answered that he would like that and we proceeded to show him around. He is from Italy and he wanted to stay for English class, so we had to keep our tour of the church brief, but mentioned we would love to talk to him more later. We then went back out finding since it was not our day to teach English class, and within 15 minutes found Lee, from Taiwan. She had about 30 minutes to meet with us and asked great questions about the church. She mentioned how when looking at the pictures of Christ in the Church she felt peace and comfort, whereas in other churches she often feels bad and scared. It was a great opportunity to teach her not only about the Spirit, but also the truth in how we view the Living Savior. She is well prepared and didn't even want to stay for English but rather just wanted to see the church and learn more about Christ. She left right before english class ended with a return apt as well. Right after English class we came back and met Daniel again for a lesson and will be seeing him again on Thursday. He didn't understand why he would need to be baptized again, but is also willing to come and see a baptism this Saturday. Between understanding the Restoration and feeling the Spirit that is always present at baptisms, I think we can set a solid baptismal date with him soon. Later that day, I was able to also help someone clear up wrong thoughts and ideas regarding our church. One girl I talked to on the street was from Hong Kong. She didn't want to hear much of what I said until I asked her if she spoke Cantonese, in Cantonese. She was suprised and then listened to what I was trying to ask her. She mentioned that she was Christian and that she didn't want to come to church because we aren't. I politely responded that she had been misinformed and explained briefly that we absolutely are Christian. She then asked about why we worship prophets instead of Jesus Christ. Again, I kindly smiled and said that, that also was not true and we would love to help her understand the truth regarding our doctrine. She was still a bit skeptical and so I challenged her and said "come to one meeting with us, we will show you our church, and then you can decide for yourself whether we are Christian or not." I think she enjoyed the challenge because she smiled, then agreed that we could meet and we exchanged phone numbers in case something came up before our scheduled appointment. I love opportunities like this. To be able to bring truth and light to those who have been kept in obscurity. Also, anytime that I can preach the Gospel in Cantonese, I cherish. I see more and more the reasoning behind why I was called to speak such a difficult language here. Not only does it make me study and work hard, but I am able to astonish and surprise people which if nothing else, leaves an impression and curiosity. I know that it is not because of me that I am able to learn this language. Only because of the faith and diligence I have in qualifying for the gifts of the Spirit. It was an amazing and wonderful day and one that I will remember and cherish!

Love you all!

Elder Shafer

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