Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bankstown 3 Week 3 (sorry a week late in posting)

Wow, this week has been such an experience ;) I wrote a long letter to President Lew today since he just got here yesterday, and our mission finally opened when he stepped off the plane. So exciting! :) I also had to write a couple other good recent converts back so the time today was not quite as long as I was hoping, but I wanted to make sure they knew how to keep in contact since we can contact now that the missions are different. I love you all! Keep me updated on how things are!  

Hello!!!! :) It is so great to have the opportunity to write you! I hope to not come across as overly excited, but to be honest, I am very excited for the hastening of the Lord's work here in the Australia Sydney South Mission. I have just recently moved here into the Cantonese Branch 2 weeks ago, and it has been such a wonderfully different experience. As you may know, I have served my entire mission in the city until this point and so working in a much larger area, being fully immersed in Cantonese, learning to drive safely on the other side of the road, teaching in member's homes rather than the nice quiet teaching center with the chapel right upstairs, and much more has been a very different experience than previously in my mission. However, I am thrilled and look forward to the future of this branch here. This week was definitely one to build the faith of Elder Ng and myself. We had our investigator with a baptismal date receive opposition from his family that has caused him to not desire to be baptized anymore, another investigator of ours that we had found recently and who we felt had great potential to be baptized next month also texted us letting us know he could not believe the things we had taught and he previously had agreed with, and another progressing investigator also has seemed to be much less interested in continuing to learn about the Gospel. Amidst these sad experiences though, I know that we can and will rise above what we had ever expected as we keep focused on the Savior and are working to fulfill His will. Elder Ng and I continue to grow closer together, especially through these experiences of trial. I feel that we are fulfilling the wonderful scripture of Ether 6:12: "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."

Though we cannot see it yet, as we continue to exercise our faith, I know we will see miracles continue to happen. It is interesting, but I do believe that the Lord is preparing this area to recieve of Elder Ng and myself. Perhaps we are not the right missionaries to continue to teach those specific people who do not desire to learn at this time. It may be hard to accept and understand that, but I know that He guides and directs this work. I have seen that there are people who I feel have been specifically prepared to meet me, and so I believe that is the same here. The Lord has more prepared to be taught and found by Elder Ng and myself and so I am excited to go out and accomplish His plans. 

I want you to know how much my mission means to me. These people and these experiences have changed my life forever. It seems an interesting pattern for me how the more I continue to give to the Lord, the more He continues to give back. I have been blessed to have a wonderful family, a knowledge of the gospel, good health, great friends, the list goes on and on, and when I feel that I have no other area in which I deserve blessings, and I truly want to just give back, He continues to pour out blessings upon my head. Perhaps you can solve the equation for me, because I have not yet figured it out :) He truly is so merciful. 

I am very excited to be here at this monumental time of the work. In one of my favorite poems, written by Elder Eyring it states "my past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure." I truly feel that way now. I am by no means a perfect missionary, but I know that the efforts and work I put into my last area was pleasing unto the Lord and the mistakes I have made in the past are redeemed. At this time in the present, my goal and mission makes sense. And with Faith in the Lord, I know my future always is secure. The work here is so amazing. There is lots of it, which is great because I love to work. 

I am sure that there are many things which are upon your mind at this moment and there may be several things which cause you concern or worry, but I want to let you know Elder Ng and I are here to work, serve, and do everything we can to bring about eternal happiness for these people here. Since you do live quite close to us, if there is ever any help that you need, we are always willing to help a neighbor :) I am excited to meet you and Sister Lew in this upcoming week.

Elder Shafer

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