Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Canberra Zone Week 5

Dear Everyone,

Yesterday was Labor day in AU, so that is why we had to email today since the library was closed for the National holiday. Also, we drove up to the mission office yesterday (a nice 3 hour drive) so that we could have mission leadership council last night. All of the zone leaders and the training sisters gathered together and we discussed how we are doing as a mission. The meeting was 5 hours long but very beneficial! Plus, Sister Lew's (our mission President's wife) made some DELICIOUS Butter chicken. I ate two giant plates of it plus naan bread and an ice cream to top it off. I felt about ready to pop afterwards, but it was worth it! Anyways, it was a great meeting, and well worth the drive. Now, we are about to drive back so I had better make this letter short, but just wanted to send you my letter I send to President Lew each week:

This week has been a great one! It seems like we have spent a lot of time in meetings and trainings since we had Preach My Gospel studies with both companionships of sisters in our zone in addition to Zone Conference, but in all situations we have been uplifted and learned a lot so it has been great! We Also witnessed a fantastic miracle in regards to our relationship between the Bishop and missionaries improving. In the past, I guess the relationship between missionaries and the Bishop has been a little shaky, but when the Bishop invited us over for dinner at his home, we made it our number one objective to help him realize we are here to work and serve him and his ward. We saw great success with it! During the dinner, we were discussing problems that he is seeing in the ward and talking about how we can help to overcome them. After a while he finally slowed down and said "well Elders, what do you need help with?" I took this great opportunity to explain that we are here to help him. We are not here to add to his previously describes list of problems, but we are here to help him fix them. We mentioned we have a great desire to continue to teach and bring many of the less active members back to church and he replied that he had actually just earlier compiled a list of specific members that he felt would accept us into their homes and that could be benefited by more help from the missionaries. This is a great way for us to not only help the members, but also to show the Bishop that we can be trusted and accomplish his goals and desires. The next day, he invited us to come early in the morning and play basketball with the ward as part of their ward activity. We showed up and continued to increase the relationship with members in a more casual way. For me, these two events were great miracles in helping us to grow closer to the members. Because it is the capitol, most members work for the government and are VERY busy with their careers and family. Our desire is to help them see that missionaries make their lives less stressful and more enjoyable, and I think that we are starting to get that message across. This excites me because as President Monson has stated: Member work is the most effective way to work. The ward is starting to get excited for missionary work and we know that this will continue to grow as we continue to serve and fan the flame of missionary work. Another great example is when we had dinner at a newlywed's home. During dinner the wife was asking what miracles we had seen this week, what was the best part of missionary work and so forth. We can see that she is very excited to be involved. When we asked who she knew that could benefit from the gospel she replied "well, our neighbor next to us is a pretty lonely man, just living by himself. Our neighbor across from us recently had someone pass away in their family I think, and there's another friend I have who has asked me a question or two about the church." We were so excited to see these wonderful opportunities to allow others to have the gospel in their lives. Knowing about life after this blesses us with peace and comfort. The Gospel brings hope and love to those who feel alone in this dark world. I am so excited to be a missionary and I pray I can continue to help others gain that same desire and energy to bring about this work of salvation among Heavenly Father's children.

As for the status of my planner. I think my planning abilities have improved a lot while being down here in Canberra, but I wouldn't say I quite have a celestial planner yet. One thing I would like to improve is my hand writing and neatness. The information is there, goals, names, addresses and lessons, but I need to take a minute more time to make it look neat and organized. This has been a goal of mine and one that I have plans to fix. With the help of my companion, I can accomplish it. He has been willing to help me to re-learn how to write neatly haha. It actually has been a good experience for us to do together, just practicing how to write neatly.

Love you all!

Elder Shafer

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