Sooooo last night we drove down to have an exchange with the Elders in Merimbula. Can i just say that this place is what Heaven will Look like?? It is BEAUTIFUL!!! Right on the ocean with heaps of beautiful trees and foliage (love that word) and lakes and streams and everything! It is absolutely stunning. Wish I had time to send pictures, but there are only 2 computers here in the chapel, and 4 missionaries, and we would rather spend some time seeing the beautiful country since it took us 3.5 hours to drive here. I never imagined ever I would spend this much time driving on my mission haha. The past 3 weeks we drove up to Sydney one a week, last night we drove down here, and next week we are back up to Sydney. SOOO many hours in the car. Luckily I have a great companion to share all that time with! Hope all is well!
My letter to President Lew:
What an amazing week down in the Canberra zone!!!! Things have been taken to a whole new level now that we have had our Zone training meeting. After our last Missionary Leadership Conference, Elder White and I really wanted to make sure we got the message out and into the hearts of ourselves first and into the zone members. We have definitely changed and are continuing to give more of our whole heart, might, mind and strength unto the Lord. One of the things that we discussed in our meeting is that we need to go back to the basics. One of those fundamentals is praying with faith. We had an amazing experience night with an investigator of ours that helped me understand this principle of praying with faith. We were there meeting with a man who really wants to join the church, however he will very shortly be returning to China since his request for permanent residence was denied. He may only have a few weeks with us, but Elder White and I were still determined to help him accomplish his desire. We know that he could be baptized here and attend church back in China with his family because they have a church in his home town. We were talking with him about what needed to happen for this vision to become reality. The biggest problem- working on Sundays. Because of his lack of permanent residence, he must keep a job in order to stay in Australia. If he does not have a job, he is sent home within 28 days. Thus, many of the employers understand this principle and unfortunately, abuse their power in making these people work extremely long hours at very low cost. To make a long story short, Lu (our investigator) has been too scared to ask his boss for time off on Sundays because his boss is very stern and mean, and is afraid he will be fired if he requests time off. As we were talking with him about how short time is and how important the ordinance of Baptism is, Lu says "can we do pray?" we knelt down together on the floor and at the request of Lu, Elder White said the prayer. After the prayer, nobody moved. Peeking open my eyes, I could see Lu was praying and decided I needed to pray that he would receive answers to the prayers he has offered and is now offering. We didn't get up off our knees for 15 minutes. I had to peek at the clock to make sure we wouldn't be home to our flat late because Lu just KEPT PRAYING. Kneeling there, I was humbled so much. I prayed more fervently for him at that time than I probably have for any investigator I have worked with previously. I could see his faith and his desire to receive an answer, and I was begging our Father in Heaven that he would answer. Finally, Lu finished his prayer and sat back in his chair. He said "I have a great idea.....maybe I can ask my boss to go a couple hours early into work so that I can leave in time for church and then finish my work when I come back. That way I can go to church and my boss wont be angry since I will do all my work." We asked Lu "that's a great idea Lu, where did you get that idea from?" He responded by pointing at the floor and said "right there, when I was praying." My heart leapt with joy! The power of prayer is real. Though Lu has not asked his boss yet, he has committed to ask his boss and we keep in contact with him. He is trying to find his boss on a good day and wait for the prompting to approach him about his idea. I am so thankful for prayer, and the lesson Lu taught me. I now want to make sure I pray with more faith for my investigators and help them also to do the same. While reading the Book of Mormon this week as well, that same principle came up several times- we must pray with faith for our prayers to have effect. Faithless prayers just wont make the cut.