Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Canberra Zone Week 19

Dear everyone!
I am an uncle! WAHOO! :) My sister had a beautiful little baby girl this weekend- and all is well for her and the baby. I am definitely thankful for the miracles we have of knowledge and experience in the medical field to help out when things dont quite go as planned. This week, we saw heaps of miracles!! One of the greatest was that I am staying in Canberra with my companion and same flat mates for another 6 weeks... yipee! I love it here :) Another miracle we had was in doing a church open house. We decided to try a new finding idea yesterday and hosted a church open house. We had some kool-aid, cookies and treats outside with a little poster inviting everyone and anyone to come and see the chapel. With some pamphlets, copies of the Book of Mormon, and mormon messages playing on the screen. Elder White and I were so pumped as we were setting up and a lady walked by saying that she would love to come back. Ten minutes later, there she was!! We showed her around and were able to get her address in response to her wanting to have missionaries come and visit. Then about 20 minutes later another man said he would love to see it, but was walking to work right then. We set a return appointment for tomorrow to show him the chapel. This really got us excited!! After a couple more hours of miracles, we wrapped it up and had a wonderful day that made us very grateful for new ideas and the joy it brings to try something new.
I want to send some pictures this week, so I will wrap up the email and send out some pictures of beautiful Merimbula and some other great experiences as of recent! :)

My letter to President Lew:
So we had an awesome week here in Canberra! I am very excited to stay here for another transfer with these amazing missionaries!! The first couple days of the week, we were on exchange. I love being able to go on exchanges with missionaries and help them feel the enthusiasm that missionary work brings. Often I have found that just talking about how excited we are for the miracles we will have and the things we will accomplish really helps to build enthusiasm and bolster faith. We went down to the beautiful area of Merimbula because we know the missionaries serving there were having a hard time feeling motivated to work and felt a little left out since they are so far away from our zone. Calling them a few days before we kept sharing with them how excited we were to be able to go down there with them, which really got them excited. When we arrived we just started talking about how fortunate these missionaries were to serve in such a wonderful area. It is absolutely beautiful where they serve! And even more than that, at this time of year there are lots of people to talk to since there are a lot of tourists down in Merimbula. Throughout our exchange, we got a first hand look at what it would be like to serve there, and it was really enlightening to see the aspect of work that the missionaries are doing. We were fortunate enough to see the branch have a child's baptism while there and almost the whole branch turned up in attendance. Mind you that was about 20 people, but it was awesome to be included and feel like a part of the family. The members were very talkative and really opened up well to us. Later, we saw how much the members appreciated having missionaries down in Merimbula. Though it is not the most renown place for baptisms, there is great potential there, it just needs to be executed properly. Many of the members ask the missionaries for service, and that is such a great way to develop member relations, and seek referrals. One of the greatest miracles we had down there was just in talking to everyone. Elder Boswell and I visited several former investigators and everytime we were walking to or from a house, we would seek out more people to talk to, and we found that every person we talked to, we were able to give them something and committed them to either read it, view it, or pray about it. At the end of the day, Elder Boswell mentioned that he was so excited to see miracles like we had seen each and every day. We learned a valuable lesson- enthusiasm builds faith and faith brings miracles. I honestly think this exchange we had was one of the most productive and valuable ones I have had on my mission. The missionaries came away knowing and feeling our love for them, our desire for their success and our faith that we have that they can be successful.
One of my insights that I loved from reading in the Book of Mormon this week is about how the Spirit works to teach us. Though I have read the Book of Mormon several times, there are still chapters, verses and stories that for some reason stick out to me more. There have been questions I have had from reading this time which I never have thought of before. Though I am a little bit behind in the reading because of these questions and starting a more in depth study of Preach My Gospel, I am glad with the lessons I am still learning and dont feel I am being left behind in receiving inspiration.
From the "remember this" portion of Preach My Gospel- we have actually started reading it daily as part of our recitations in our companionship study each morning. Doing this has been really helpful for me to daily get a reminder as to what is most important. I will remember "oh, we forgot to contact one of our investigators yesterday" or find other things which we can improve upon and set goals to try and improve upon them each day. I know there are so many things I need to improve upon, but with steady and dilligent progress, I will improve :)

On a side note, we saw another miracle for my family this week. I read today that my sister had her first little baby girl a couple days ago. I am grateful for the miracle of medical science and technology which has been given us to help in these days.
I am officially now an uncle! :)
Love yous!
Elder Shafer

Me acting like a Koala

The dog of a less active member we are teaching. The first time we knocked on her door, it was a bit dark inside with the door open, but the fly screen shut. Next thing I know, I see a giant dark shadow turn the corner and run toward the screen barking and growling. I about wet my pants right then and there! Only a small screen door between me and a dog the size of a small horse, but thankfully we have become better friends now, the dog and I :)

Me feeling like a cowboy when we were driving way out in the "woop woop" aka the middle of nowhere


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