Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Kyle has been serving his mission for...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Canberra Zone Week 21

Hello everyone!
So to start off on a random side note- Aussie talk is the best! :) I know I haven't talked about it much, but some of my new favorite and most used words are "far out, I/you reckon, heaps, and hard yakka." The last one is a newbie- hard yakka is a term for hard work. It has also turned into a brand for work pants, and it's something I will likely never stop saying for my whole life haha. The first time I heard it was priceless. I have reached the point where hearing Americans speak sounds weird. We had dinner over at a family who is from the states this week and hearing them speak just sounded so different. we put a big emphasis on our "R" in the states, and it just sounds off now hehe. Guess I am truly becoming Aussie the longer I have been here.
We are going to have p-day with some of the members since today is a national holiday. Or rather yesterday was Australia day, and they just wanted an excuse to have another day off of work, similar to Memorial Day for us I guess. This week has been an awesome week. I love the ward, I love the people we are teaching, love my companion, the weather, and just everything else that is happening right now. Things are going very well and I am excited for what the future holds.
I had better sign off, but in my studies this week I studied quite a bit about the Holy Ghost and personal revelation... this video helps to explain a bit about what those things are:
This week has been awesome. we were SO close to achieving the standard of excellence for our area this week. We would have exceeded it actually and accomplished almost all of our weekly goals had all of our set appointments followed through, but unfortunately several cancelled out. When Sunday night came around and we had everything lined up I felt quite happy knowing that our hard work in setting apointments and working with people would pay off. We have been striving to achieve the standard of excellence for some time but have been unable to achieve it regularly. But as we have kept pressing on and finding more people to add to our teaching pool, both investigators and less actives, this week has seen many miracles. Each night that we were planning, we already had several appointments set up for the next day and often the day following which was so exciting! There is not much worse than looking to plan for the next day and not seeing a single set appointment. Through this week though I learned a lot about the importance of setting return appointments. That has been the key to our success. Each appointment that we have gone to, we make sure we set a return appointment. Many times people are unsure of their schedule, but I have seen that just setting a day and time that probably will work, and then checking back once they have their schedule, makes a big difference. Doing this over the past week and a bit beforehand has been what has allowed us to have so many set appointments for this past week, and looking at our planner for this week, it looks like this week will be a great one as well! Even though it is a small thing, in the long run, it makes a difference. Also, we have seen the Lord's hand at work to soften the hearts of many people in this area, especially some of the less active members of the church. Our bishop's theme for the year is "bring them home." He has a big focus on the rescue efforts and we have seen great success in calling people who we have not met or have not seen in quite some time at church, and they are keen to have us come, whereas in the past they always just seemed busy no matter what time we asked to see them. One great example was Jacob. My companion called him up after seeing his name on the list. He is a returned missionary, and his wife is not a member of the church. We called and Jacob picked up the phone. after introducing ourselves he jokingly said "oh, so I am on your less active list eh?" We reassured him it was more because we had not met him yet, and being a returned missionary, he understands how we always reach out to welcome everyone back. The cool thing was that a few days after we called him, another member family in the ward went over to have dinner at their house without even knowing that this man was a member of the church. Both of the wives are close friends, and as the husbands started talking they found out that each other were members of the same ward! Crazy how things work out like that. Luckily, the active family knew us very well and started talking a lot about us and helped Jacob and his wife to feel even more comfortable with us coming over. Miracles keep on happening down here in Canberra, and especially in the Ginninderra ward. This last week we had the most in our gospel principles class I have ever seen. There must have been about 25 people in the class, several of which where investigators or recent converts, and the rest were members who had not been to church in a while and wanted to rekindle their testimony. I love these people here! There are so many wonderful examples to be seen here in the ward.

As for my studies this week, I really enjoyed learning more about how to receive, and the importance of receiving personal revelation. This is key in missionary work. If we are not receiving personal revelation on a regular basis, we need to think about what is hindering the Holy Ghost from being able to enlighten us. It doesn't have to be big, but receiving personal revelation on how to improve, what to say, where to go, and so on is absolutely essential to being successful. I also learned how we need to know how to receive personal revelation so that we can help our investigators know the same. They can only gain a testimony of the Savior and His church by personal revelation. They must come to know for themselves through the Holy Ghost that these things are true. That will be hard to do if they do not understand how to receive answers to their prayers, and how to recognize them. I learned that we need to focus our studies on how to help people understand and gain answers for themselves. Giving a person all of the answers does not benefit them nearly as much as giving them the tools to find the answers for themselves. For example, we often use scriptures to identify and clarify the doctrines that we teach. We should not however be satisfied with just giving them the answer and thinking that everything is okay now. After we use the scriptures, we should encourage them to read the entire chapter, or other similar scriptures that will further enlighten them and allow them the opportunity to receive personal revelation and truly to find answers to their questions. 

Love yous
Elder Shafer

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