Unfortunately,I had to say goodbye to everyone that I have served down here in Canberra for the last 8 months. How quickly time flies!!!! I have been asked to come and serve in the mission office for a little while. As such, I really have no idea what my schedule will look like in regards to when I can email and so on because the other elders who have served in the office have mentioned they don't really have a regular "p-day" like other missionaries..... so we will see what the future holds I guess. But yeah, even though it is hard, change is good.
We have Mission Leadership Conference today so I don't have a long time to email, but I will write you next time that I can... not sure when that will be haha. Love yas!!
Letter to President Lew:
This week has been a great week, but definitely finished with a surprise as you know! :) We had some pretty great miracles for sure! One day, we went out with Zac Fisher, who is preparing to serve his mission in London in May, to teach a Vietnamese lady named Hao that we met on the street. Unfortunately, she wasn't there at the time we had set our appointment for, and didn't answer her phone, but we felt that we should just talk to her neighbors and tract out the people that lived near her. We thought it would be good training for Zac to get some experience just talking to people and so we decided to knock some doors in hopes that Hao would come back and we could teach her as well. But the Lord had other plans. We went to the stairs and asked Zac, where do you think we should go? I felt that we should go upstairs, and was glad when he said to to go there. So up we went, and the second door we came to, the door was wide open! We called inside and a man came out and said hello, then kindly let us in and allowed us to teach him. He is from Nepal and previously learned from other Christian missionaries not from our church in Nepal. In discussing with him, he has a strong belief in Jesus Christ but does not understand much about the life to come. It was such a great experience for us to have, but especially for Zac. He was so excited and very surprised that we had seen such a great miracle. It taught me a very important lesson to always keep up our faith and continue to seek for miracles. It would have been pretty easy to just move on to a different back up plan or go visit someone else, but we felt a small prompting to stay in the area, and it turned out to be a great success. Often times we feel we need to have these big impressions from Heaven about where to go or what to do, but in reality the Lord trusts us enough to heed those small promptings, and I am glad that I have and do.
Another great miracle we saw this week came from seeing the baptisms happen in the Woden ward. I love seeing other missionaries be successful and the joy that comes from them serving diligently and faithfully. This month we had several people be baptized which is always a joyful time. And the great thing is that next month looks even better! I can tell that the missionaries here in the Canberra zone are hardworking and love to serve the Lord. They too remind me of the stripling warriors who had great faith and served with all of their heart. In thinking about the stripling warriors more this week, I realized that it says they had never fought before in their lives. Here are 2000 young men, who have never fought in war, and most likely didn't even have much of a "battle preparation" since their fathers had covenanted never to fight with weapons of war again; yet they had the courage to go up against "the strongest army of the Lamanites." That reminds me of how so many of our missionaries are also in their youth and are very inexperienced in teaching or talking to people. They must also completely rely upon faith in order to succeed. The more I learn, the more I realize how important faith is. We will never reach the point where we no longer need the Lord.
To me, using time wisely means that you are always trying to bring someone closer to Christ. We have many avenues to accomplish this. Too often we may feel we must always be "busy" in order to be effective, however, if we are not careful, we may become too "busy" to notice what really needs to happen. For example, earlier on in my mission, I did not like to use the phone very much, I felt that I should constantly be talking to people and just going going going, but thankfully, I learned that there is a difference between being active and actually accomplishing something. I found that if I never set aside time to find members to help us teach, that lo and behold, we had very few members present at our lessons, thus we may have been teaching, but it wasn't near as effective as it could have been. Another example is with former investigators, one day I decided to set aside an hour where i felt would be the best to call former investigators. I looked over what the previous missionaries had said about these people, tried to discern how best to help them, and then started making calls. It was great to see that several of them had a much larger desire to learn than most people I had been meeting on the street. Over time, I have come to find that there needs to always be a balance in things and that the question should always be "is this the best way to help others become closer to Christ?" If we think logically first and study it our in our minds, and then seek the gift of discernment, the Spirit will help us to decide how best to use our time.