Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What a Week

This week has been so great! For the past couple of weeks, we've been teaching a lady named Lynn.  She always wants to feel the Holy Ghost and learn more about how she can always feel it.  This week, she has really been able to progress and it's been awesome. 

On Tuesday, we taught her at one of the members' houses and had a really great lesson about how she can receive answers through the Holy Ghost.  Thursday, we taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, focusing on the Sacrament, and why it is so important.  It was really cool to see how she is beginning to truly understand all that we've been teaching her.  

Friday night was our Ward Christmas Party and she loved it! The ward members have been super friendly in welcoming her in.  Lastly, we got to attend the temple lights with her on Saturday with our Ward Mission Leader.  The Spirit on the temple grounds is so strong, it's amazing.  Inside one of the buildings, there's about 40 paintings depicting the life of Christ along with a compilation video of His life as well, which seals the perfect Spirit felt there.  

This week, we also got to do a lot of tracting way up north in our area.  It's funny because pretty much all of our area has a beach nearby, so we knocked on doors up in Avalon and got to teach some pretty cool people! 

We look forward to the upcoming Christmas Week to sing more carols to those we meet and invite the Christmas Spirit into their homes! 

For all of you who haven't watched the new Christmas video that the Church has released, I invite you to head over to as soon as you can to watch it!  

To all of you who are enjoying snow and cold weather at this time of the year, I invite you to share some with the people of Australia! Haha Merry Christmas everyone! 

Love you heaps,
Elder Muh 

Words/Phrases of the Week:
- Hectic, Aussie slang for awesome
- The whole lot, Aussie slang for everything 

- Mormon 9:21
"Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ,doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth"
- Have faith.  The Lord can and will do all things if we ask in faith and it is His will.  He will always live up to that promise! 

Temple Lights with Lynn

Temple Lights

Elder Lamipeti and I

This is what a package of Oreo cookies loos like in Australia

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The First Twelve Weeks

This week started off really great, our District got called to work at the temple lights, so we had the wonderful opportunity to be tour guides through a room of paintings, different scenes from the life of Christ and bear testimony about the truthfulness of the Gospel.  It was definitely a great experience, and we look forward to bringing one of our investigators this week to witness the incredible Spirit found on the temple grounds.  

Our Zone Training this week was on the purpose of missionary work and it was definitely a good reminder of our calling.  President Kimball speaks about what happens when we as missionaries are set apart. In that blessing, not only are we given the authority to preach the Gospel, but we are also set apart from the world.  However, it is up to you if you truly want to be set apart or not.  

Just like understanding the message of the Restoration or gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon, living up to that setting apart comes over time too.  In a way, you have to earn the blessings through diligent scripture study, sincere prayer, faith, and preparation.  

I think a common discouragement for missionaries, myself included is that you'll instantly become a great missionary over night.  I'll let you in on a little secret: nope, there's no special Wheaties cereal that missionaries eat every morning, their knowledge of the Gospel comes through diligent study, just like it does for any one in the world, member or non-member.  

When you acknowledge this simple fact, you begin to see progression.  In the past three months, my testimony of this Gospel has been strengthened in ways I couldn't even imagine being possible and I've truly been able to feel the love that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for all of us.  Oh how great that love is.  

Yesterday, my second transfer in the field came to a close.  Today marks the beginning of my third transfer, and great potential lies ahead.  It's up to Elder Lamipeti and I to seize the potential and with that, miracles and blessings will come.  

The past couple of weeks, Elder Fields (some of you may know him as Kekoa) have been able to shoot a few emails back and forth.  While talking about our respective missions and areas, the scripture Dad shared with me came to mind.  

Alma 17:2 reads: "Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God."

Elder Fields and I have known each other since before we were even in Primary, so it has been very cool to see that over the years, we've still remained brothers in the Gospel, just like Alma and the sons of Mosiah.  

A very good week lies ahead.  All is well in the Harbord!

Love you heaps!
Elder Muh

Words of the Week:
- Globe, Lightbulb
- Torch, Flashlight
- Petrol, Gasoline 

- 3 Nephi 5:23
"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."
This is a great missionary scripture, our commission is to declare His word, that gospel to all nations.  We bring glad tidings to the people of North Sydney.  However, everyone is a disciple.  Especially during this Christmas season, I invite you to share the glad tidings, the good news with the people around you, and I promise that the blessings the Lord has in store for you will be so great, you shall not have room to receive them! 

District P-Day Fun

Sydney Temple, Christmas Lights Tours

The BIG Lizards are Coming Out (jk it's fake)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Week #12

This week flew by really fast, but I also have no clue what happened at the beginning of the week.  It's weird how everything works while you're out on the mission.  Days are very long, but somehow you get that second wind of extra strength to push through into the late afternoon and evening.

Yesterday marked three months since the Sunday that I was set apart as a missionary, and this week will make three months since I've entered the MTC.  It's crazy how time flies! 

We had another Joint Zone Conference this week, which was focused on the importance of planning and the power that the Book of Mormon has.  It was very inspirational to see how important the Book of Mormon is and how it applies to literally everybody on this earth.  

I'm short on time this week, so I'll bear my testimony (which has grown immensely over the last three months).  I KNOW that this church is true. Joseph Smith was a man called of God to be the prophet that would restore the very church Christ established when he walked the earth.  Through the power of God, Joseph translated the Book of Mormon, which is the greatest book of all time.  The book is so true, and is the greatest evidence that He was a prophet.  Like Elder Holland says, "no wicked man could write such a book, and no man could write it, unless he was called of God."  Like Elder Holland, I also testify of the truthfulness of that Book, of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the church.  I know, without a doubt, that all those things are true, and I do so in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.  

Love you heaps,
Elder Muh 

- Ponderize 
Alma 42:15 
"And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also."
- The Plan of Salvation is centered around the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  It is a perfect plan, and shows the great love of our Heavenly Father, as well as His son, Jesus Christ.  

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tracting and Trade-Offs

To everyone back in the States who celebrates the holiday, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  It's been a little weird thinking that back in America, it's starting to snow, while here in Australia it's "high-30's to low-40's".  And not the high 30's we're used to. 

This week, we didn't have too many appointments, so we've been doing a lot of tracting to find new people to teach.  Close to 85% of the time, it's a real quick rejection or closing of the door, but the times when you can just have a simple conversation with people makes it all worth it.  You aren't gonna be able to teach everybody you meet, but just being able to let people know that Mormon's are real people, giving them a good first touch with the Gospel, or leaving them with a picture of Christ feels very productive.  

Because Elder Lamipeti is District Leader, we have a trade-off with all the Elders in the District.  This week, I went to Greenwich to serve with Elder Arima and then came back to Harbord and served with Elder Galarion.  

Trade-offs are always cool because you serve with a different missionary for the day and you get to learn from the things they do. It's a good reminder of the things you should and shouldn't be doing as a missionary, and also gives you ideas of what you want to take back to your own area.  

The trade-off with Elder Galarion was really cool, because we're both very fresh missionaries.  We actually got here a day apart, so we'll finish the same time.  We had a few appointments scheduled for that day, but planned to do some tracting before them around the area.  We weren't having much success, so we stopped and tried to decide where we could go next.  Elder Galarion does a lot more finding on trains or buses, so he asked where the nearest bus stop was.  We got back on the main road and sat down at the nearest stop, but there weren't too many people there at the time.  I was kinda disappointed because that morning just felt so unproductive, so I said a quick prayer asking to have someone come down and sit next to us that we could talk to.  Sure enough, a couple minutes later, a man sat down and greeted us.  We eventually taught him parts of the Plan of Salvation and the Restoration.  

This experience really helped to strengthen my testimony of prayer.  Now, we won't always receive answers to our prayers this quickly.  Sometimes, we need to wait weeks or maybe even months to receive an answer.  I truly know that the Lord does answer every single one of our prayers.  The problem is sometimes we don't recognize it, or other times, we don't like the answer He gives us.  But I do know, that if we are studying the scriptures, keeping His commandments, and doing the things we need to do, we will be able to receive the answer that we are seeking.  

Love you heaps!
Elder Muh 

- I realized that last week might have been a little confusing.  I was thinking about Alma 26:12 when I gave an explanation for Alma 29:9, so here's the updated analysis: We are instruments, called to do the Lord's work. When we see success, we must glory in God, not ourselves, for it is He that brought us that success in the first place. 
- Alma 34:32
"For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors."
 - We must do all that we can in this life to prepare for the day that we stand before God.  We know the things we need to do, but sometimes, we need a little reminder.  If we keep on the straight and narrow, always "laboring" to prepare for that day, we will be ready to stand before Him. 

We took the term "from the parking lot" to whole new level.  Literally.

The District



Just casually feeding a parrot in Greenwich

View of Opera House from a ferry

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Very Long Week in the Oven

Quick summary of this week: FIRE EMOJIS.  As some of you may have heard, yes it was deathly hot in Australia this week.  I was expecting hot summers (and I may have spoken too soon with the cool weather and weird rain) but I was definitely not expecting 108 degree weather or whatever the heck 42 degrees celsius converts too! 

Nevertheless, we tried to remain as positive as possible, which was hard to do sometimes when you were knocking on doors looking like you literally just stepped out of the shower.  However, the heat provided us with a few more opportunities through many glasses of water.  

Majority of the people here are very nice.  Even if they aren't interested in the message we have to offer them, they'll still offer us a glass of water.  Veeery nice.  So after being given water, we could slowly slide into a gospel conversation, some of which turned out to be very positive! 

This week was a little slow, especially with the heat, so I'll just share a few miracles that we were able to see this past week.  

First being on Wednesday after an appointment.  We had planned to go tracting, but didn't specify where because it depended on how long our appointment went.  We decided to go on a street just down the hill (one that we had passed a million times biking up the hill) and knock on a few doors.  We got to the street, saw that it was a cul-de-sac, I knew that we needed to go all the way to back and find a house there.  The last driveway opened up into a couple of houses, and we both felt prompted to knock on the door of an older house, one that didn't particularly look like anyone lived in.  

So we go knock on the door a couple times, and we're about to walk away, when a woman named Mary answered the door.  We told her a little bit about what we do, which she was interested in, so we began teaching her briefly the Restoration.  When we got to the Book of Mormon, I knew that I needed to explain to her what the Book was about.  Normally we don't go into too much detail about what the Book of Mormon is, so I was a little surprised to receive this prompting.  

We finished by bearing testimony of the truthfulness of the Book along with the Gospel, to which she replied that she would love to read the Book of Mormon and asked us how much it would cost her.  She also mentioned that she had relatives who were Mormon, but that she'd never heard about anything we had taught her that day.  We left her doorstep with massive smiles after giving her a copy of the Book of Mormon (for free, of course) and scheduling a return appointment for the following week.  

We had been praying to find someone that the Lord had prepared for us and I truly know that Mary was one of those souls that He did prepare for us.  It may have taken a while to find her, but through faith a prayer, we were able to see that miracle happen! 

The second miracle I'd like to share is more of a miracle day actually.  This week, we had a trade off with the zone leaders, and I had the opportunity to serve with Elder Vaughn (an American!) in the Eastwood area near the temple.  We started off the morning with some great studies and a few absolutely amazing role plays that really helped prepare me for the day. 

In preparing for an appointment later in the day, we needed an Arabic copy of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration pamphlet, both of which were in the flat.  Later on, we were able to not only come in contact with a Fijian investigator they had been trying to visit for three weeks with no luck, but we also helped her with her car and taught a SMASH lesson on the Restoration!

It was in this lesson that I gained a huge testimony of teaching simply.  Kelsa, the Fijian woman spoke really good English, but preferred to read in Fijian.  Because of this, we needed to teach very simply so that she could understand the principles of the Restoration.  I truly know that the Spirit guided Elder Vaughn and I during this lesson.  That was the first lesson he and I had taught together, but it flowed so well. We were able to address her concerns and commit her to attend sacrament meeting the following week!  Kelsa is sooo prepared! 

The Zone Leaders share a flat with the Assistants, so I was able to learn a ton from them as well.  Elder Ostler told us to "Love The Lord" as he walked out the door.  Throughout my studies this week, I've been able to realize as well as feel the love that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for us.  I am so grateful for all that they have done for us and the love that they continue to provide us every second of our lives.

This week was a little slow, but the miracles I saw this week really strengthened my testimony and helped to confirm why I'm out here serving a mission.  The Holy Ghost is real.  Revelation can be received.  The Spirit does guide.  Miracles can and do happen.  The Church is true.  

Love you heaps!
Elder Muh

- Alma 29:9
"I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy."
Literally everything we have, do, and say comes from the Lord.  When we come to realize this, we become eternally grateful for everything that He has given us and recognize that He has blessed us with certain talents and skills to carry out His work upon this world.  We must not be prideful about these talents, but rather use them in a manner that will please the Lord.  

This lizard found in someone's yard made me think of Jaren!
It looks like a mini iguana

Sunday, November 15, 2015

This is Sydney

The Australia Sydney North Mission is probably the most diverse mission around the world.  Sometimes, we'll hop on the bus and hear conversations in a good five different languages.  We've met with heaps of Asians, Filipinos, Polynesians, Indians, Nepalese, every culture is probably represented here!  

With that diversity comes a ton of different perspectives.  It's interesting to see how everyone views missionaries, religion, and even the world in general.  A good handful of people we meet are Catholic, who don't want to change but are thankful we're here to "teach those who need Jesus".  Every once in a while, we'll meet an atheist, which I always find hilarious, because I swear they always have the nicest gardens, every single time.  It never fails!  

Then there's those who really don't like Mormons, who always crack me up.  We started talking to this guy at a bus stop, who was clearly disinterested, so we simply told him that God loves him.  We all got on the bus, and he glared at me until he got off.  When he was almost off the bus, he turned and told me to get a real job.  Haha.  Poor guy, I wish he could've seen my face, because I had the biggest smile on.  

The most common misconception when we go out is that we're JW's.  I'm not sure why everyone assumes we are, because you would think our tags would set us apart.  Another one is people think we're cops, especially when we're on bikes.  Some people will back up or get scared as we pass by them.  It's pretty funny.  

Elder Lamipeti and I are very excited for the Christmas season because we can use caroling as a missionary tool.  For the time being, we have decided to practice by singing hymns to people who aren't so interested when we tract.  Now, for those of you that have heard me sing, you know that my voice is terrible.  But man, when we start singing on those porches, the Spirit is so strong, it's amazing.  

One thing I love is Personal Study.  I remember reading the Book of Mormon before my mission and I would lose focus after a couple of chapters.  Being set apart, you are blessed with many things, and one of those is a desire to study and learn more.  The hour we have every morning goes by so quickly, before I know it, it's time to put the Book of Mormon down.  It's so cool finding verses or stories that never stuck out to me in the past.  

Every month, Sister Checketts sends out a newsletter, and this month she included a few things she was thankful for.  I then realized that I wasn't going to be celebrating Thanksgiving for the next two years and thought of a few simple things that I really missed about home, which are WalMart (simple store that has everything), Taco Bell (my favorite fast food that people here have never heard of), Fruity Pebbles (the greatest cereal on earth that Aussies don't know exists), and lastly being basketball (haven't played a pickup game since the MTC :( but we have a ball so I'll go out onto the balcony and dribble during lunch).  

I know all of these things are worldly, but as I was thinking, I thought about all the things I've been blessed with.  The Lord has blessed me with good health so that I could play the sport I love.  He's blessed me with simple things that I probably took for granted before I left.  And finally, he's blessed me with the opportunity to come to Australia for two years to learn, grow, and change for the better.  Not everybody gets the chance to come to a foreign country for two years and teach people about Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and all the love they have for us.  What a blessing and privilege that is.  

I've entitled this week's email This is Sydney because the weather the past couple weeks has been all over the place.  One minute it's crazy hot and the next it's raining golf balls.  So I came up with a song sung to the chorus of God Be With You Till We Meet Again:

Sydney, this is Sydney
Where the rain comes randomly 
This is Sydney, this is Sydney
Sydney, home of the random rain

With all the rain, heaps of people we're home so we got to do a ton of tracting this week.  We smashed goals this week as we taught a ton of people a little bit about the message of the restoration, accompanied by a hymn about Christ.  

What a good week it's been.  We visited Piero, sang his favorite hymn in Spanish, had a very good Zone Training Meeting, where we learned about recognizing the promptings from the Spirit, and had a great Sunday in which we both got called on to bear our testimony during Sacrament Meeting due to extra time.  

Hope all is well back in the States!

Love you heaps,
Elder Muh

Words, Phrases, & Thoughts of the Week:
- "Filas", How they call Filipinos here
- "Thanks for calling", Aussie way of saying thank you for visiting/stopping by, even though we didn't actually call them
- The way people say Fiji here is really drawn out and slow, so it sounds like "Fee-gee"
- Everyone calls our bicycles "push bikes" because mopeds and motorcycles are called bikes

- Alma 13:24
"For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory."
- Preach My Gospel shares that we need to find those that will receive us.  The Lord has prepared people everywhere for us to teach.  We have to prepare ourselves to find those people, because when we are prepared, the Lord will allow miracles to happen.  


Pictures don't do enough justice for these views

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Heaps and Heaps of Rain

It's weird to think that it's almost summer here, but it's almost winter in America.  This week, it rained a ton, so we couldn't use our bikes much. It felt like we weren't being productive at all due to all the extra travel walking and by bus.  

On Monday, we got to visit Piero and we watched a video about John Tanner and the faith he had to be healed which eventually led to his baptism.  Piero doesn't know too many songs in English, but he does know "Beautiful Zion, Built Above", so we downloaded the music and sang in Spanish.  It was such a spiritual experience.  On Mondays, we also have a Family Home Evening type lesson with one of the less active families.  They have four young kids, so we have fun planning short little lessons with an activity to keep them entertained. 

I love Wednesdays because our schedule is always packed and productive.  We had Elder Lamipeti's first District Meeting as District Leader and our weekly dinner visit with the Martin's, but the highlight of my day was probably tracting in the rain.  The best time to tract is between 5-7, which unfortunately is the time when everyone is eating dinner, or "tea" as they call it here.  Every time someone says that they're busy with dinner, I'm so tempted to say: "sir, the message that we would like to share with you will feed you for an eternity and bless you and your family with eternal happiness".  

On Friday, we had a joint zone conference at the Hyde Park Chapel in the city which was absolutely amazing.  President Checketts taught us about the worth of souls through three parables in Luke Chapter 15 as well as how we can be more effective missionaries.  He also had our Stake President, President Hamilton, come and teach us how we can work with the members better.  He told us that the best way we can do that is by simply being who we should be.  

After coming up with numerous characteristics of good missionaries, he explained that we don't need to have all of the characteristics to be good missionaries.  We just need to recognize one simple thing and that's described in 3 Nephi 5:13, which reads: "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."  We as missionaries are disciples of Christ, called to preach His word.  I am not here to do the work of Cameron, I'm here to do the work of the Lord.  That's the best thing to remember when the work gets tough: I'm not here for myself, I am here to do the will of the Lord!

Sunday was a pretty long day with a lot of walking, but Piero came to church so it made it all worth it! 

Love you heaps!
Elder Muh

Phrase of the Week:
- Good on you, Often times when we tell people what we do, they basically congratulate us for teaching people about Christ

- Mosiah 27:36
"And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer."
- Similar to the scripture shared by President Hamilton, we are not only disciples of Christ, but instruments in the hand of the Lord.  When we speak by the Spirit, we are not speaking our own words, but the words of the Lord.  It's been really cool to see sometimes where we'll be teaching a lesson and the Spirit is really strong.  I'll have no idea what I'm going to say next, or how I'm going to answer a question, but as I open my mouth, words begin to come out, and I know that it's through the Spirit.  

Sunday, November 1, 2015

First Transfer in the Books

Wow.  Days are very long, but weeks fly by, just like in the MTC.  I swear I was just there, but I've already been out in the field for 6 weeks!  

It really gives you a perspective of things.  Everybody says that their mission flew by, but I didn't really believe them until probably Week 4 of last transfer.  If you think about it, you have 17 transfers on your mission, which means 17 planners.  Last night, I finished my first planner and I know that if I keep working to fully forget myself in the work, before I know it, I'm gonna hit my last transfer, like Elder Cecilio from my District.  

Wednesdays are typically our busy day in the area.  We travel out to Greenwich Chapel early in the morning for our district meeting, then travel back for lunch and a few appointments.  We had our usual appointment with the Martin's, which means we get fed a real home-cooked meal!  I always enjoy our Wednesday night appointment with them, we'll start off talking about random things, but it'll always lead back to a gospel topic.  

Every Thursday, we have a weekly planning.  The first couple weeks, I saw it as oh man, another 2-3 hours stuck in the flat.  But over time, I'v been reminded of the importance of planning.  If we don't set goals for the upcoming week, we have nothing to work towards.  If we don't plan out who we want to visit and what we're going to teach them, our week is gonna consist of heaps of tracting.  So the more effective we plan on Thursday, the more effective our week will be.  

We also had the opportunity to give a priesthood blessing to a older lady in the Manly Ward.  The Sisters called us the night before and asked if we could go and give one of their members a blessing, but they didn't really know what for.  When we got there, the lady explained to us what she was feeling and that she knew a blessing would help her.  It was so cool to see how much faith she had in the priesthood, and it really made the Spirit so strong as I gave her that blessing.  

On Friday, we got to visit a lot of people, including an old man named Jack.  He's visited Hawai'i a few times and one of his friends just came back with heaps of Star Advertiser newspapers, so I got to see a Hawai'i newspaper for this first time in 8 weeks! Haha simple pleasures.  

We also got to visit Melissa for the first time in a few weeks.  It was great to see how much she's enjoyed visits from the missionaries in the past, and we're really excited to begin teaching her again.  

Friday night, we had our transfer call, where everybody finds out if they're staying or leaving.  We have good news, we're staying in the Harbord Area (at least until December 13th) and Elder Lamipeti has been called as the District Leader!  

Saturday was a little weird because Halloween is either loved or hated in Australia.  A lot of people dislike it because it's American.  Some streets had tons of kids out and others had nobody.  We went to our Ward Trunk-or-Treat, but then decided to go do some tracting on a street where nobody was trick-or-treating in hopes of being more productive, and we had some quality conversations with people.  

Fast Sunday was great because many of the members got up and bore testimony about the truthfulness of our gospel.  Sundays are tough for me because I have three hours to think about family or the ward back home, but their testimonies really helped to lift me up.  It helped to confirm why I'm here and the work that we do: we as missionaries are here to spread the true gospel to everybody by helping them come closer to Christ.  

Last night, we met with our investigator, Edimur, for the last time.  We're very sad that he's moving, but we know the missionaries up north with help to keep him progressing as he learns more about the gospel.  

Today is the first day of my second transfer, and I'm ready to continue on with the work!  Elder Lamipeti and I have set some high goals and we know that as we work hard to accomplish them, we'll be able to see success.  

Elder Muh 

Word and Phrase of the Week:
- Lift, Elevator
- Give me a buzz, Give me a call

- Just wanted to give a thank you to the Mililani 4th Ward YW for making me the notebook, it's perfect to take notes on all the scriptures I'll be ponderizing! 
- I'd also like to thank Brother Simnitt for the letter he sent me.  In it, he included a verse from 2 Nephi, which is what I'll be ponderizing this week.
- 2 Nephi 11:3
"And my brother, Jacob, also has seen him as I have seen him; wherefore, I will send their words forth unto my children to prove unto them that my words are true.Wherefore, by the words of three, God hath said, I will establish my word. Nevertheless, God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words."
As Brother Simnitt told me, there are three witnesses for many things.  In this verse, Isaiah, Nephi, and Jacob have all seen Christ and testify of Him.  There were three witnesses for the Book of Mormon.  And lastly, there are three witnesses when we teach: me, my companion, and the Holy Ghost, and that is something I must always remember.  The people we teach shouldn't believe on our word, they should believe after receiving a witness by the power of the Holy Ghost, as spoken about in Moroni 10:3-5.  

Elder Arima and I trying kangaroo

 We found curry!!

Local grindz plus an Aussie favorite: sausage

 Tracting along the Northern beaches of Australia

Sydney Temple

Sydney Temple with Elder Lamipeti and Elder Cecilio who just completed his mission

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 5 and Eating an Australian Delicacy

Elder Arima and I had a really fun trade-off.  It was really cool to talk with an American and be his companion for a few days, especially since chances are I won't have an American comp during my two years.  He really wanted me to try kangaroo, so for dinner Monday night, that's what we ate!  It tastes like really chewy steak and felt a little weird, but I guess we do eat cow every day so no biggie, right?  

For lunch on Tuesday, we went for the local grindz: spam musubi, guava nectar, li-hing mango, and Melona bars!  Oh man it was sooo good!  The funny thing was right after lunch, we were heading out towards Queenscliff to go tracting and we met a Tongan from the Manly Ward.  Not only did he grow up in Hawai'i, but he served his mission there too!  We talked with him for a couple minutes, and I realized how much I miss pidgin.  I've gotten so used to "how you going" and "cheers". 

The thing I like most about trade-offs is you get to see how every missionary has a different style.  Like I mentioned before, the work is the same everywhere, but how you go about it can change.  It was cool to see how Elder Arima approached talking to people in different areas, and I was definitely able to learn from his actions and the tips he gave me.  

Every Wednesday night, we have dinner with the Martin family.  Brother Martin has been a member for a few years now, but Sister Martin is not a member.  However, she attends church every week and enjoys hearing about the gospel.  They are both really good cooks, so we look forward to our last appointment on Wednesdays because we know we'll eat good.  

Up until this week, the only American sports ad I had seen was the MNF ad with the Aussie 49'er, but STEPH CURRY has made it to the Sydney people!  I was so happy to see an NBA ad on the bus. 

One thing that definitely changes when you have bikes is planning.  You travel everywhere sooo much quicker than you do walking!  If you don't have a backup plan, you'll end up doing heaps of tracting!  So we've definitely gotten more efficient at planning.  

We are very lucky to have a mini blender in our flat, so I've had berry oat shakes every day and they give me a ton of energy!  It's almost like an acai bowl! (which they have here, but I've resisted the temptation so far)

We've gotten a lot of people honking at us the past couple weeks (especially when biking up hills) and a few comments every so often from people as they drive by.  It's funny because it really makes you realize how guys like Tyler Haws, Kyle Collinsworth, and Tanner Mangum are so cool under pressure.  

Friday night, I finally got to make curry and oh boy WE FEASTED.  That's the best curry I have ever tasted! 

On Sundays, we always have to decide if we want to go home to drop off our suit coats or just keep them on all afternoon.  This week, we chose to keep them and it was a terrible idea, hahaha summer is near and it is getting very hot.  On the plus side, we talk to a lot more people because they ask us why we aren't wearing shorts and a t-shirt.  

Every Monday night, we meet with one of the less-active members of our ward, Piero.  He is from Peru and was baptized a couple of years ago, but due to work, can't attend sacrament meeting right now.  We usually read a chapter from the Book of Mormon with him and it's always really cool because we read in English and he reads in Spanish! 

Today was our Temple P-Day, so we woke up early to make it over there in time.  It was such a great opportunity to go through a session and ponder a few questions I had! 

Until next week, shootz!

Elder Muh

Phrase of The Week: "Far out!", Aussie way of saying no way!

P.S. I really enjoyed the General Conference talk given by Brother Durrant, who talked about ponderizing scriptures.  I have decided to do so, but unfortunately, I forgot to add that to my emails the past two weeks.  Here's the scripture I'll be ponderizing this week: 

- Mosiah 1:6 
"O my sons, would that ye should remember that these sayings are true, and also that these records are trueAnd behold, also the plates of Nephi, which contain the records and the sayings of our fathers from the time 
they left Jerusalem until now, and they are true; and we can know of their surety because we have them before our eyes." 

- A lot of people these days need proof for everything in order to believe something.  I think I often have gotten caught up in that as well.  One thing that I have taken for granted was the Book of Mormon.  The book is all the proof we need!  How could Joseph Smith, about a 20 year old young man translate the golden plates unless he truly was called of God? Therefore, I encourage everyone to value the Book of Mormon.  It is the keystone of our religion, and because of it, the entire church becomes true! 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Biking Through Town With Heaps of KFC

One thing that's been pretty cool to see here is the city.  I don't think Honolulu or Waikiki counts too much, so the only other real city I've been in is San Francisco.  Sydney is sooo unique.  Aside from the crazy traffic, I really enjoy the whole buildings and harbor feel.  

Every Wednesday, we catch a bus (and sometimes a train) for our District meeting (or Zone meeting on the last Wednesday of every month) which are held at the Greenwich Stake Center about an hour or so away from our area.  I always enjoy the trip there because I get to see parts of the city, but today, I got to really see the city.  

For District P-Day today, we chose to go ice skating at a mall next to Macquarie University, which was pretty fun after lots of practice.  It was also cool because it was the first time the Filipino and Tongan elders had ever seen an ice rink! Anyways, we caught a bus that went over the Harbor Bridge!  We also got a pretty sick view of the Opera House so that's pretty legit.  

Great news! We got bikes this week and they've been such a big help! The first day, we had to bike up two big hills (and then the hill back to our flat) and we hated it.  But after a few days, we now love them.  It makes the work so much more fun! Shout-out to Uncle Earl for having a biking high adventure right before my mission haha! 

My area is referred to as the Northern Beaches, so many of the towns are right along the beach.  It's a little like Hale'iwa.  As summer nears, the beach is becoming a bigger temptation, and although I can't touch the water for two years, I know the Lord placed me in the area near the beach to help ease me into the transition of missionary life and I'm very grateful for that. 

One thing that I realized during our District meeting this week was that I can be grateful for a lot more things.  I'm serving my mission in Australia! Although it was tough in the beginning, I'm not learning a new language.  I can't even imagine how difficult that must be, and am very thankful I am still speaking English!  

Which reminds me, random thought, there are a lot of Italians here who say they can't speak English.

One of the things you do in your first 12 weeks as a missionary is go through something called 12 Week Training, which consists of clips of The District and teachings of the prophets.  Something that stuck out to Elder Lamipeti and I was to look through the former investigators section of our area book and try to visit them all.  

I truly know that by the guidance of the Holy Ghost, we were able to find one of the previous investigators named Melissa, who lived fairly close to us.  We did a little service for her last week and she called it a God-incidence (not a coincidence) that we found her.  We really hope we can begin teaching her again soon! 

We also have an investigator from Brazil named Edimur.  Man, he is sooo prepared! Before we even began teaching him, he basically told us that he had felt the Holy Ghost before and wanted to feel it all the time.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and he had read the introduction before he attended church with us the next day! This week, we taught him the restoration and he understood much of what was taught.  Unfortunately, after his trip to Fiji this month, he'll be moving out of our area... Shucks! So we'll be referring his information to the missionaries up north.  

So right now I'm with Elder Arima (one of the Greenwich elders) for another trade-off.  He lived the first half of his life in Hawai'i and loves all the foods.  He helped me find guava nectar and a whole bunch of Asian foods! 

Stoked for the upcoming week! 

Ofa Atu,
Elder Muh 

Words of the Week: 
-Dodgy, Sketchy in pidgin 
-Pram, Stroller
Thought of the Week: 
-A lot of people here say things like "do you reckon?" or "bloody" and it makes me feel like I'm in Harry Potter, so that's pretty cool. 

P.S. Next week is our Zone Temple P-Day.  The Sydney Temple is closed on Mondays, so our P-Day is gonna be moved to Tuesday, which means I'll be emailing Monday evening/night time for all of you back in America! 

We now have bikes!


Ice Skating for District P-Day

Some of our members live on this road and I think it is a pretty legit street name

Good News Everyone:  I found Spam at the local grocery store!

*Elder Muh says to tell everyone sorry he wasn't able to respond to all emails this week.