Monday, May 30, 2016

It's Freezing Mate!

Elder Gualco is getting transferred to train in Ropes Crossing (Hebersham - ALL POLY!).  He's pretty stoked for that, but we were really expecting another transfer together.  Oh well. The Lord obviously has other plans. We still don't have a car and needed to be at the ZL's flat in Newcastle by this evening.  We survived the three-hour train ride and made it down to Newcastle safely.  All is well.  

Winter is drawing near over here.  The Aussies are absolutely terrified of the thought of 6 degree weather.  Conversion for all of the Americans: the coldest it gets is about 50 degrees.  Elder Gualco loves it because it isn't even cold for him.  We actually saw our breath this morning.  It's funny because this is pretty much as cold as it ever gets in Hawai'i.  

Somehow Week 6 of the transfer has come and gone.  The transfer really did seem to fly, but it's been a great one!  Our success seemed to grow progressively as the transfer went on, and this week was pretty awesome.  

We had trade-off with our Zone Leaders, Elder Kehler and Elder Yang early in the week, and as we were street contacting along the river, we met a few people that we got to teach, one of which we hope to continue teaching as the weeks go on.  

Later in the week, we met with one of our investigators, Doug.  He's been taught for about a year now and really loves the missionaries.  Doug has strong faith in God and a desire to change, but feels hesitant to take the leap of faith.  We read Alma 32 with him, and after our Branch Second Counselor/Mission Leader shared his conversion story and testimony, Doug committed to be baptized on the 25th of June.  The Spirit was so strong during that lesson, it was incredible.  

Lastly, our good friend Bruce came to church yesterday.  Afterwards, we got to meet with him and he seemed to have enjoyed the service.  He had a few questions, and as he shared more of his story with us, we began to teach about the Atonement of Christ through Alma 7:11-13.  In the end, we committed him to fast and pray to know his purpose in life.  

Well, it's been fun.  I definitely enjoyed the "one and done" serving with Elder Gualco.  We've had some fun times.  I didn't get to choose a new scripture to Ponderize this week, so I'll share part of the scripture we texted Doug today.  The end of Mosiah 4:9 reads: "believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend." 

Something I've learned this week is that sometimes our wants don't always line up with the Lord's will.  On Friday and Saturday, I actually prayed to be able to accept the Lord's will with whatever happened during our transfer call.  I would've loved to serve with Elder Gualco for another transfer.  In fact, we were almost expecting it.  However, the Lord's will doesn't always line up with ours.  In his weekly email today, President Checketts shared that sometimes it'll take months or even years to be able to understand and see things from the Lord's eyes, but when we finally do, we are able to see all the blessings that came because of it.  I don't know what next week will be like, or even what tomorrow has in store, but the Lord does, and I trust His will.  

Love you heaps!
Elder Muh 

Words of the Week
- Water blaster, power washer
- Shout, to spot (money) 
- Pinched, to steal
- Fluro, fluorescent
- Crook, sick 

 Poinsettia in May?!  Sometimes we forget it's winter here.  

Trade-off with the Zone Leaders

Waiting for the Train this Afternoon

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


So this week has been pretty incredible.  I'd say the past couple of weeks have been pretty rough.  Things hadn't quite turned out how we wanted, and the work was moving very slow.  The Lord has definitely been teaching me patience.  

However, Heavenly Father also answers prayers.  Sometimes it takes a while for things to develop, especially when on the Lord's time.  He answered our prayer this week by bestowing the greatest miracle upon us throughout the week.  

On Tuesday, we were doing some street contacting through the shops and this man said hi to us.  We were headed in opposite directions, so Elder Gualco handed him a pass-a-long card (from the back of his pocket) before we crossed the street and we went on our way.  

The miracle in this is that he handed the guy a Book of Mormon pass-a-long card, which were in the front of his pocket.  We still do not know how it all happened.  The Lord works in mysterious ways, folks.  

So this card had our number on it, and also a number to get a copy of the Book delivered to you.  Somehow, he called that number instead of ours, so Wednesday morning we get a referral for a man named Bruce who lives in Wingham.  At this point, we still did not know this was the guy Elder Gualco handed the card to.  

There's only one way in and out of Wingham from Taree, which is a pretty sketchy road at times.  We contemplated different ways of getting there, prayed, and eventually concluded that we were going to ride our bikes to the referral.  

So Thursday morning, we prepared to make the trek.  We get there, knock, and nobody home.  Come on!  We decided to wait a bit and then try back again.  About 20 minutes later, we knock again and he's home.  Hallelujah!  Once we got inside, we got to know Bruce, and found out/realized that he was the man Elder Gualco gave a pass-a-long card to just two days earlier.  It was so crazy.  Bruce has been prepared by the Lord his whole life to receive the Gospel and we are waaayyy excited to begin teaching him.  

All in all, we biked 40 k's that day, which converted, is 25 miles.  I never would've thought I'd bike that far in a day out here, but it was obviously the Lord's will.  Since we lost the car, I've kept Ether 12:6 fresh in my mind, constantly reflecting on it.  What can I do to show the Lord that I am trying?  When will he give us a break?  Can we just touch a single person's life today?!  And then it happened.  All in a single week.  And that's how I know God answers prayers.  He doesn't leave His servants out to dry!  God heard our prayers since day one.  He knew what we were going through.  But he wanted to test us.  How far will these Elders go?  I'm here to testify that there is always a light at the end.  Keep on enduring.  It seemed to go on forever, but the light hit us this week, and I'm so grateful it did.  We have a great week lined up for us, and I'm so excited to see how everything turns out.  

Love you heaps!
Elder Muh

- D&C 25:12
"For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."
I was never huge on music.  I remember we sang in the Ward Choir occasionally, just to provide a voice, as Dad would say.  Now, I still don't have a great voice or anything, but I've gained such a greater appreciation for the hymns since I've been out.  We begin every comp study with a hymn, and it's been to cool to sing so many of them.  

President and Sister Checketts, Elder Gualco and Muh

The Big W (Woolworths) had some sweet ties, so we both got some.
Also, we do a lot of street contacts along this river walk.

Brekky, anyone?
Brekky=Breakfast, Hungry Jacks=Burger King

We've walked past the only store in Taree that has DP a million times, 
but decided today we were gonna get some 

Orange Moon!

Walking home from fireside and stopped to feed some geese

#TheBundabergWall  (popular Australian soda)
  Originally started by Elder Blake & Bjornberg in November, 
  Elder Gualco and I finished it yesterday.  We were stoked! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Transportation Upgrade

Well this week was alright.  It wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible.  Two great things happened this week.  

First, we got bikes for elders.  Sooo much easier to ride.  You pedal once and go twice as far as you would on the sister missionary bikes.  Plus no more knees hitting the handlebars.  Haha.  

Second, we got to work with the branch members a lot.  They have really been opening up to us, especially some of the less-actives in the area.  We visited one family and the wife shared her conversion story as we really got to know her.  They invited us over for dinner this week, and to go fishing with them later in the transfer.  Sweeet! We also got to visit with a brother who is close to losing his hearing.  He will attend sacrament meeting, but then leave because he can't hear much of the lesson.  We got to know him as well and throughout our time with him, he bore such a powerful testimony.  The spirit was so strong! 

Every third Sunday, the branch has something called Sandwich Sunday.  It's basically their name for a Linger Longer, which is pretty awesome.  

We have a good week lined up and hope to see many great things and miracles take place! 

Love you heaps,
Elder Muh 

Words of the Week

- Aluminum here is pronounced "aluminium" 
- Adversary is pronounced "adverse-sir-ree"
- Bull bar, the giant bar attached to a front fender to protect the vehicle from animals
- Roo Lite, large lights that help you see kangaroos crossing in the bush 

Getting to church on Sundays is heaps fun now with our new bikes!

The sunsets this week have been sweet!

Dinner at Sister Vicker's home:  Vgetable Curry Pot Pie

 Finally got the Manning River to Reflect!

So the RLDS church kind of originated in this area of Australia.  Some street names and places are 
named after the Smiths: Smith St., Smiths Lake, etc.  There's actually a chapel right down the road
 from us that has changed their name to the Church of Christ, but still has this seal on the front.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Just Keep Swimming

So things haven't gone exactly as planned thus far into the transfer, but we are trying to work as hard as we can with what we got.  Our goal was to locate all the less-actives in the Branch and try to work with them as often as we can.  We've gotten a lot of help and support from the Branch in letting us know who's who and what not.  

What's great is Elder Gualco and I both totally have OCD, so in typical fashion, we put together a list of all the Branch members, where they live and what we know about them all.  Yesterday, we had 34 in Sacrament Meeting.  My goal is for the Branch to hit 50 members.  Maybe one day, it'll become a Ward. Anything is possible with the Lord! 

This week, our Branch Mission Leader/Branch Presidency member drove us down to Forster to meet with our investigator, Doug.  Doug is an Aussie man who's been taught pretty much everything.  We got to read 2 Nephi 31 with him and when Elder Gualco drew a diagram of the gate and the straight and narrow path, you could see Doug's mind working as he starting to understand the true importance of baptism.  It was such an awesome experience.  

Great things are in store for us out here in the so called bush! 

Love you's heaps,
Elder Muh 

- D&C 20:71 
"No one can be received into the church of Christ unless he has arrived unto the years of accountability before God,and is capable of repentance."
In worldly terms, the Lord has all his bases covered.  Thanks to modern revelation and Moroni 8, we know that children don't need to be baptized until the age of 8.  If children pass on before that age, they will automatically receive Celestial glory.  And if they pass on after the age of 8, they can have their work done for them in the temple.  It all makes sense! 

Manning River

Taree Branch Chapel:  Looks are deceiving, this is a tiny building

Glorious Sister Bikes We've Been Using:)

Elder Gualco servied two transfers in Long Beach. CA mission where there was an L & L's.  He loves spam musubi so we made some this week.  One of our members, Fred, really liked it too.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Short Week, But a Large Bible

This week was a bit slow, but we've been able to visit with a lot of the active Branch members.  It's crazy how healthy some of them are! 

We helped Sister Ballard trim one of her trees this week.  She is over 80 years old, however still drives a car and uses a Samsung tablet to access the scriptures.  I always enjoy visiting her because she's had a ton of experiences as well as a strong testimony of the Gospel.  

We also have a member named Fred who just hit 90, but he looks like he's 75.  He has a Facebook, and a massive hard drive for his computer.  Fred has us over for dinner every fortnight, so this week we had the biggest steak and potatoes meal of my life.  Sooo good. 

Fast & Testimony Sunday yesterday was pretty awesome.  We had 28 strong in the Branch yesterday, including Elder Gualco and I, but many of the members got up and bore powerful testimonies of how the Gospel has blessed their lives.  After church, we got to take the sacrament to two Sisters who can't make it to church, which is always an awesome experience.  

One of the members spoke about how the Gospel brings hope to our life and that is so true.  We are so blessed to know about the Plan of Salvation and have the fullness of the Gospel here upon the earth today.  As President Monson said in Conference, "if we choose Christ, we will have made the correct choice".  The correct choice is the Gospel, and that is the best way to live life.  So many blessings are in store as we do!

Love you heaps,
Elder Muh 

- D&C 14:7
"And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God."
The Lord doesn't ask a ton of us, sometimes it just seems like a lot.  As we keep the commandments, we see blessings.  As we endure to the end, we also see blessings.  And that's the simplicity of the Gospel.   

One of the Members has a Large Bible from the 1800's

I totally felt like Joseph!

Deep Fried Chicken Fajita

Got My Conference Quotes Up

Ran into Delly a the Sports Shop Today