Sunday, July 31, 2016

Spirit World Referrals?

It's been a really productive week.  We've really been working on trying to unite the Branch, especially by locating members from the Branch list.  We got to go back to Wallabi this week and meet an inactive man whose family are non-members.  As we talked with him, I thought how cool it would be if he converted his wife and kids.  During that time, I realized once again how important the Gospel is for families.  Life is hard, that's a given, but without the Gospel, it's even harder.  To me it's like a no-brainer, why would you want to live without it? 

On Thursday, we had trade-off with the Zone Leaders.  Out here in the bush, due to k's (kilometers on the car), both companionships serve in the area, so it's double worked.  And when there's four missionaries in the area, wow, the work flies.  We both did a significant amount of finding and were able to set a couple return appointments and teach a lot of people.  

Trade-offs are always a good evaluation point for me.  I was able to see this week that I've improved a lot in listening to those we teach, but also found I needed to seize every opportunity possible to teach those around us.  The blessings of doing so were far greater.  

We had planned to visit a less-active in a place called Gloucester this week.  It's a solid hour plus drive and we finally had enough k's to do it, so we were pretty excited.  Then we received a referral for a guy that lived ten minutes out from Gloucester, which hyped us up even more.  

Anyways, the visit with the less-active went really well, but the referral was an interesting story.  The guy had passed away last year so we have no idea how that all worked out.  We ended up leaving a Restoration pamphlet and a Book of Mormon with his grandparents, who were a bit confused to say the least.  My theory is that the brother was getting pretty anxious up there and really wants his family to have the Gospel.  One day we might figure it out, but for now, I'm thinking that text referral was a miracle.   

So something pretty cool that happened this week was I got a call from Elder Flake (my son- the companion I trained ) and then Elder Blake (my MTC roommate)!  Sounds funny, eh? Both of them are in the Newcastle North Zone this transfer and so after their trade-offs, we got to catch up.  It was pretty sweet! 

Love you heaps,
Elder Muh

(Muh) Haven


Walked past this in Coles and couldn't resist 

 Always been the king of over-highlighting articles.  But s/o to Nikki U. for sending me a quote from this talk. 
 I gave a talk on Ether 12:6 this Sunday, and it was a huge addition to it! 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Fully Loaded

This week seemed to be a long one, but we got a lot done.  On Tuesday, we were invited to the Relief Society "Christmas in July" activity and asked to prepare a dish from our respective countries. Elder Kumar made an Indian doughnut of sorts called Gulab Jamun and I attempted to make Haupia.  It actually wasn't too bad! The idea of the RS activity was cool because it's getting cold enough that it could be Christmas here.  Whatever 5 degrees is in Fahrenheit is how cold it was this morning and we could see our breath inside the flat.  Fancy that, eh? 

On Wednesday, the Swain's (senior couple from Port Macquarie) came to inspect our flat and we passed like champs.  Hallelujah haha.  We also had dinner at the Turner's who made some wonderful Mexican for us.  Great taste of home.  

We were able to meet with Bruce twice this week and see him progress over time.  He's continued to open up and we've been able to address some of his concerns.  He is so keen (Aussie for interested/down/cool with) and really wants to know about the Gospel and if it's true.  

Saturday we were able to do some tracting in a town on the coast called Wallabi Point which was pretty cool.  The evening featured dinner at Fred's.  He's joking that he needs bigger plates and might need to turn dinner into a three course meal.  Man I love that guy.  

This week has started off pretty well, we went to the Billabong Zoo with the Port Elders for District P-Day and wow that was incredible.  We saw koalas, snow leopards, a giant croc, fed kangaroos, and best of all, taught wallabies from the Book of Mormon.  See below for some sweet as pictures. 

Love you heaps!
Elder Muh 

One of our investigators, Doug.  God answered his prayer and blessed him with a great new job.  Unfortunately he'll be moving out of our area, but we are very excited for him and will be referring him to the missionaries in his new area! 

Petting a koala! 

 I am satisfied.  That is all.  

Snow leopard

Big mate wouldn't get up because no more food (crushed popcorn kernels) 

They call him Shrek 

 Perks of serving in the bush: hit a red light in the middle of nowhere. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Just a Normal Week

I think it's been what one would call a normal week here in Taree.  The work does move slower when you serve "in the bush" but it allows more time for reflection.  As I have done so, I've really gained an appreciation for the simplicity of the Gospel.  It has become so common to complicate everything, even when it doesn't need to be.  And that's the beauty of the Gospel: five simple principles.  

These 5 principles are exactly what Jesus Christ taught 2,000 years ago, restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith.  These five principles aren't just something cool to teach and talk about, but are a way of life.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ, as described in 2 Nephi 31, is often depicted by a pathway that contains a gate.  Once entering in, (through the ordinances of baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost) the principle of enduring to the end truly comes into play.  

Through our lives, we must always exercise faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement.  We must always repent of our mistakes and change in order to become better.  This entire process is taught so simply.  Endure to the end.  

Knowing about and being able to partake in this Gospel has been such a blessing in my life.  Members and non-members will tell us about things occurring in the world and I always have to tell myself that the time is near.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm scared or worried of the future and what it will bring, but as I reflect on what matters most, eternal truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I know that there is no need to fear for we have Christ and we are on his side.  I pray that we all will continuously draw nearer to Him in preparation for these last days.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.  

- I know I've missed the past couple of weeks, so here's the three scriptures I've studied: D&C 50:44, D&C 58:3-4 and D&C 63:9-10
" But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe.  Yea, signs come by faith, not by the will of men, nor as they please, but by the will of God."
A simple truth taught throughout the Book of Mormon is also taught here.  By waiting for a sign to come, we will never grow or progress.  We must exercise our faith before we can see the sign or have change occur.  

We just had to stop and take this one.  There was literally nobody on the road.  

Special Training from a couple weeks ago 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

We Made It

So we survived transfers.  We got another 6 weeks in Taree!  It's been a great week and a good transfer.  Elder Kumar and I have a lot of goals and plans for the next 6 weeks.  

Our Joint Zone Special Training this week was pretty sweet.  President Checketts trained on change and how important it is in our eternal progression.  Repentance can be and is a positive thing and as we make necessary changes in our lives, we will become better. 

We took advantage of being down in Newcastle and stopped at an Asian grocery stop on the way up to grab some furikake.  Made the musubis so much better! 

Sunday was awesome.  We finally got to teach Bruce the Plan of Salvation using the diagram, "God's Plan of Love".  I'll have to draw it out and send it next week.  He was heaps keen and really understood what we were teaching.  It was pretty cool.  

During the lesson, I had a thought that was so obvious, but hit me so hard.  I can't prove to anyone that this church is true and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth through a living prophet.  All I can do is teach and testify, giving the Spirit the opportunity to witness to that person what I'm teaching is true.  

I think a lot of times, we try to convince people about the church.  We try to prove things using the scriptures.  When in actuality, we just need to do what is in our power and let the Spirit do the rest.  Then it's up to that person and their agency. 

Love you heaps!
Elder Muh 

 Manning River (I counted 50 cows on the other side of the river ;)

See those things hanging over the freeway? They're to help koalas cross.  Legendary.

Me and Elder Vaughn (Central Cost Zone Leader) who just finished his mission 

 Ball is life! 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Trade-Offs and Australian Sheep

So this week was pretty cool.  We were blessed to have some extra k's on the car that allowed us to go on another trade-off with the Port Elders.  I served with Elder Uriona again and for the first half of the day we helped a member split wood for a family in their Branch.  That was some hard work, but it was pretty fun.  The member lived up on his own farm of sorts so it was a pretty cool day.  I always enjoy trade-offs because it allows you to see how things are working in others areas and what you can apply into your own area.  

Back to Taree, we had a very good meeting with our investigator Kate.  Every Wednesday, we have dinner at Sister Vickers' house, Kate's neighbor.  It's been really cool to see how Kate has grown since I've been here.  She's started to read the Book of Mormon and we had a great discussion this week about so many different portions of the Gospel.  

Today is the start of Week 6.  We hope to finish the transfer off well and continue to follow up with those who might be interested in the Gospel.  Excited for our combined zone Special Training this week, which should be pretty good.  

Love you heaps!
Elder Muh 

Mama kangaroo with a joey in her pouch 

After chopping some wood 

There are sheep in Australia.  It has been confirmed.  

Stopped by Black Head Beach on our way back up from Forster this week