Monday, November 28, 2016

My Way or the Higher Way (Isaiah 55: 8-9)

So this week, we moved into a new flat.  It took the first couple days of the week to do so, but it's in a really nice area and is much newer than our old flat.  I think it will give us a lot more opportunities to contact young families in need of the Gospel.  I still haven't taken a picture of the flat, so I'll send one next week.  

We also had Zone Conference this week and that's what most of this email will be talking about.  I feel like ZC's have gotten better and better the longer I've been out.  I've probably mentioned this before, but I hope it's a sign of conversion and a desire to become better.  

President Checketts trained about our will vs. the Lord's will and how often times, we have a little bit of both, because we are human.  He invited us, especially during Priesthood blessings, to have a "His Will' mentality.  Missionary work is never our work, rather it is the Lord's work and so we need to understand His will in order to be effective.  One of the ways we can do so is through prayer. 

Sister Checketts's message was about the Holy Ghost and it's role in conversion.  The part I liked the most was an explanation on the difference between the light of Christ and the gift of the Holy Ghost.  It's sooo common for Christians to say that they "have the Holy Ghost", but really they only have the light of Christ (which they were born with) until the gift is bestowed upon them through Confirmation and the Priesthood authority.  

The AP's invited us to work on our commitments and gave us the 3 S's: specific commitment, time, and promised blessings in order to improve.  They really helped to narrow down how simple it can be to help those we work with to progress.  

The ZL's trained on testimony and invited us to consistently renew our testimonies through prayer.  We are blessed to have the fullness of the Gospel and should express our gratitude for our testimonies. 

Following Zone Conf, Elder Sloan (one of the ZL's) had our trade-off.  We got to do some solid finding and work on the 3 S's.  The Lord blessed us with some really cool people to meet and teach that day.  From our experiences, we chose to work on having more specific promised blessings.  This will require us to listen more carefully to what the investigator wants from following through with the commitment and promise them exactly that. 

Life's good.  December is coming and it will probably be hot.  But it's alright bc we have air-con in our new flat.  

Love you heaps!
Elder Muh 

Trade-off with Elder Sloan 

Went to this lookout place in Terrigal that reminded me a bit of Ko'olina

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Tex Mex. Vanuatu. RM

Transfer weeks are always a little bit slower than usual, introducing the new comp to the area and getting them familiar with everything.  On Tuesday, we had 4 missionaries from our District head out on trains (the Gosford Sister area closed this transfer) and waited for 2 new Elders to come in.  Elder Usua is the man.  He didn't know any English before he came out, and 8 months in, he speaks very well.  His whole family converted 4 years ago which is way cool as well.  

We had a pretty cool opportunity arise this week when we visited a less-active who had a friend over.  The guy (Dave) asked about what we did and thought it was incredible that we came the same time he was there.  We taught him the Restoration later in the week and he seemed to agree with everything.  A lot of what we taught him addressed things he'd always thought but no one had confirmed for him before.  I have no idea if that makes any sense at all, but it's one of those very comforting moments where the person you're teaching describes a "coming home" feeling.  Dave's struggling with smoking, but he expressed a desire to be baptized, so we'll work with it.  

It was a pretty big week for the Page family in our Ward.  One of their daughters returned home from her mission in New Zealand on Tuesday and the other daughters' boyfriend was baptized and confirmed this weekend.  She gave her homecoming talk yesterday and shared a lot of really awesome experiences she had on her mission.  It was interesting because I've been at homecomings before, but never as a missionary, so it was a different perspective to learn from.  Gosford Ward actually has 3 RM's this year, so it's real solid getting advice from them.  

Good week.  We got Zone Conference this week so that'll be pretty exciting.  Also, our Bishop is awesome.  We visited him this week and he gave us a list of people to work with in the next couple weeks.  Sweeet.  That is all. 

Love you heaps!
Elder Muh 

 Dinner with the Liddicoats on Monday.  They lived in the States for a few years and love Cafe Rio.  
Guess what we had for dinner. :)

My new companion: Elder Usua from Vanuatu

Monday, November 14, 2016

Road to Hana

Wow.  Another transfer in the books.  It's crazy how fast this one went by.  Last Monday was our Zone P-Day.  We all met at a park, had Dominos, and played some sports.  A lot of the Elders played flag football.  As in American, Gridiron, footy.  We had enough for 7's and it was way fun.  Probably the hottest day to play it, but it was really exciting.
The rest of the week seemed to fly, just as this transfer has.  I'm really liking Gosford Ward.  We attended Ward Council on Tuesday and appreciated the organization.  Lots of good things planned moving forward.  In some areas, we're getting close to going through all the less-active names.  On trade-offs with Elder Leota this week, we met an older lady who said she's always been a Mormon at heart, but never actually had a testimony of the church.  Puzzling. 
The Central Coast has windy roads for days.  Sometimes it feels like we're on the road to Hana.  We actually saw some young men and a few adults with packs walking along the highway yesterday and it brought back memories.  Good times. 
Gosford Stake Conference was this weekend and it was a very insightful.  It's pretty cool that I've been able to attend two in the past couple of months.  The themes of Conference were very simple, but each speaker brought a different perspective to principles of the Gospel.  I think the biggest thing I took away from it was that conversion is so powerful.  As members, our responsibility is to do everything we can to help other become and stay converted.  It's through the little things, like service and home/visiting teaching that the Gospel will keep people converted.  
Our Sabbath yesterday was pretty exciting.  We had about enough petrol to get us through a normal Sunday, but ended up making a few more visits than normal.  Before heading to our dinner, we contemplated fueling up, but decided not to.  So we got to our member dinner appointment with 1 K left before it was completely flat.  After dinner, they drove us 30 minutes to the last less-active we had planned to visit that night.  He ended up having a jerrycan (no idea what it's called in America, but the red containers that hold gas for lawn mowers) with enough left in it to get us home, so he drove us all the way back to put the petrol in.  Lots of excitement.  As we drove home, Elder Tito and I reflected on what had happened.  It would've been so easy to have filled up on a Sunday.  But it wouldn't have felt right.  Way cool that the Lord provided a way for us to get home and keep the Sabbath day holy.  
So unfortunately, Elder Tito has been transferred to the city and will serve as a Zone Leader.  Not a big fan of one transfer companionships, but the two times I've had them, my companions were called to positions where the Lord must've needed them at that time.  In 6 weeks, I've learned a lot from Elder Tito, especially in building connections and bringing fun to the work.  Tomorrow, I'll meet Elder Toka (but I've heard he prefers Usua) from Vanuatu.  President is keeping me with the Poly's!
Love you heaps,
Elder Muh
I think gardenia's are officially my favorite flower

Apparently there's a lot of ducks on the Coast #quackquack

Are we headed to Brooklyn?!

Dinner with the Pettet's (member family in the miracle) 

Visiting Maria and Brett (less-active in the miracle) 

Sunday rockin' Mama's ties 

 Most of the Zone (the ZL's) are behind getting the water balloons) 

Dinner at Sister Winkle's in Terrigal

She asked if we were brothers 
Last P-Day pepper at Umina 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Just Call Us The Gardeners

Well the highlight of this week was definitely finishing Erin's front yard.  We were pretty stoked at how it turned out and I'm pretty sure everyone in her complex was impressed as well.  Great opportunity for us.

We were blessed this week to be given a few names from the Sisters to follow up with, the first being a Tongan family.  Aunty made us lu and it was just like Harbord.  Good day.  After their family, we got to meet a 17 year old kid and teach the Restoration, which felt really good.  I feel like I haven't been able to teach it in a while , but the Spirit is always there when you do.  

It's been really humbling to meet people under many different circumstances.  Sometimes growing up, I thought life was so incredibly hard.  I feel like I would always be complaining about something.  BUT.  Looking back, we always had food on the table, a roof over our heads, two parents, and something called love, which some people out here have never felt.  I honestly can't imagine living life without love.  It almost seems pointless.  

Which leads me to my next point.  Goals.  We've been sharing a message to the members about goals and how they are the beauty of the Gospel.  We can always stop, reflect, and re-evaluate.  If our foundation needs to be stronger, we can re-focus.  Some of the older members have shared their experiences and how goals have blessed their lives.  It's interesting because they've said that a lot of their friends outside the church have no purpose in life.  Why would you want to live like that? 

And finally, Fast & Testimony Sunday.  It feels so good to be in a Ward with kids again.  Makes me feel at home.  Gosford has such a good balance between young families and the wisdom seniors.  There were 3 common themes from the testimonies born: prayer, love, and service.  All three of them are simple principles of the Gospel, but help us to grow immensely.  How grateful I am for eternal progression and the opportunity we have to become the best that Christ wants us to be.  

Love you's heaps!
Elder Muh 
The Project

Feelin' artsy as
Us and Erin in front of the frangipani (plumeria) 

They got some steep hills out here, but them views though 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Oh, The Joys!

I think I'll start this week with the reasoning behind my title.  So we're still going through the ward directory, and the amount of people who are not interested or don't want to be visited really puzzle me. It makes me wonder like what happened?  What events led to this?  

Then I hop on the computer to see that Grandpa C got baptized this weekend and the joy is full.  This is what the Gospel is for.  To bring happiness and joy.  I think it's experiences like those that make it all worth it.  To know that there are still people out there who want to be happy and need this Gospel is very motivating.  

Our "joy" of the week was definitely helping Erin out.  She really wanted to get a garden started to boost her spirits and it was very fun doing so.  All the gardening back home was good training for the mission.  The pictures should help to describe our work a bit better, but we cleared out two patches in the backyard against the wall and prepared the soil.  The bushes were dug up from the front yard and planted in the back and she chose the flowers from Bunnings, Australia's "Home Depot".  We'll be going back this week to finish the front yard and are way excited for that.  

Erin wasn't feeling good towards the end and went in to rest, so she actually didn't see it finished until the next morning when she got up.  At about lunch time the next day, we got a call from her and she was in tears expressing her gratitude.  You know those good feelings you get and good is the only way you can describe them?  We had that feeling.  

District Training Meeting was solid.  I gave a training on how we can be unified in various gospel principles and everyone seemed to enjoy it.  I really love our District, it's got a real family feel.  

Gosford and Ourimbah Wards had the Trunk or Treat activity this weekend and wow I feel so old.  It seems like I was just one of those kids dressing up or just one of the YM in Mutual and now I'm here.  Crazy how time flies.  We were pretty much broke but managed to gather enough to get a few supplies to decorate our boot (trunk) and have some fun.  One of the signs said "beware of zombies" which led to the impromptu game of meet the zombie to get a lolly.  The kids loved it.  

So that's pretty much it.  Lots of love.  Lots of joy.  Good week.  Hope you enjoyed yours.

Love you's heaps,
Elder Muh 

Trade-off with Elder Ta'ala this week

Before shot of the flower bed

After shot

Transplanted hedges

Hungry Jacks (Burger King)  $1 slushes