Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Week 32

Hello everyone! 

Sorry you're all probably in bed by now, but I can't really help it when the library's internet crashes and I have to email later in the day, okay? This week was a good one. We had trade offs with the Zone leaders, and so I went down to Dapto for a day. It was pretty cool. I'm pretty sure our zone as a whole is the most beautiful zone in the mission. The beaches are so awesome (even though we can't go to them until winter) and it's soooo green! I love it. While we were on trade-offs we had service for one of their less active members and I saw a Huntsman spider on their sliding glass door. It was about as big as my hand and I'm pretty sure it could have eaten a small dog. hahaha those ones aren't poisonous, actually. they just look scary. It's the redbacks that are dangerous. they're little tiny black ones with red backs and when they bite you, it eats away at the flesh around the bite but only under the skin so the skin goes all black and then if you break the skin there's just a big hole in you.  This week our bishop couldn't make it to church because his arm had swollen to the size of his leg from a spider bite. not sure which one. hahaha good thing missionaries are watched out for, right??

We had a bunch of potentials this week that we contacted on the street, and got their phone numbers, but when we called them, three were wrong numbers... that's awkward.... hahaha I hate when that happens... But we've still got some solid potential.

The chinese is coming along. I've decided that the biggest thing holding me back is my vocabulary. So I've been really trying to learn new words. It gets frustrating sometimes, but there's nothing better than seeing the look on people's faces when we start speaking chinese to them. We're trying to set up an English as a second language class to teach, so hopefully that works out. We just don't really have a place to hold it so we're trying to work through the university. I feel like that will really help us find some new investigators.

One of the other elders keeps talking about how he wants china to open and every time we have a conference or anything that president Lew might come to he tries to convince us that it's our time. hahaha we've all decided that if they open china, we will all extend our missions for a year. so get ready for that. We all want a little bit of that native Beijing Huar!!!!!
things are amazing in Wollongong. It's like perfect weather, and from what everyone says, it will be like this for the next 3 months. It rains a lot, but I like it. especially since we have a car... speaking of which, I am officially starting a diet today. Me and elder barlow drew it up during weekly planning because we both have gained too much weight. And I'm scared I might be in a car my whole mission. so we are going to go hard in the mornings for personal excercize and then eat great and lose all the weight. (I'm 99 kilos)

Love you all! We had a less active in our ward take us to a bunch of lookouts today and there are some amazing views! alright, love yous heaps!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Week 31

Well okay here we are. 

Already in week three of this transfer. iT's FLYING by! I just want it to slow down for two seconds! hahaha this past week was a crazy one. we had zone p-day on Friday so Monday was only a half p-day. they do it that way because everyone went to dapto for Zone training meeting which only happens once a month so after ZTM we all went to a park in dapto and played touch rugby for like 4 hours. (the sisters went shopping) But also it has to be done that way because everyone is so far apart. 

our zone goes from Wollongong out to Mittagong down past dapto and Nowra down to Naruma. It's pretty big and takes a few hours for the naruma elders to get up here. there's only 4 sisters in the zone and all 4 are in Wollongong. Then Saturday was the stake athletics carnival so i got to go see all the people from Camden ward that i said goodbye to a couple weeks ago... hahaha it was cool, though. I like having questions to answer so please send me some because it gives me something to write about. 

My day is pretty much the same. still get up at 6:30 and exercise then study til 11 and have lunch and go out proselyting. It's how we spend our time that's a bit different. In Camden it seemed like we had a lot of less actives to visit, but not much variation in our finding activities, but here there aren't a ton of less actives to visit but there are lots more finding opportunites here. We don't get to proselyte on the campus of the Uni, but we can contact people at the bus stop outside it. So we do that a lot, but so do the other 6 elders so we have to go when there aren't any other missionaries there. We can go sight seeing on P-days, but we don't always go. There's a member that will sometimes take the missionaries around to the different sightseeing places. We're going to a lookout place next week. I think today we will go to the lighthouse, but no solid plans. We usually get 3 dinner appointments a week other than that we cook for ourselves. we don't go out to eat as much as i did in Camden which saves us money so we aren't as tight at the end of the month. Plus elder Hixson makes a MEAN spaghetti. hahaha we eat that at least once a week. We don't have many investigators, we've got one that has been investigating for 28 years and he comes to church every week with his wife and kids who are members. he's a cool guy. brother Tzanis. from Greece. We play basketball every Friday night with investigators and less actives and members, and on Friday someone showed up that nobody knew so i started talking to him and he told me he just came because his friend wanted to come play basketball. His name is Jins (sounds like Jince) he is from india and he was so awesome. He's a Christian and we sat and talked for like 45 minutes about religion and what it does for people. we're hoping to meet with him again this week. The chinese is going well. we get to talk to people all the time, but they usually can't really understand us, and when they talk i get so lost so fast it's not really even funny. But I'm improving and that's what matters, right?

We have a zone conference this week up in Macarthur. I'm excited for that. It's always good to get a training from President Lew and the Assistants.

This sunday we were talking about faith and repentance in Elders quorum and somehow we started talking about the holy ghost and someone had a realy good insight. They said that promptings from the holy ghost are usually not rational. They usually require us to alter our current course of action and do something in faith. And if we don't heed those spiritual promptings, and we continue on our current course of action, then our inertia increases, or our ability to change course decreases. So that the next time we are prompted to change course, it will be harder to do so. I really liked that i thought it would be good to share with all of you. So when you feel a prompting from the holy ghost, FOLLOW IT! haha okay i love you all. This is my report for this week. If you have any questions feel free to email me and ask.

Week 30

Nimen Hao!

Alright sorry about last week i was in a rush and had to go through a bunch of emails because it got messed up since P day was on tuesday last week. But it's all goods now. I'll Try to remember what i was going to tell you last week and I will try to answer the questions mom sent me. 

So on tuesday of two weeks ago i went on trade-offs with Elder Coats. This was still when i was back in Camden. But we decided to do some former investigator work because he found a huge folder full of formers in his flat, so we went out walking and had a woman named jenny we were going to visit, but we accidentally walked past her street and by the time we realized, it would have been easier for us to just hit it on the way back to the flat so we just pressed onward. Twenty minutes later we were walking and a woman was staring at us from across the street so we waved and said hello and she started walking towards us! So we crossed the street and talked to her. After a bit of small talk we asked what her name was and she said it was Jenny! We showed her the address we had and she said "that's Me!" hahaha it was such a miracle. We set up an appointment for the missionaries to come by and then we kept on our way. I love it when that happens!

The mission Conference with Elder Nelson was really amazing. It's hard to explain how cool it is to be in the presence of an apostle, but All i can say is, He is definitely a servant of the Lord. 

To answer Mom's questions, I was not the only one to get transferred out of Camden. My Companion, Elder Cheng also got transferred and he is down in Canberra with Elder Ward! hahaha funny how that works out! I got called on saturday morning by president and he asked me to be a district leader in a different area and i said i would be fine with that. So i said goodbye to everyone on saturday and sunday and packed my bags and left with Elder Cheng monday morning to go to transfer meeting. When i got to the mission office, they had all the new companionships posted on a big rolling whiteboard so i found my name and then looked for everyone else i knew. Then we had a meeting where all the missionaries that were going home stood up and got to give a final testimony. It was a great meeting. Then we were given travel details and i got into a corolla that is so sad compared to the holden, and drove down to Wollongong with Elder Quass. The drive was amazing. Rainforests and Ocean views and i was just getting so excited. My flat has two rooms that we use for study, a laundry room that has our shower in it, the toilet is separate from the shower, a kitchen, and a living room where our beds are, and a balcony that can barely fit two chairs on it... hahah it's great though. There are four elders in my flat. Me, elder Barlow, elder Hixson, and elder Wang. Elder wang is from sichuan and he was in elder Cheng's ward back in china! small world. It's been great with Elder Barlow. It feels like we're back in the MTC. I'm loving it. We don't have many investigators, but theres heaps more opportunities to find here. There's a bus stop outside the university campus that we go to contact people like once a week at least and i've used chinese almost every day that i've been here and it has made me realize just how bad my chinese is. hahaha I have an ongoing joke with Elder Wang where i just look at him when he talks to me, and then turn away and say "Yongheng de ting bu dong" which means "eternally listening, but not understanding" or something like that. maybe dad knows a better translation. It's okay, though because elder wang said my pronunciation is really good and that i have a mainland China accent! That made me so happy you don't even understand. and speaking of accents, i have now had two people tell me that i don't have an American accent so ya, i'm pretty much an aussie now.

The ward is great. I got to introduce myself in sacrament meeting and told a joke over the pulpit and brought the house down hahaha just kidding but i'm really excited. We have an awesome ward mission leader, and i think i'm really going to like serving here. All the missionaries are in the choir and here in wollongong we dont muk around when it comes to choir. We're called the wollongong pipes and we're pretty good if i do say so myself. hahah It's fun.  i Love it. We have a stake athletics carnival this saturday and Camden is still in our stake so i will get to see all the people from camden that show up! hahah Excited for that. 
Lvoe you all. hope you enjoy this novel of a letter! hahaha i'm working on writing another letter so mayb3e you'll see that in a few weeks!hahaha i'm slack, i know! Love you, the church is true. Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and i know that with all my heart. Go do something missionary-like! 


Elder tingey