Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week 42

Okay sorry for the day late email, we had a mission conference yesterday that i forgot to tell you about. It was up in Macarthur so we drove up the night before and stayed with the Camden elders and visited the Sika family sunday night. It was funny because three of the four elders in our flat have served in Camden so we all showed up at their door and they were sooo surprised, and then, unplanned, the actual camden elders showed up! hahaha it was way cool. We had a good chat, and then we went back to the camden elders flat and slept over. The conference was good. I thought they were going to tell us we can use facebook now, but nope. We're still the stone age mission... hahahaha its all good though. 

After the conference we drove back and stopped in a city  called Goulburn on the way. It's Australia's first established city so it's old as. Heaps of old churches that look like castles and stuff. We don't get to go there very often because it's like an hour drive away from canberra so we only go when we have to go up to Sydney. Right now we're working on establishing a branch there because if we did, there would be like 4 baptisms. all people who want to be baptised, but it's just too far away. We want to get a senior couple to come be the branch president and relief society president. I'll keep you updated on what happens with that.

Mom had some questions so i'm going to answer those. We have 4 elders in our flat right now, Me, Elder Walsh, Elder Cheng, and Elder Bowcut. Of all the flats i've lived in, it is definitely the nicest. we have two study rooms, one bedroom, three bathrooms, two showers, a living room, and a kitchen and a laundry room. it's a two level thing. We have two universities in our area so a lot of people we work with are chinese so i get to use my language a lot. Problem is, elder walsh doesn't' speak Chinese, so we usually teach in english. We even have a few chinese members in our ward. Because it's canberra, most of the people in our ward work for the government, so there's actually a lot of americans in our ward also. I got to the flat the first day and there was Cap'n Crunch in the cupboard! I really like my companion. He's been out almost a year and a half so he really knows what he's doing, and he's been a zone leader for as long as i've been on my mission. We have heaps of fun, and we work REALLY hard. I did get socks and a sweater last week. Thank you for putting mony in my account. We get fed a lot, and when we don't get fed, we eat leftovers from other feeds. 

We have a few investigators, and two with a baptismal date. The two are Hoa and Simon. I haven't met simon yet because he is a uni student and exams are coming up so he couldnt meet with us last week. Hoa came to church. she is a little vietnamese woman and she has a husband and 8 year old son that she wants to get baptised as well. Our daily schedule is the same up until we go out to proselyte. We usually have a couple appointments every day, which is soooo  nice. We contact people at the uni, visit less-actives, and do all the other missionary stuff, and usually we have a feed in the evening with one of the members. We don't ride bikes. Almost everyone in Canberra has a car because it's so spread out. The ward is awesome. Heaps of awesome people, and very strong members. We work a lot with the young men, which is way cool. it's all good stuff. Being a zone leader hasn't been too eventful. We had a mission leadership council on friday up in Sydney, and we had to do numbers and organize some trade offs, but other than that it's pretty chill.

We had a cool miracle last week. We were waiting for an appointment that was like thirty minutes away so we decided to call some potentials in our phone, because we have like 100 potentials in our phone. We called one, and he told us he didn't have time to meet with us because he was looking for a job and a place to live. As we talked to him more we found out that he and his pregnant girlfriend were living out of their car. We asked if there was anything we could do to help him out and he asked if we had any food. We met up with him later that night and gave him some food, and talked about God. Recently in his life there have been some experiences that have turned him toward God, and he expressed a desire to get closer to his father in Heaven. It was a really cool experience and they are now investigating the church. Really excited to see them progress in the gospel.

We're almost done with the book of mormon! Loved reading moroni 7. Charity is a cool topic to study. Everything we do must be driven by charity. Because we love christ purely  and unconditionally, we also have love for those around us.

Love you all! Have a good week!

-Elder Tingey

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Week 41 (Week 40 was Mother's Day Call)

Good morning everyone!

This week was nuts. Completely nuts. It was awesome to skype the family on monday. I realized as soon as we cut off the call that i didn't say anything i was planning to tell yous! UGH. hahaha it's okay though. I can still tell you through email. Wednesday we decided to text shirly because she told us she was going to text us her new school schedule and she hadn't yet, so we asked what her schedule was and she replied and said she wanted to come to church on sunday! hahaha you have to realize that i'm the only one who even knows her because we found her on trade-offs, and i'd only met her the one time. so we set up for her to get a ride to church with one of our members and it was awesome. I know she is one of those prepared that we are looking for.

That was the miracle of this week and now for the bad/good news.... I got transferred..... 

hahahaha definitely didn't see it coming. for the first few hours i wasn't sure if the sisters had set up some elaborate prank on me or something.(they tend to do that) But no, it was not a prank. I had to pack my bags and say my goodbyes. I'm really going to miss the Gong. It was an awesome place with some awesome people. 

My new area is Ginnindera ward in Canberra. Some people call it the Canberra mission because it is so far away from everyone. we drove for about 3 1/2 hours to get here. And as a result, i'm emailing today from the Australia National Library. Canberra is really nice. It's freezing, though. I'm going to buy a sweater after this.  My companion is Elder Walsh. He's from Philadelphia and he's been out for about 17 months. He's really awesome and i'm way excited to be serving with him. We have been asked to serve as Zone Leaders. Pretty nervous about that, but excited to see what it's like to be a zone leader. The area really seems to be booming and there's heaps of success. We've got a couple baptismal dates lined up for the coming weeks so i'm really excited about that. The missionaries here are really awesome. I'm living in a flat with my companion and elder Bowcut and Elder Cheng (yes, my son). It's going to be a great transfer. I'm going to have to keep this short because we've got a lot to do today. Love you all! Hope everyone is doing well! I'm a bit behind on the book of mormon reading, but i just read the story of the brother of Jared a few days ago and i really love that story. Not only his faith that led him to be able to see the Lord, but also how the stones were touched by the Lord, and they gave light to the people. "ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill, cannot be hid." It's so awesome that we are able to be the light for other people. Let it shine!

Love you all!

-Elder Tingey

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Week 39

Holy cow I don't really even know where to start....

As far as people we're meeting with go, we weren't able to meet with trish this week because she's had some big tests for school so we are seeing her tomorrow. Hoping to invite her to church. We met with Gong last week and invited him to be baptized, but he told us his parents didn't want him to. He said he's talked to them a few times about it and it's always been the same answer. I felt like we needed a little more help from the Lord so we taught him about The law of the Fast (remember this is all in chinese) and invited him to fast and pray and then call his parents again. He really could use all the prayers he can get. He's such a cool guy. He's from Henan province, I don't think I told you that before. Bruce Li hasn't answered our calls or texted us back in a couple weeks now so we are probably dropping him. Darnit. Other than that we are going to be doing a lot of finding this next week (seems like a common thread among every week....) haha

Wednesday night we received a call from the zone leaders and they told us that President Lew had just been released as mission president.... He is still recovering, but the Area presidency decided it would be better for him to be back in Utah getting treatment so he was flown back sometime between Thursday night and today I think. the new mission president is President Palmer. He's from New Zealand, Christchurch and he has been a mission president in Washington State before. We've got a Zone conference this Thursday down in Canberra. I think i'll be in denial until I actually meet him, but it's definitely official. I think I've told you all how much I love the Lews before so it's been a rough couple weeks. Keep them in your prayers because President Lew's fight isn't over yet. It's going to be interesting to see what the Lord has in store for the Australia Sydney South Mission. It's just a good thing he knows what he's doing....(:

This weekend was Stake conference so we had to go back up to Macarthur. They wanted all the missionaries to attend all sessions so we went up Saturday and slept over and drove back sunday. We got to sleep over in the Camden flat! They got a new flat!!!! It's soooooo nice. And it was so cool to drive through my old area and I got to talk to a bunch of people from Camden ward while I was there. hahaha good to see they still remember me. Sunday was a really good meeting. we've got a solid stake presidency. Then after the meeting I was able to ordain tracy to the melchizedek Priesthood. That was really cool. I was so nervous. and while we were waiting, it came to another prospective elder from our ward's turn and elder Wang and I were the only people from Wollongong ward there so he looked at me and asked me to come do it! haha definitely wasn't ready for that, but it was a really good experience. I'll put some pictures from it on the drop box. Tracy is the short Maori, and Bach is the name of the other. He's from Vietnam. It made me look at my line of authority and realize that from now on, I am part of someone else's line. that's pretty sweet.

Zone P-day was pretty cool there's a sweet beach down in Dapto that we went to. Our zone (the South Coast Zone) is pretty much the most beautiful zone in the mission. Now if we can just get the numbers that the other zones are getting, that would be great... hahaha it's possible, we just need to work harder. I'll send some pictures of that as well and there's a pretty good vid that i'll try to get on the drop box.

Love you all, can't wait for next Monday! I sent a package with some of my mail and a gift for mom for mothers' day. and there IS a letter for you guys in there somewhere so find it! and don't open the package until mothers day! (but open it before we Skype because I actually don't like being there when people open my gifts....Is that weird? I dunno, it's just one of those things I guess... hahahah)

Have an awesome week! Know that I love you all, and I pray for all of you often! Cheers!

-Elder Tingey

Week 38

Good evening to my wonderful family,

Hope everyone is having an amazing Sabbath and judging by the pictures becca sent me you are all having a wonderful home-cooked meal. Had I seen those pictures while I ate my rice and Tuna last night, I might have been brought to tears.... hahaha just kidding. I'm actually lucky because elder wang knows how to cook! Its just when its my turn to cook that we suffer.... hahahaha any simple recipes would be loved!

This week has been an awesome one. They're always awesome, just for different reasons. One of our Chinese members' wife came from china and she's been meeting with the sisters and we're hoping she is interested. They're planning to stay in Australia, and if we want a Chinese branch here someday, we really need families. So that was exciting. We Had trade offs with the Zone leaders on Wednesday. haha they called us Tuesday afternoon and were like, "we forgot to tell you but we need to do trade offs this Wednesday." hahahaha which stressed me out hard core because usually we plan for trade offs and try to have as many appointments as possible on that day, so we texted Trish to see what day we could come by this week and she said Wednesday! hahaha bam, tender mercy. So elder Tito came up to Wollongong and elder wang went down to dapto. Elder Tito is from Melbourne, but  is Samoan. He's been out just over a year now and it was the first time on my mission that I was with a missionary that has been out that much longer than me. It was really good and I learned a lot from him. We Visited with Trish and had an awesome lesson. She's doing really good and has that sincere desire to know if its true and I just know she will get an answer. It was cool though, because like 20 minutes before our appointment, we had nothing to do because a few people hadn't been home, and it's always the worst right before the appointment because you don't want to be way early, and you don't want to be late, so its always a tough decision, but we decided to go knock some doors. We knocked one and they said "Who is it?" through the door. I yelled back "missionaries!" and I heard them talking to each other in a different language, and then I heard "Shenma?" and I got all giddy and excited because I knew EXACTLY what language that was.... they opened the door and we started talking in English, which is what I like to do before the whole shock and awe technique. hahahaha they were very surprised when I asked them what part of china they were from in mandarin. But I had forgotten one very important thing... I didn't have my native companion for backup... hahahaha so I dove in head first! It was a guy and a girl and she straight off the bat was asking about the bible and I told her about it and about the book of Mormon. I asked if they had interest in religion and they said they did, but they didn't have any religious beliefs at the time. We talked for a bit about church and when we have it and what it's for, and then I gave them a plan of salvation pamphlet and set up an appointment for next week. Hahaha I was probably stuttering and stammering and I had to chinglish a little bit of it, but I was on cloud 9 when we walked out of there. So awesome.

The Rest of the week was pretty slow, we met with Gong and had a good lesson. He has a real desire to be baptized, but his parents are worried that if he gets baptized he won't be able to join the communist party back in china and if he doesn't join, it will be tough for him to get a job. So we're working on that a bit. He's really cool and for the most part I can understand his accent. hahaha I love it when I can understand the accent!

Saturday we had a funny experience. We Were walking to meet someone at the mall downtown and we were standing at a crosswalk and some guy walks up to us and starts staring at us. I said, "hows it going?" and he says "Mormon, right?" I said yes. then he goes, "you LOOK so NORMAL... but on the inside.....(and he twirled his finger around his ear)" I laughed and said, "why do you say that?" and he asked if we went to normal school, and studied normal subjects like chemistry and physics to which I replied in the affirmative. Then he said, "and you STILL believe that God created the earth 6,000 years ago?" I told him I did and he went off on how big of idiots we were. Hahaha I laugh about it now, but I was steaming at the time and if he had kept following us to the appointment I don't know what would have happened, but he let us go with a few choice words and we told him to have a nice day. hahaha but it got me thinking. I guess it's part of living in the world but not of the world. We LOOK normal, but it's what's on the inside that sets us apart. Some people may count it as foolishness, but to me, it's knowledge that others don't understand. We are a peculiar people, but we've got it right. and that's what matters to me. The way I see it, is if he is right, and God doesn't exist, then when we all die that will be the end of it and I will have been wrong my whole life, but he gets no more benefit than I do for being right, but if I'm right, and The plan of salvation is a real thing, then when we die, I'm the one who gets to do the "I told you so" dance. (which of course I won't do:)) hahaha but that's just how I feel about atheism. #gothope?

Love you all! Cant wait for mothers day! we're allowed to Skype and I think i'll do it on Monday for me which will be sunday for Yous. If church ends at 4:00 then i'll  do it after that sometime. Probably around 6 or 7 or 8? it all depends on where I do it and how many missionaries are doing it on Monday. remember, we have 11 missionaries in our ward so we have to find a few people to help us out with computers. Plan on that and i'll try to figure it out solid by next week and let you know. Lov eyou all heaps and heaps! Thank you for letting me be out here! It's the best thing ive ever done, and that includes all the frustration and stress! hahaha I really love it.

Elder 田

ps. special s/o to my boy John Hanks. Congrats on the calling! You're gonna smash it! love you pal, someday i'll get a letter from you.... hahahaha

Week 37

Okay here we go. Here is what happened this week:

We went to the beach on Monday with all the elders and tossed the footy ball around and did all the fun activities you can do at the beach except swimming. It's fun to just watch the surfers sometimes. Someday I will go surfing on an Australian beach. Someday.... hahahaha ANYWAYS that was heaps of fun and we ended up going back again yesterday. haha "man, I'm bored and it's P-day, I guess we'll have to just go to the beach again..." #southcoastzoneprobs

Tuesday we received a text from the APs that President Lew was in the Hospital. I'm not sure of all the details, but he's been in and out of surgeries this week so he could really use your prayers. Last I heard he was recovering slowly but surely. 

Nothing else too eventful happened for the rest of the week. We had district meeting on Friday, and once again, I remembered that I used to LIKE going to district meeting when I didn't have to stress about giving a training... haha it's good though, because I always learn a lot when I study for a training. this week I did it on the missionary purpose. I feel like that's something that people look over because it is one of the basics, but I really like studying it. There's a reason why they're considered the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel. It starts with faith, which leads us to repent because we believe in what Christ did for us, which allows us to participate in saving ordinances like baptism, which qualifies us for heavenly gifts like the Holy Ghost, and if we endure to the end, Then we are able to receive the big reward for the other four. I always love church on easter sunday because its always a really good sacrament meeting. Our ward mission leader spoke about how our spiritual health and our physical health are similar. he said something that I really liked. he said "we are not physical beings in search of spiritual experiences, rather we are spiritual beings immersed in a physical experience." haha pretty deep, but really cool at the same time. Then elder wang taught our Chinese gospel principles class and made me tell the story of Noah in Chinese! hahaha I had to chinglish it a bit, but I did it! I'm very pleased with how much my Chinese has improved while I've been in Wollongong. I'm not to the point where I can hold a normal conversation, not even close really, but I'm getting there!

Today we are going to meet a guy from Vietnam who elder Barlow contacted before I got here and had him in the area book under potentials and it said "English not very good, text instead of call" so I texted him and set up an appointment for today. Hopefully it goes well. We've got a member who speaks Vietnamese coming so hopefully we can bridge the language gap. I've learned the trick to teaching the gospel in a language you don't know is to use the pamphlets and book of Mormon and stuff that they can read in their own language. We've got some investigators that we want to set baptismal dates with this week so we'll see how that goes. I'll let you know next week.

Sunday night we went to visit Tracy. He's from New Zealand and we've been going over there every sunday since I got here. he just started coming back to church and in a couple weeks he's getting the Melchizedek priesthood. I'm really excited for him and we were talking about it sunday night and he asked if I would still be here and I said yes, transfers are a couple weeks after stake conference. Then he asked if I would ordain him! I was so surprised! I told him I'd love to and I've been memorizing how to do it ever since! hahah really happy for him, and really nervous at the same time...

Yesterday we went on a hike up mount Kembla. it was pretty cool, and a really good view. I WOULD upload pictures to show you, but I can't find my SD card reader so I'm kinda sad about that... hopefully I find it.

for those who are following along with the book of Mormon reading, isn't it cool that we got the part of Christ's visit to the Americas right at easter time?? man that was cool. I love this time of year. I know that Christ laid down his life and took it up again. I'm so thankfull that he did. Without his sacrifice, there would be no point to anything we do. but he did, and because of him we can receive all the blessings our Heavenly father has in store for us if we will just follow the savior. Love you all, happy Easter. I got your package! thank you sooo much! I'm disappointed that I couldn't be there to give Jessica some competition in the candy hunt. i'll give her one more year, and then I'm comin with a vengeance. hahaha


Elder Tingey