Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Week 71


absolutely nothing happened. haha only two elders got transferred from our zone and there was a little bit of drama behind it, but nothing big. but they DID switch up the districts so i went from a district of 3 companionships of elders to a district of 2 companionships of elders and 2 companionships of sisters..... good news is i still only have to give a training once a month! haha good stuff. so i will be here in mudgee for Christmas! should be fun. Our neighbor is way into the christmas spirit. i'm pretty sure if this were utah he'd have the Tingey mobile packed with kids and driving past to look at it. hahaha i'll take a picture and send it to you. 

Also, the reason i'm emailing today is because ELder Stewart called president and got permission for us to have P-day today since neither of us are getting transferred and we're out here on our own. So i'm not breaking rules. don't worry.

It was a pretty slow week. we had trade-offs with the zone leaders, which was good. i was down in orange for the day and i asked about the family Grandma tingey asked about and the members said that they moved out of orange. orange is like the size of mudgee now. they get like 10-15 people every week. That's a cool area. its a lot more diverse there than mudgee. Here we pretty much have white, a couple aboriginals, and some philipinos. It was a good trade off and i found out the the elder i was with knows Erik Smith! He grew up in Kamas and was friends with him apparently! his name is Elder Weller and i'm pretty sure his first name is Brett. He's the man. 

We had a funny experience with Greg this week. We were teaching and using the pamphlet to explain and we each had one and he was looking at his pamphlet and then looking at mine and then back to his and then he stopped me and said, ''why does mine have the black people?'' haha it was really funny because the pamphlets are tailored to race so some have all white people in the pictures and some have all black people. we laughed for a while. he's doing good.

Nothing else much happened and i'm going to have to cut this short. sorry but i'll talk to you all next week!

-Elder tingey

Week 70

Putting my best side forward...

Good morning from beautiful Mudgee! It really IS beautiful right now because it's been raining all week and the landscape has gone from all yellow and brown to green and it's awesome. It's a true answer to prayers because it hasn't rained for a long time and the farmers were suffering big time. There wasn't much for the animals to eat. and that's all anyone would ever talk to us about when we contacted people. haha but now we've gotten the rain that we needed. Last night was crazy. It was pouring rain and the lightning was nuts. i don't know why but we get heaps of lightning here. if it rains, there will be lightning. and last night was the coolest thing ever. we both woke up to a huge boom of thunder that sounded like it was right above our roof, and then we sat awake for like an hour watching the flashes of lightning. haha good thing our flat is dedicated!

Last monday our branch president called us and asked if we could come over for dinner and FHE so we went over and had dinner and then our man Greg Barto came over for FHE! it was really good. Greg is the man. He's like the busiest man i've ever met, but i think we're going to try to go help him out on the farm and hopefully free up some of his time so he can do things like come to church. I really hope something happens soon.

We got a young men's president for the branch last week and he's gun as so i think that will be a really good thing. we've only got 2 young men, but they're pretty keen to get their friends coming to activities and church and stuff so i think something will happen with that.
At our ZTM this week they introduced the "He is the Gift" initiative. Are they doing that back home? haha i guess it would be less likely for you to know because you only have one companionship for the whole stake. but if you haven't yet, go to christmas.mormon.org and watch the video! It's pretty sweet. but we have all these special He is the Gift pass-along cards that they want us to hand out all of them before christmas. so we've been trying to hand all those out. Apparently it's supposed to be a church-wide thing.

I got my christmas package on friday! hahahhahaha good thing you sent it early! haha thank you i opened it and i love all the presents! hahahaha Just kidding! i just get to stare at it for the next 3 weeks. haha so i put it in one of the closets we never open.

It's weird to me that this is the last week of the transfer. I can't decide if it's gone by fast or slow. It's interesting how the Lord works. i've constantly been growing on this mission, but i feel like each area has shaped me differently. Some areas help you become a better teacher, some a better planner, some a leader. I feel like this transfer was meant to help me find where i stand in life and what kind of person i want to be for the rest of my life and ultimately eternity. I'm extremely grateful for the Holy Ghost that can help me distinguish between truth and people's philosophies. haha not sure if that makes sense, it does to me, but it's hard to explain.

Yesterday we fasted as a mission for every companionship to get a baptism in January. It's gonna take a miracle for us, so it's a good thing we're in the industry of miracles! haha Love you all. have a wonderful week and if you go to Winder Dairy you better get a picture with all the kids on santa's lap and send it to me. and also a picture of the scones. man i miss waiting in that line for 3 hours.... hahaha dang it i love christmas time.

Elder Tingey

PS  i am able to skype again this year so i'll do it on the 26th for me which will be christmas for yous. not sure of what time yet, but i'll let you know.

PPS a chinese girl just sat down at the computer next to me. she was speaking cantonese to her friend but we'll talk to her anyways... hahaha

Week 69

Alright first things first 

i want to wish my mother a happy birthday last week! Technically last monday for me was not yet the 24th for all of you so i had to wait until this week. haha Love you mom, hope everyone was nice to you and you didn't have to clean the house on your birthday to get ready for thanksgiving... haha You're the best mom ever. Literally. It sounds like you had a great thanksgiving down in st. George. I wish i could say the same. My comp isn't into the american holidays so i tried to suffer in silence and then thursday night i dreamed of  turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes and ham and all the great stuff. i honestly can't wait for next year. What i didn't hear is what the outcome of the tingey family turkey bowl was!  haha too good. i'm just glad i don't have to miss my favorite holiday again.

We had a pretty decent week. numbers-wise it was our best week this transfer, but we didn't see much progression. It's been really interesting this past week because most of the people we teach are very strong in their religion so we get into really core doctrine. You can't just skim across the top. So i've had to do a lot of study and deep-thinking, which has given me a few headaches haha but it's been really good for me, i think. 

Two main thoughts have come to mind this past week. First, i am amazed at how much i've learned since i've come on a mission. It is really priceless how much i've learned. And the more i learn, the more i realize i don't know. i'm just really glad that i was able to develop a strong foundation of faith and now everything i learn is just building off my testimony of the saviour. And i love learning about the gospel and the church. The second is that i am truly so grateful for Christ. I've gained a much greater appreciation of the atonement as i've been able to discuss the doctrines of Grace and Mercy and Justice. I wish i was able to comprehend just exactly how powerful the sacrifice of our saviour was, but from what i've experienced, it's amazing. and that's just for one person! And one of the most amazing things to me about it is that he did all of that so we can truly have agency and be able to accept him or reject him. As we begin the christmas season i hope everyone gets a chance to reflect on the influence Christ has on their own life. Haha i'm lucky that i get to do it all the time and it's the best. And even though it doesn't feel like christmas time because its like 100 degrees here, i still feel a little bit closer to christ at this time of year. 

We were meeting with our man, Justin this week and he showed us a copy of the 1830 edition of the book of Mormon that he ordered on the internet. it was pretty cool. it's the brown one that's in all the pictures and the restoration video and stuff and he let us borrow it so we're going to go have a photo shoot with it. haha but it's pretty cool. he's the man. he's read the whole book of mormon, D&C and most of the Pearl of Great Price. He has some really deep questions. I really like teaching him because i learn so much from studying the questions he asks.

Other than that, things are pretty chill here in Mudgee, mate. Hopefully we can grow our teaching pool a bit. (haha that seems to be the slogan here...) Love you all and hope you have a great week. Talk to you next week!

Elder 田

(haven't given up on the Chinese yet!)

Week 68

This week was another slow one. i think i'm still trying to transition from the city to the bush. i'm all thrown off because you can't just go contact people at the bus stop if you have open time because there's one bus that runs through the town like 3 times a day and nobody rides it. So we have to try other things. We are going to try the basketball courts after school this week. hopefully we can rope some aussie kids into a game. haha that's the easy part. i just wish i was any good at basketball! hahaha we'll see. I think the most valuable skills to take on a mission (outside of spiritual things of course) are playing the piano, basketball, skateboarding, and cooking. if you can do those things, you'll smash it. haha its really true. my comp is a firm believer that we should be able to play video games as a finding tool. haha thank you, mum for not letting me play video games as a child. 

We met with our new friend Greg last monday. We were expecting it to be a short visit, but we were there for like 2 1/2 hours because he took us around his farm (600 acres) and showed us his purebred rottweiler litter that are like 2 weeks old. haha they are so cute and the father is massive and terrifying looking, but the nicest dog ever. Everybody has dogs out here, it's awesome, but i am so sick of getting dog hair off my clothes. haha all goods, though. Greg is the man. we talked about the gospel of jesus christ and he really liked that we believe in enduring to the end and that you can't just continue to sin and repent and sin again. He's the owner of the local rugby union team. and he works a lot with troubled youth and helps them turn things around. it's pretty cool. he's a good guy. works almost 24/7 though so it's hard to find time to meet with him. but that's alright. 

We met with nigel and read from the Book of Mormon. One thing that is really interesting about mudgee is that everyone pretty much is christian. mostly catholic and baptist, but pretty much everyone goes to church every week! its weird. haha i guess i'm so used to talking to people who never go to church that it surprises me. but nigel is a cool guy. he knows the bible really well and we have some really deep conversations about doctrine like grace. it is really interesting and my understanding of the gospel has really grown from it. We had another lesson that was really similar with a guy named Justin. hes not new, we just haven't been able to meet up since i've been here but it was a really interesting lesson and i'm growing a lot from it. 

I found out that this area just got missionaries a year ago. there were missionaries a long time ago, but they closed it because there weren't enough missionaries in the mission, but now with the wave there were enough, but there hasn't been a convert baptism here since the missionaries got here. SO it's gonna take some faith prayers and work, but i know there are people out there that are prepared. 

We had zone conference on friday and it was really good. The assistants had good trainings and president and sister back smashed it. really what most of our zone needs is a good beating, but they did really great without using violence. haha just kidding. but then we had lunch and played a game with everyone. it was like a huge game of foursquare, but with paddles and a tennis ball. it was cool. and then we had a testimony meeting which was really good. gave us that spiritual upliftment we needed to go out and do the work. and then we took our 3 hour drive and got home right before 9. haha it was great though. 

Love you all! hope you have a great week. The past couple weeks i've learned a lot about myself and my relationship with our saviour. He is truly amazing. There's times when you feel alone and you feel like there's more laid on your shoulders than you can bear. I know i have had divine help on my mission. and i am so grateful for it. I love being on the winning team! even when it seems like we are behind on the scoreboard. 


Elder Tingey