Monday, March 30, 2015

Week 86

I can't believe it, i am totally famous by association! Special shoutout to Grandma Tingey for saying the prayer in General Conference!

It's been a pretty awesome/stressfull/exciting week! First things first, Mr. Xu got baptised! haha that was probably the most stressful part of the week. He doesn't speak any english at all and his accent is extremely hard to understand, but somehow we were able to communicate and get everything figured out. He is awesome. He's only been in Australia for a few months and one of the recent converts in our branch introduced him to the missionaries and he's been committed to the church since the very beginning. He's had to quit smoking and drinking, the week he was SUPPOSED to get baptised, his wife tried to come to australia and something happened and she got deported and now can't come for like 3 years, and yet he never wavered. He pushed back his baptism because it was too much to handle in one week, but it was always in the plans. It's amazing to me how people can change like that. The power of the atonement is so real. Elder Ward perfomed the bapstim and it all went really smooth. I had to give the talk on the gift of the holy ghost and that was pretty stressfull, but i think our branch president just likes me or something because he got up after me to give the final welcome to the branch and he said that my mandarin is better than his... not true, and it's easy to sound fluent when you're reading a talk and you have help from a native to write it... haha oh well. Cool fact about our branch president, he was the first person set apart as a sealer in the Hong Kong temple.

THis past week we were able to find 6 new investigators! It was awesome. It's strange to me how sometimes people say yes and sometimes they say no, and we spend so much time trying to figure out how to "find by the spirit" and to "find those that are prepared" and i've noticed that it's very rare, if ever, that i feel i am prompted to talk to a certain person. More often than not, if i just do my job, never avoid the chance to share the gospel, and pray for opportunities, i find myself looking back and seeing where we were led by the spirit to find someone. Hindsight is a beatiful thing, and i know that Heavenly Father has used us as tools in his hands this past week and that is a wonderful feeling. We were walking home one night and we started talking to this old chinese couple that was taking their grandkids for a walk and they were so excited that we could speak chinese that they were both trying to talk to us, but they had the old chinese person yell thing going on so everyone was looking at us and we walked with them for a while and then, when we invited to learn they just laughed and said, "okay bye bye" haha so we crossed the street, but there was a girl that had been walking behind us and she crossed with us and asked us where we learned our mandarin. So we started talking for a bit and walked with her and invited her to learn and she said yes! so we met with her yesterday again and taught the whole restoration, and gave her a book of mormon and she agreed to read it and pray about it and if the answer is yes, then she'll get baptised. That was a cool experience for me. Her name is Joy and it would've been really easy for us to just walk back to the flat because it was already past 9:00 but looking back, i know we were guided by the spirit to find her. and for some reason teaching her just seemed to flow really well. The different principles we taught all seemed to fit together really well and we could apply them to her life and it all just felt like we had help from the spirit. And that's what it's all about. that's one of the best feelings in missionary work.

We met up with our man Tierry on thursday up in redfern at a park next to the Sydney University campus. (That campus is huge and it flies the rainbow flag...) Tierry is about 26, studying engineering and is keen as a kite. His only problem is that he can't come to church because of his schooling. I think he does experiments or something on sundays with his class. We had an awesome lesson about God and our relationship to him and how he can help us in our life. And i think i've decided that my favorite thing to teach people to do is how to pray. It's so simple and yet you know as you're teaching someone how for the first time that it will change their life completely if they embrace it. I've learned a lot about prayer over the past couple months. I love it so much. Tierry told us he's excited to pray and we're meeting with him again this thursday.

We met with Irene on friday morning. She's hilarious. The first time we talked to her was in the train station and we asked her if she'd ever been to church and she said yes so we asked her what she thought and she just got the biggest smile on her face and said "it was really cool". haha so we're hoping to get her to come to church with us. We got about 1/4 through the restoration and she asked us what the book of mormon was so we did what PMG tells us and we adjusted our lesson plan for her and talked for pretty much the rest of the time about the book of mormon and where it came from and how it can help us and we read Moroni 10:3-5 with her and invited her to read and pray and invited her to be baptised and she said she needs to learn more before she makes any big decisions so hopefully she keeps the commitment to read and pray.

Matt is doing good. he had an interview yesterday for the aaronic priesthood so he should be getting ordained next week. They are planning a big trip to the temple for all the recent converts in the branch so we're trying to get everyone ready for that. Lots of exciting stuff happening!

Love you all! hope yous have an amazing week:) I love being a representative of our saviour and his gospel. It's a burden that's heavy, but it's really worth it. I feel like i've grown a lot the past couple weeks here and i'm excited for what the coming weeks hold. Can't believe the transfer is already half over. by the end of this week i will have about 4 months left....crazy! love you!!!!

-Elder Tingey

Me, Bro Xu, Elder ward, and Matt

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