Sunday, February 28, 2016

28 Feb 2016

Hello, everyone! I hope you had a fantastic week full of blessings from the Lord! This week was rather crazy down here; we found out on Tuesday that we were actually getting transferred! We are no longer in the city, and we are no longer English speaking. We moved about 30 minutes outside of the city by car, got a new car (which I get to drive... oi, Australian roads are crazy), and are starting over with a brand new, Vietnamese only area. So far, we have no investigators and a lot of hope. :)Inline image 1

The car was stuffed! Elder Mahendran and I were buried! :) 

We had some of our last lessons with investigators this week; it was really bitter-sweet to say goodbye to them. We're really excited for our new area, and we know that they'll continue to grow and progress with the city sisters, but it's hard to leave someone after growing attached to them by imparting the great gift of the gospel. We're excited to continue to hear how they're doing as we follow up with the sisters whenever the zone is together. :) 

This week, amidst all the confusion and stress of starting a new area (again), I really focused on my testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Being able to teach the Restoration to members and investigators has really helped me to appreciate the prophet and seer called to open this, the last dispensation. I know that he is a prophet of God. The revelations he received that we know as the Doctrine and Covenants and Joseph Smith History and incredibly eloquent and certainly inspired writings. His translation of the Book of Mormon has blessed my life in innumerable ways, and I'm so grateful to have been born in a time and a place where I can have this knowledge and share it with others. 

For P-Day this week, we took a mini road trip with a member! He took us to a place called "12 Apostles" and we stopped at many beautiful Australian sites. It was really cool to see, and I have a lot of pictures to share later on. :) 

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I hope you have a fantastic week! I love you, and I'm praying for you! Until next week! :) 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

21 Feb 2016

Hello everyone! I hope that you all had a great week and were able to see the hand of the Lord. :) I know that He is always guiding and aiding us, and I'm grateful for the plethora of opportunities I had this week to see His hand and appreciate His help in the work.

We received Transfer news last night, and we'll be staying together in the city for the next 8 weeks! I'm still about 80% an English elder, but I think I can also teach Vietnamese... it's a bit confusing since the branch isn't meant for Vietnamese people, but they can come if they're students. We'll work that out with President in the coming weeks, though.

​We went to the Shrine of Remembrance for P-day, and it had some great views of the city!

This week, I've been especially sensitive to the knowledge that Heavenly Father puts people in our path in order to help us, help them, and so that He can show us a sign that He is real and wants to help us. Talking with random people is difficult and scary a lot of the time, but Heavenly Father has often sent some of His children my way to help brighten up my day, whether they are members or non-members, He's sent people my way to help me feel more confident and capable in sharing the gospel. 

The investigators we've been working with are doing well. The main issue is that school is starting up for them soon, so they have a hard time balancing school, work, and going to church, so we haven't seen very many of them come on Sundays. However, as we meet with them more, I'm sure they'll begin to see the significance of going to church. I know that I'm especially grateful each week to be able to partake of the sacrament each week and to ponder about the Savior and His Atonement.

This week, I'm especially grateful for modern prophets, seers, and revelators. We read in Mosiah 8 that seership is among the greatest of the gifts of God, and it's amazing to step back and remember that we sustain the first presidency and the quorum of the twelve apostles as "prophets, seers, and revelators." They have so much power and direction given from God for our benefit and to help us. It's amazing how often the Lord reaches out to us through other people, like His servants. I know that they are really His representatives on the earth, and by heeding their counsel, we will draw closer to God. That's why continuing to study General Conference is so important, and I hope I can redouble my efforts to do so before this coming April conference.

I love you all, and I hope you have another fantastic week! :) 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy birthday Mom & Katherine

Hello again! I love you all so much! :) I'm going to try and write a general email today, but I want to especially wish Mom and Katherine a happy birthday! I love you! :)

Hello, everyone! I love you all so much! :) I apologize for failing to send general emails for a long time, but I'm hoping to fix that today! I love you all, and I try to talk with you all, but sometimes that doesn't work... so, I'll try my best to share my week with you generally first. :) 

This week, we celebrated the Lunar new year! It's a big deal in Chinese and Vietnamese culture, and it was a lot of fun. The branch put on a big potluck and talent show, and we got to participate as singers and also wear traditional Vietnamese robes! It was very schnazzy, and a wonderful experience to see the diversity that we have around the world even though we are all children of God. Even the Vietnamese Elders from Springville (outside the city) were able to come!

I got a haircut from a Vietnamese barber, but due to an unfortunate misunderstanding, he practically shaved my head... that's why my hair is so short. It's still approved by missionary standards, but I feel like I'm in the military. Fortunately, hair grows back. :)

This week, we've been blessed to be able to meet and teach new investigators. It's been a little rough because our initial investigators, who seemed to be doing so well just a few weeks ago, have dropped us or disappeared from all contact. However, Heavenly Father is merciful to us, and as we've been working hard to be worthy of his trust, He's given us some of His children to watch over and to guide to the truth. The people we are teaching now are very eager to know the truth, but it may take some quality time with them to help them recognize it. I'm grateful for the chance to be able to go slowly and help others understand the gospel, for it helps me understand the basic fundamentals better myself. We also have a lot of investigators from Japan (I'm temporarily an English elder since they're transitioning the Vietnamese members out of the branch I'm serving it, but it's fun!), so it's interesting to be able to try and communicate feelings of the spirit through the language barrier. :)

This week, I've been feeling really positive and really happy! It's been such a blessing to be able to feel all of your love and faith for me. Thank you for sustaining me in my good times and bad times, and for helping me become a better disciple of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. :)

My Ponderize scripture this week is from D&C 84:33-40, the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. Throughout the week, I've been able to see the power and blessings of the Priesthood in my life, and also how that power and promise is available to all covenant keepers and all the children of God. How merciful is our loving Heavenly Father in allowing all of His children to enjoy the blessings of the priesthood in callings, leadership, families, and ordinances. 

I love you all so much! I hope that you're all doing well. I love reading your letters and seeing your pictures, and I apologize if I can't respond individually, but please know that I pray for you, by name, every night. :) I love and appreciate your prayers and faith in my behalf as well. I hope you have a fantastic week! 

Ps. What kind of son would I be if I didn't wish my mom a happy birthday? I love you, ma! :)
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Elder Xiao (not my current companion) is a Chinese elder called English speaking. He's awesome! :)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Good Sabbath

Hello again! I love you! :)

​Little Twilight (From a candy package Elder Mahendren got) and I say hi! :)