Bula family & friends!
I hope you have all had a wonderful week! This has been a great week in Toukley. Seriously miracles everywhere! I'm amazed at what the Lord's perfect timing and planning.
I am also so grateful for this opportunity to love people. Some of the best advice I have gotten as a missionary is to just love the people. Just love them and be with them. Live in the moment. Focus on these people and just try to spend time with them.
I can testify that love is a principle of action. I can also testify that it is a principle of power. People can feel genuine love. They can see it in your eyes. They know when you really care about them. The pure love of Christ is radiant. It cannot be contained. It is love that doesn't have to be earned and isn't conditional. Love that drives you to do things you are terrified of because like the sons of Mosiah you become "desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble."
I have come to truly understand as a missionary that the stakes are so high. This truly is the time to prepare to meet God. We will all stand before the Saviour one day to be judged. That is fact for me. Immortality is His free gift, but Eternal Life hangs in the balance as we excersize our agency for good and evil each day.
Each decision we make either brings us closer to the Saviour, or closer to Satan. It is as simple as that. President Monson has encouraged us to measure our progression by these questions: "Am Iwhat I want to be? Am I closer to the Savior today than I was yesterday? Will I be closer yet? Do I have the courage to change for the better?"
I am so grateful for all those who labour with my Father and I in this work. I think of our dear Prophet. I think of how in His late years he continues to give of himself fully each day for this righteous cause. I think of all my loved ones on missions. I think of how they leave their families and everything they know so that they can spend this short time giving their whole hearts to the people they've been called to serve. I think of my friends and family at home, who are a light and example to many. Who are preparing to serve missions and to be married in the temple. I think of those who are raising children, and caring for grandchildren shaping them into future mothers, fathers, missionaries, and leaders. I think of how they share the gospel and do temple work. I think of how they boldly live the gospel each day. How they dare to stand alone and stick to their standards in an ever changing world.
I am so grateful for all the Saints. It is a privilege to labour with you all. Please never lose your eternal perspective. Hold fast to the covenants you have made. Seek the spirit each second of each minute of each hour of each day. Never forget that as members of the church, the companionship of the Spirit is your gift to claim at ALL times if you remain worthy. Reject the world and embrace the Saviour. Cultivate a love of all people. Set aside grudges and let go of sins that easily beset you. I can feel the world preparing for coming of our Saviour. I urge all of you to be ready. (Mark 13:34-37)
-Trade offs with Sister Stigen was a dream. She's so cute! She was a visa waiter in Cali but we came in together. I will never forget meeting her in the San Francisco airport. She was contacting EVERYONE and just kept saying "The mission is the best you're going to LOVE it." And she gave me a talk to read on the plane ride from NZ to Sydney in the morning, ahah. Oh memories. This is a way old picture of us when we first came in. #missionweight (I will send more pictures of us next week because she took heaps on her camera.) She is this adorable little ball of energy. She's been a convert for two years and the gospel completely changed her life. She is living proof of the gospel of Jesus Christ! It was a delight to spend the day learning and growing with her.
-Benjamin is a less active that Sister Koi and I have been working with. He's been less active since about two weeks after his baptism in 2013. We had a really powerful lesson with him and he finally came back to church! He had tears in his eyes as we sang the sacrament hymn and he said it felt so good for him to finally renew that covenant. He was so happy all day. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints allows us to receive the covenants and ordinances necessary for salvation. Regardless of what ward you are in, who is in your ward, or what has happened in the past, please never lose sight of the real reason we go to church.
-H I S P A N I C S!!!!!!!! ?!?!! !!!!!! What da heck. Hispanics in Australia are so hard to find and next minute I meet 4 in one week. One potential investigator, Hector. From guess where?! ARGENTINA!!!!!!!!! And one man who just randomly walked up to our car as we were parked and about to go to an appointment. He asked us for directions and we gave him a Restoration pamphlet. He was visiting from another area but I was so grateful we got to meet him. And guess where he was from??? ARGEN-DANG-TINA!!!!!!!!!
And then we went to go visit a less active that Sister Koi said she thought might be Hispanic. And we go in and then it's a lady from guess where?!?! URUGUAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! She was this beautiful woman who loves the gospel but is struggling because she lost her husband. We had a wonderful lesson with her and I can't wait to see her back at church. She was so happy that I love her country.
Then we met a family from SPAIN!!!! We gave them a Spanish Book of Mormon and they were so happy!
WHAT THE HECK!!! This is such a miracle because I did not meet ONE Hispanic for 6 months in my last area. WOW MIRACLES!!!!
I would just like to thank all the Hispanic families in my life who have fed me delicious food, and taught me how to introduce myself in Spanish (That's you Brother Curapil), and have got me used to being kissed on my cheeks. Thank you to Naomi for always making me aware of when I was being too white and showing me Argentine food, thank you to Chelsea and Sister Wiser for all the Mexican food, thank you to Genia and Val and Augustin and your parents for making me fall in love with Uruguay and feeding me heaps.
If you haven't noticed, I'm a little excited that I get to work with some Hispanics....
-Lastly, we have so many promising people to work with right now. The Lord is opening so many doors and we are so excited for what is to come! I love this work.
I love you all so much. I hope you have an amazing week!!!!!
Au lomani iko!