Thursday, August 1, 2013

Another joyous week in Australia!

Dearest Family!
     Wow  hiking mount timp! That is amazing! and i do hope snowbird is lovely!! yeah dad here i am driving away! man its so confusing driving on the opposite side! Good thing i am on the Lords errand!
     So! P day was on wednesday this week because we got to go to the temple! hurray. it was lovely. I forgot my planner at home but will try to fill you in on this weeks events!
     So the miracle that happened this week was this: We were out tracting and left a Plan of Salvation pamphlet with a mother of three daughters. That night we got a call from her husband, James, who asked us to come and teach him. That is a miracle right there! :) We went over on Sunday, the next day, and taught him and his wife and some of their kids. Brother Stockman, our Ward Mission leader and his wife also came who are a Moarie(native new zealander, pronounced moldie) couple, and James is Cook Island/Moarie so that fellowship was awesome! My comp is Tongan from New Zealand so they share a lot in common with culture and such.  We taught Plan of Salvation and man, it was amazing. James was just in tears telling us about experiences in his life where he has turned to God for help and God has helped him. He is a real tough guy too and he was just breaking down. We taught about the Celestial Kingdom and how that is where he can be with all his family, forever. Oh i was so happy that the Spirit was there. We invited them all to be baptized and set dates for Septemeber but we might move them closer to August. He just wants so much to be close with God and to follow Jesus Christ and be a good person even though he makes mistakes. It was awesome! I hope we can continue to help thier family come closer to Christ.
     So we also set a baptismal date with Cherilee, the lady who had the long driveway we walked down, and she came to church on Sunday! She loved it there and we were able to teach her again. She is so excited to get baptized. She is so lovely to us and very honest and open. She loves us so much it is so nice!:) We taught word of wisdom and she wants so bad to give up smoking. In the strength of the Lord we can do all things :)
     We went on splits with some young women which was fun! we took them tracting. It would have been so cool if i could have gone on splits before the mish, so i love doing it with young women here.
     Also, when we arent driving we are on bikes! They are fun. I may or may not have fallen in the mud but thats okay:) And Cherilee lives on this busy street which is super hilly so we are always dead tired when we get to her house! She always gives us juice or some ginger beer which is so good.
     We are also teaching a girl named Zhadee (sharday) and she is super sweet. She is searching for the truth in her life and which church to go to. She recognizes the need for church attendance and wants to attend church before she will make a decision on baptism. Shes so nice.
     Zone meeting this week was really good. They have zone meetings every week here instead of District meeting. We had trainings on the Holy Ghost. I love learning about the Holy Ghost. Many times on my mission i have just done things without any significant feeling behind it, like walk down Cherilee's driveway or say something about a gospel principle to someone that resonates with them. But its not like i've had a huge feeling of 'Do this right now.' i realized that many times the feelings and promptings of the Holy Ghost are just general feelings or thoughts, and by following through we see the result of acting on those thoughts or feelings, if that makes sense! One of my favorite lines in PMG is in ch 4 which says "Many voices of the world compete for you attention, and can easily dull your spiritual sensitivity if you are not careful" or something like that. So true!
     So also this week we had dinner with Brother Vahai, who is Tongan and old. He is so sweet. His house is, as my companion says, "The celestial room, Tongan style." Seriously. We ate a ton of food and then sat with him, he gave us a bunch of food for our flat. He is so giving and so loving. He has a lonliness in his eyes thats heartbreaking. i wish we could just go over every day.
     We got to visit a less active Fitisemanu family! They were so awesome and so nice! it think they are Samoan ( i didnt know this before i got here but its pronounces Saw- moan) Moarie and they were so kind to us and we laughed together and then talked about the importance of prayer. They invited us for dinner next week :) hopefully we ban get them back to church!
     I love being a missionary! Of course at times it is hard. I love you family so much. The Lord knows what He is doing sending me here. I am learning how to be more organized, clean, make more lists :), be a better driver, and especially work hard and listen to the Spirit. I think of how lucky and blessed i am many times throughout the day, to have a family that loves me and supports me!
     Australia is so awesome especially all these Polynesians :) I am starting to eat like a Tongan now so good thing we bike a lot! :) Love you all :)

Sister Schaelling

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