Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gladstone Wildlife

Hello Father and Mother and the rest of the world!!

This week was just lovely. I would like to start out with a segment on wildlife in Gladstone:

1. Swooping Magpies. Never have i wanted to harm an animal but let me tell ya....these birds are PUSHIN IT!!! They are black and white magpies that swoop from the sky and click their claws right next to your ear while you are just minding your own business walkin down the road or biking.......so fun!

2. Rainbow parakeets! At least i think they are parakeets. They are the colors of the rainbow and so pretty. I will try to send a pic.

3. Cockroaches....three inches long! Crawling on my shirt....that was an experience. And the spiders are king size!!

4.  They also have little sun flies that are microspopic...(seriously) and they bite you and it itches. But you cant see them!
5. Pythons. Yup. You read that right! Okay they dont have pythons everywhere but me and sister Kyaw were tracting one night and felt this feeling we should GO HOME. So we did of course. Then we went back the next day and this lady we were visiting was like "oh yeah they found a PYTHON here yesterday!!" Good GRIEF people! Good thing we have the spirit!!
Sister "Wulf" and Sister Schaelling holding aloe vera "sticks/branch/sword?"
Okay but Gladstone really is the place to be!! We get to teach lessons up the yin yang! Lots of teaching, lots of investigators come to church we are so blessed! So i have been trying to really listen to the Spirit and do things even if theyre uncomfortable or hard. A lot of times i have noticed on my mission that things just "work out." Like, i dont see a vision or anything but ill jsut think, ah just one more house. Then that house turns out to be a potential or someone we help, but its just a normal thought. and plenty of times ive thought things that havent worked out, but we tried anyway. Trial and error. Resilience. Things work out!

Funny story. Me and Sister Kyaw were tracting and saw a mango tree. I really wanted to eat a mango even if it was green. So here we are leaping trying to grab a green mango and we see a man walking by on the other side. We look like total egg-heads! But we waved and laughed and continued mango grabbing and got one. Then later we were tracting and about to head back but decided on one more house. A man come out and invited us to sit. We sat. We taught a quick version of Plan of Salvation. We asked questions, got a return appt, and said the closing prayer. And then he looks at us and say..."So....did you enjoy that mango?" And then we laughed. It was him we saw!!

Sister Schaelling studying hard
I am learning so many things on my mission, about the Spirit and inviting people. I realize there is no reason to be afraid. I was sitting next to Phillip in church, our kiwi Moari investigator who has read the book of Mormon twice in two weeks!!!! we just taught him briefly about the Book of Mormon and didnt see him for two week because of work and he left town. And i thought, Phillip needs to be baptized. So i just asked him when church was over, and we worked out a date. It was simple. We dont need to be complicated about these things...the Lord knows who he wants in His Church. 

We had a branch bbq and their were more investigators than members there almost! it was awesome :) Joann and Nino came. We are teaching them as a family now with the Fentons, (sr couple.) I hope they accept baptism. I love their family. Joann has come twice to church with her kids and Nino should start coming soon. Teaching families is a hundred times harder and more stressful to me than teaching individuals...but so rewarding!! Mark and Tabitha passed their baptism interview like champs and are excited to be baptized this Sunday.
Little Fort and Sister Schaelling
Im not sure if any part of being a missionary is easy for me. Its still hard to teach and invite and be urgent all the time and the list goes on....im not a natural at this. But its worth it! I love it. The Lord always helps those who incline their hearts to him. I feel myself being stretched every day....physically, emotionally, spiritually. How lucky we are. :)

I love you all. This week i have particularly come to appreciate more the Spirit that i feel in my home. (As in my actual home in Utah.) There are some parts of this area that walking through the streets the Spirit is just not there. There is so much darkness in the world. While the people in Australia are kind and laid back, most of the country is aethiest....wierdly, I can feel it. The emptiness of unbelief, ah what a sad feeling it is. I hope me and SIster Kyaw can bring a little hope to these people every day. Oh that i were and angel......

Story time, just a quick one. About the Spirit. Sister Kyaw and I were planning on teaching Dilys Word of Wisdom. That morning i studied "The Savior Wants to Forgive" by elder Cardon and loved it. (Go read it.If youd like.) We biked over to Dilys and we both coincidentally forgot our WoW pamphlets. We thought that was wierd. We went in the lesson and we had tithing pamphlets so we thought maybe we would teach that...then we got talking with Dilys. She asked the question we have all pondered..."how can i know when im forgiven?" For our lesson we had a lovely discussion about repentance and forgiveness. Make plans, then follow the Spirit.
Sister Kyaw and Sister Schaelling
Also we are teaching our investigator Ken, we skype with the Mandarin elders who teach him in Chinese. On thurdays we went over to his house to say hello. We met his boss and bosses wife, Josephine, from china. They were so nice and tried to be very warm and loving. Turns out now Josephine wants me to teach English to her little boy! Ah, foot in the door! That house is full of Asians. We will convert them all and have an Mandarin branch, just you wait :)

I love you all!!!
Sister Schaelling

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Another great week in GLADSTONE.

Hello dearest friends and family!

What a week it has been!!! To answer your questions mother, i use a computer at the library for email and only have one hour. For exersize we go walking or running or tackle a beast hill outside our flat we named Rasputen. Like the Russian terrorist. :)

This week i had some amazing experiences that brought me closer to my Savior Jesus Christ. The one that sticks out to me the most happened in a lesson with Dilys, our investigator. Her father is recent convert and has the darkest skin i have ever seen. And the coolest accent!

So we taught Dilys the ten commandments and she was so into it. When we were talking about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy we talked about church and why we go. I remember saying that we go to church to repent and be healed by taking the sacrament, and why cant we just sit at church and cry? We dont go to look perfect for others. She agreed and we had a great discussion. Then at the end, after the closing prayer she said she wanted to ask us something. She told us she was going to live the commandments so she could be baptized. She just started crying in front of us saying since reading the Book of Mormon she just feels how important it is to be baptized and make that covenant. She said she kept thinking, "what am i doing? i could die tomorrow, why should i choose earthly pleasures over God?" It was so amazing. We set a date with her for October 19. I will always remember her humble example of how important it is to repent. More important than anything else.

Also we had a lesson with Mark and Tabitha who are preparing for baptism on the 28th of September. They are truly golden. We talked about temples and boy the spirit was sooooo strong. The Fentons and their friends from Wyoming came and we all taught together about tithing and fast offerings and some other commandments and they took it like champs. Mark and Tabitha told us how they want to go to the temple and be sealed with their little Tiana, their 3 year old daughter. It was amazing, i just sat there and enjoyed feeling the spirit. I noticed before we taught i didnt have a lick of nerves, which usually are killing me. How awesome!!

We go and visit a Filipino lady named Joann and her family. We stopped by on Saturday night to invite them to church. Nino, (ninyo) is the father and he always invites us in and gives us food. "Food is for everyone," he always says. They are so nice. They said they couldnt make it to church because Nino had work. We shared a message with Joann, Nino and their 8 or 9 year old son Arkinz. He wasnt really into it when we were trying to teach him about prayer. We left and the next day, Sunday, in comes Joann with her three beautiful boys--Arkinz, Tres and Fort. They are so cute. Joann said it scared her that Arkinz cared so much about games and not about God. They loved church and want to come next week. That was so special!!

The best things about Gladstone are the people! They are all so kind, and our teaching pool is like the size of the pacific ocean. Very diverse and wonderful! Also my companion who is just awesome. I also lovvve the four way i'm with (meaning the four of us sisters that live in the flat)--Sister Wulfenstein from my MTC distict and Sister Watson who is so wise. Me and Sister Wulf both have companions that are wayyy older than us so we come home and just goof off with each other and laugh our heads off! The hard parts about Gladstone are the same trials in every area, seeing people reject us, and in turn reject their Savior and eternal life. 

i love you all! 
Sister Schaelling

Monday, September 9, 2013

Gladstone life!

Hello dearest friends and family!

This week was splendid as always! I shall start with tuesday, we taught Ken Tim who is from Malaysia and we actually skype the elders who speak Mandarin and they teach while we smile and nod. Oh my goodness i cannot imagine learning Mandarin. Good grief! We had some english class after which i always love.

After Ken we also went to follow up with a potential, Celeste, and her friend Rosie was there. We sat and talked together and taught about how God is our Loving Heavenly Father and prayer. I felt the Spirit a lot when we talked about this. We prayed at the end and all just looked at each other after. Are you feeling what im feeling? Love it.

We also got to teach Niki this week, her son is autistic and dealing with a lot of bullying at school. We listened to her struggles and then shared a message about the power of prayer and scripture study. So many times when people share their own very hard trials there is little i can say to relate. Thank goodness for the Atonement of Christ, there is someone who knows everything we go through, even when others dont. 

We are teaching Leyoni, a Shrilanken lady about the gospel. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and about baptism. She talked about how she was baptized when the was four months old and her children also. We asked why. She said, (we have a little language barrier with her) that the priest always told them when we are born we are full of sin. Man, that is a soft spot for me. Little children full of sin? Whaaaat? Where is the logic in that?? We talked to her about how we are pure and clean before we know good from evil. She said she would ask her priest about it because she admitted it didnt make sense. We suggested she ask God Himself. She is lovely and has a little girl with the most beautiful brown eyes i have ever seen.
From her mom--All RIGHT!  Since Carly has not sent pics in a while (because she lost her battery charger...)  I thought I would give you a couple of pics of her in her younger life.
Here she is about 6 months old.
We are continuing to teach Dilys, (from Papa New Guniea) and she said she prayed about the Law of Chastity and feels she needs to get married. She is humble. Her little daughter is sooooo adorable. We read 2 Ne 31 with her and talked about the importance of baptism, the Holy Ghost, enduring to the end. Peter Sepe is her father and he is a recent convert. He is awesome. 

Tabitha and Mark- we had dinner with them and the Fentons and they are progressing along beautifully. Such a lovely family. Mark's back got thrown out so he was kindof in pain the whole lesson poor guy. They are so kind and receptive to the gospel. Once the Fentons start fellowshipping theres no going back! they are so sweet and kind and experienced. i love working with a senior missionary couples, it helps the stress because they are so much older and wiser than us little full time missionaries. :)

We are also teaching a Filipino family, Joanne and Nino. They invited us and the Fentons over for a birthday, it was so fun, we ate lots and then intro'd the book of mormon. They are splendid parents. Nino, the father just wants to be a good dad. He told me he could tell i had a good dad by the way i was. Good job dad! (and mom.) He always gives me his slippers when we walk in their house so my feet dont get cold on the tile haha.
Carly showing her enthusiasm for LIFE, age 4 1/2.
Phillip, the kiwi that lives away from home, called and told us he is reading the book of Mormon and it is helping him a lot!!! man that is music to my ears!! i dont even care if investigators remember what i said or did, i just want them to turn to the book of Mormon, because it will always be there for them. That book is amazing.

This week i studied repentance and the atonement. I decieded that repentance is more important than anything. "Say nothing but repentance unto this people"..."mercy claimeth the pentitent." 

My time is up! i love you all and am having a joyful experience here in Gladstone!! I love my companion with all my heart, she is amazing. There is something different about her, she is so much stronger and wiser and humbler than me. i love it! she is also a master chef and teaching me how to make curry!!!

biking in a skirt is......an experience. :)

love you all
sister schaelling

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

GLADSTONE (pronounced Gladstun)

Dearest family and friends,

Allright first off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM AND JENNA!! Forgive me for not saying anything last week Jenna! Me and my beloved companion definitely sang happy birthday to both of you on the 29th. I hope you heard it :) 

This week has been lovely! So time to update you on my new companion Sister Kyaw! So its pronounced Jaw. She is from Myanmar and is a convert of now three years. They dont even have missionaries in Myanmar just a senior couple and a tiny branch! So get this, when she converted she didnt really speak english so she read the book of mormon with an english to burmese dictionary. In like a month. whaaaaat?? She is the bomb! She is 27 and very loving and kind. She is still learning English.  We get to do language study together which is fun for me :) And she teaches so simply and lovingly. I have learned the power of teaching the doctrine simply. We dont need to use big words or perfect English for the Spirit to testify of what we are saying, that its true. :) I love Sister Kyaw. She is like my little mother, always worried about me getting sunburned or if i am tired. "Is you okay Sister?" She always asks in her adorable accent. :) 

The Fentons! They are the senior couple that lives right next door to us. They are so lovely. Sometimes we teach lessons with them, and they are just so nice. We plan together who we will see and what we will teach. Love them.

My area! Gladstone is an industrial town so everything is expensive. There is a coal mine/big idustrial factory thing on a little island that we can see that everyone goes to work on. Its dusty here :) But not too dusty. It has kind of a country feel. I feel like i am in a new mission, far away from the rest of the world. Its awesome. I also feel like a hard core missionary because we bike everywhere. Wow im not sure if i have ever been so tired. :) Its a good tired :) The people here are nicer than in Park Ridge, less door slams, more polite declines. Thats nice, i guess.

The people! The people we are teaching are great. Bree has been coming to church for seven months and is living with her partner and three kids. Let me tell ya im gonna start handing out Chastity pamphlets at the door! Everyone lives with their partner here haha. We are also teaching her daughter Mia who wants to learn more. She is a little eight year old. I love teaching children because they seem to understand so much better and just accept Gods commandments. I remember studying 2 ne 31 this week where it talks about Christ's baptism, and how he was baptized to fulfill all righteousness, to show an example, and most importantly to humble himself before the father and show that He would be obedient to Him. Um, hello, this is Jesus Christ, who is perfect. Know ye no that he was holy?? The scriptures say. How much more need have we to keep the commandments!! I love it because we dont always need a reason to be obedient, we shouldnt need to be persuaded by logic or emotion. We should just obey for the sake of obeying. 

We are also teaching Dilys who faithfully comes to church :) She also has a partner who lives in PNG. (Papau New Guniea) We are teaching Arnelson, a Fillipino who is living here to work and his family is back in the Phillipines. He misses them so much. We went to knock on his door for his appointment and heard someone was inside. So we just kept knocking. We were about to leave and get lunch and come back but we knocked a little more and finally he came out. We were able to talk about the plan of salvation and the doctrine of Christ. He loves his family and misses them

We also are teaching Phillip, a kiwi (new zealander) who is living away from his family and working. He works so much and is getting sick because of it. He is sad and misses his four daughters. We gave him a book of mormon to read and pray about. So many people in this area and in the whole world are sad a lonely. I am just one person. I cant be there all the time to comfort them and try to help them. But i can give them the word of God. The book of mormon, which will always be there. I love the scripture in Jacob 2 that said the word of God healeth the wounded soul. Isnt that so true?

We have seen many miracles this week. Fast Sunday was so hard for me. I was so tired and hungry. Tiredness is probably my biggest....stumbling block i think on the mission. Its so humbling being a missionary, because we have appointments we need to get too and it doesnt matter if i am tired and hungry. i just have jump on the bike and make it. Many times a day i pray for strength and help and i know that these prayers are heard. The Lord helps us just enough to make it to the end :) 

much love,
Sister Schaelling