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!!!