Monday, February 24, 2014

HOLA from .... BALLINA!!!!

Hola from...BALLINA!

Here we are on the Gold Coast in the lovely are of Ballina! Yes Dad we are in the farthest south of the mission, were actually on a different time than everyone else, one hour later so its kindof awkward if the STLs call us at 11 at night, because its 10 their time...and were sleeping. Oh, did i mention, Sister Cocker is my STL!! my beloved trainer. I have her pocket badge on my Book of Mormon. 

Family sounds like you had a splendid week! That art exhibit sounds amazing!! And i wish i could have seen McKenna's concert! Im sure she smashed it!! She's a beast :) Glad you got to see Grandma and Grandpa and also Scott and Bonnie. They are great!! 

So this week...hmm. We were in Tweed Heads for the beginning of the week and I traded off with Sister Smith for a day and we went tracting. Then that night Sister Stanton and I went GQing and boy, it was bad! Rejection after rejection. Then my companion was GQing a couple and i felt like i should go and support and i stood next to her and immediately felt sick inside. They said some terrible stuff in soft and gentle voices...so i told them we didnt want to argue, trying to make us a way to escape and both of them turned on me and started attacking me (verbally) it was scarey! It was wierd because usually i am cool as a cucumber when people get up in my grill about being a missionary or the message we share...but these two, man they knew what to say to make me feel so small. I just stood there and held by tounge, (i think the spirit stopped me from speaking) and waited til they were done. Then we walked away and i just cried! i love the scripture in Acts chapter 5, when Peter and John are beaten for preaching the word of God, and tried in court, and they leave court, "rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name." I have chills writing that! I know its true. "If the world hate you, blessed are ye, for they hated me before thy hated you....because they know not him that sent me." Thats in John 15 i think. Maybe all this rejection helps me feel just a teeny tiny bit what Christ felt when even his friends betrayed him. But just a tiny bit, because no one can ever feel all that He felt!!

Sooo the next day we got the phone call for the green light on our flat!! We loaded the car up with a TON of stuff!! and we headed off on our adventure to open Ballina. I drove us down the Gold Coast and we picked up the keys to our flat. There are also elders here, Elder Johnston (our district leader) and Elder Kreth, and they met us at our flat and helped us carry things up. They took us around to meet the Bishop and some members! It was good, that was on Thursday. On Friday we worked on getting a map set up of our area and all the members and less actives and part member families up on our whiteboard. There are SOOOOO many less actives in the Lismore ward! Wow we have our work cut out for us!! 

Ballina is a beautiful place, with big shade trees and water in sight sometimes. We live in a cute little flat near the beach actually. Its lovely here, and there has been some rain the past few days just for me :) haha. I love it. The ward is small, probably 50 attending, but the list is soooo long....this ward reminds me of Sparta ward in New Jersey...pages and pages of members, many empty pews at church. Its a bit sad, but we are here for a reason!! We need to strenghten the inner vessel...the members. There is no point filling up a bath tub if we dont plug it as my last branch president told me. We attended ward council which is always exciting and the ward mission plan was discussed, our input was given, things are gonna happen!! I used to be so bored by planning meetings let me tell ya. Now they are empowering! When we plan, we show our faith and respect, and good use of our agency. The Lord will help us fulfil our plans when they are aligned with His plan! 

Sister Stanton is pretty much amazing. Sometimes i cant understand her Yorkshire accent haha. We are so excited for Ballina! She is such a good missionary and so obedient and a wonderful teacher! I have learned the importance of obedience on my mission. Justifying is always wrong. Obedience is even better than sacrifice. And its the small and simple things that matter...if we want to have full access to the Saviors grace, and fly on the wings of eagles and be endowed with power, then we must be totally aligned with His will..."and deny yourselves of all ungodliness... THEN is his grace sufficient...that ye may be perfect in Christ." (Moroni 10:32) The grace of God!

I also studied the importance of fasting this week...wow theres some verses in Isaiah 58 that i didnt even know were there about fasting! And the promised blessings, "Thy health shall spring forth speedily, thy righteousness shall go before thee....the Lord shall guide thee continually.,.when thou,.call the Lord, he will answer, when thou cry, he shall say. "Here I am." And thats not even all of them. Yup im never complaining about fasting again!!

Family and friends i love you all so much. I love this work and my Savior Jesus Christ. I love the Book of Mormon...how true it is. Even being rejected helps me feel the truth of this work, because how could this work be easy for us if it was never, ever, easy for Him? (Elder Holland)

Much love,
Sister Schaelling

Sunday, February 16, 2014

hey family, from Tweed Heads

hello all,
 
Sounds like this week was wonderful for everyone! Jenna dating every night! :) Mom sewing quilts. Dad presenting with no "ums" of course! Nice work :)

SOOo....Sister Stanton and I are like wandering nomads! We are still in Tweed Heads, staying with the sisters here because our flat paperwork and stuff is still going through for our flat in Ballina. It is so wierd not having an area let me tell ya!! We feel like lost children. But hopefully we will get to go to Ballina tomorrow or on wednesday and move in! But to fill our days here in tweed we have been going and contacting the tweed sisters former investigators and a list of less actives whose records are at the church but havent shown up in forever! Its like detective work. The sisters here are sister Smith and Sister De Chavez, from NZ and from the Phillipines, they are so fun! It has been pretty much a blast. Im the driver because Sister Stanton doesnt drive at all, so i am perfecting my skills. :)
 
Sister Stanton is awesome! We have been out the same amount of time in the mission and she is from Yorkshire, Sheffield England. She is pretty much great and talking with her about England is fun! She is a good listener and a great missionary. We are pumped for Ballina. And yep Mom i think were in the  southeast of the mission....i think President thinks i work best in isolation haha :)
 
We also got to go GQ'ing this week (golden question-ing..street contacting) which was so fun because there is no where to GQ in Gladstone! So we went to the beach walk and went at it....oh my gosh sometimes people are so funny..especially when they start running away from you before you even talk to them ... GQ stories:
 
"Im sorry cant talk we have to go eat"
"Sorry Im atheist"
"i just talked to you guys like 2 minutes ago" haha the other sisters were GQing at the other end of the beach walk,...unbeknownst to us...

my favorite:
     "Yes we go to church, we also have missionaries that preach the gospel two by two, we have strong faith.."
     us: "Oh cool, what church do you go to?"
     "um, it doesnt have a name, because when Jesus Christ was on the earth the church had no name.'
     "..so when youre missionaries introduce themselves, do they say were from the church with no name?"
...
This map shows the Queensland area, which is my mission, and I am now going to Ballina with is part of New South Wales "State."  It is south of Brisbane, on the coast.

also this week we went to teach a lesson with the sisters investigator but they didnt have a member to go with them so we went, and we taught the plan of salvation when the phone rings and his friends want to come over...his Jehovah Witness friends....to smash us! (obviously they didnt say that on the phone haha) so we sped up the lesson and prayed and are on our way out the door when his Jdub friends show up, and literally block our way out and start bashing us. we just testified and left and laughed in the car how we spent our valentines day with Jdubs crashing our lesson!
 
also it was kind of awkward at church because everyone was like "hello new sisters!" and we were like, "hi, were not staying!" and then one of the speakers fell through so sister Stanton and I gave a 10 minute talk each, with like a two minute notice, but it was all good fun. And Sister Merrill was just in Tweed heads ward and i got to hug everyone for her. And Sister Smith and Sister De Chavez are so fun..,..and hopefully we move into our flat in Ballina soon!!
 
I love you all sooooooooooooo much! Obedience brings blessings and miracles!!
love,
Sister Schaelling

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Transfers after 5 months in Gladstone!!!!

Firstly, Dad you're a pro! Thats so cool you got to use youre improv skills! I hope you join the cool band ;)
Well my friends, I GOT TRANSFERRED! what? i never thought this day would come! the APs called me and were like, sister schaelling, how do you feel??? man they love messing with us :) But yep i flew down to Brizzy yesterday and went out to work with the Cleveland sisters (there is a place called cleveland here :) and we had transfer meeting this morning! 

Secondly, it is so wierd being around so many missionaries! im so used to being isolated up north it was crazy seeing everyone. So a lot of sisters from my intake are now training! im so happy for them! Then president called my name and sister Stanton;s name, (who was formerly in Cleveland so i knew her from working with them yesterday) and said we would be opeing Ballina in Gold Coast Zone. So after he said that, sister Stanton and i look at each other like "um, where?" we didnt know if we were whitewashing an elders area or what, so after transfers we were like, "so, lovely APs, what are we doing again?" So apparently we are opening a new area for missionaries in a place called Ballina, which is actually in New South Wales, not Queensland--a different state than the rest of the mission, and this area has never seen missionaries before. We totally have a fresh, empty area book :) We are in the Lismore ward which is about a thirty minutes drive from our area...apparently. And the reason i keep saying apparently is because we havent actually been to our area yet because they are waiting on our flat contract to get cleared or whatevs so we are chilling with the Tweed Heads sisters! How exciting. Welp.

My new companion is sister Stanton and she is the same age as me in the mission, exactly 8 and a half months ;) And she is from Sheffield England! And she reminds me so much of Clarissa McLaren! So im pretty pumped for this transfer! It will be wonderful! Lots of finding for us!! I knew i was going to be in a finding area this transfer because ive been kind of spoiled in Gladstone teaching like 25-30 lessons a week!...for 4 transfers. And all with people other missionaries found pretty much. Now i need to put in my time being a pioneer and tracting all the time :) Im so excited for Ballina.(i dont even know how to spell that.)  And i think we will end up having skype district meetings again because of distance. And we are in a two way, just us in the flat. I thinks its funny how i went from being up north to being in the farthest south! yay!!!
It was a little sad leaving G-town. lots of members came to the airport to see me off. that was so nice of them. Phil cried when i shook his hand goodbye. He is wonderful. I loved Gladstone, but i am so excited for a change and a new area. They dont exactly give you a book on how to open an area so we will probably just be winging it all day everyday, but hey thats where im right at home! I was noticing a change in me as we were driving (oh i forgot to mention Ballina is full time car so hopefully i dont get fat,....haha. and i'm the driver, yay...:) so we were driving on this super busy highway with lots of traffic in an area where i dont know where i'm going (of course on the other side of the road but thats pretty normal now haha) and i kept waiting for the nervous, uncomfortable butterflies but they never came. Just this feeling of calm as i drove 100 km an hour. (that was the speed haha) Then i thought of how nervous and scared i was my first day here, driving the same high way. How things change!!
And its the Atonement that will change all of us ;)
more next week, my time is far spent!
Very much love to you all :)
Sister Schaelling

p.s.  okay mom my miracle this week was....okay so we were at mark and tabithas house because they threw me a pancake dinner because i was leaving, and a girl named Cassidy moved in with them she is 16, and her friend was there, friend apparently not being a very good influence on her, and we had a wonderful lesson after about Christlike attributes, and they both loved it! Mark and Tab participated and the friend, named Ellie, and Cassidy became new investigators and promised to pray that night and come to church and said they were so excited. it was a miracle!! :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Yo, yo, yo!

heyyyyy family and friends!!! whats happennin?? Sounds like life is same old fun in K-town!! Wow im so glad they have a Nordstrom Rack at station park! hittin that up when i come home and destroy all my mission clothes because they will smell!! and Jenna i bet you are just the cutest little salad line girl at Zupas. And there are two scandanavian boys sitting in front of me speakin something!!!
Sister Schaelling and Merrill, in the RAIN
So this week was fun! We are still running around G-town like crazy! Visiting people all day everyday. We started off with seeing sister Craig and her recent convert daughter Marilyn and the Ebert family we always visit every Monday night. We had an awesome lesson about 3 Nephi 17, we read together and talked about if Christ came to us, what would it be like? Those 3 Nephi chapters are powerful!! Man, every time i read them im sitting there gettin shivers.
Sister Merrill, Celeste, Sister Schaelling
On Tuesday we saw Ken! and we are doing english class after. I like teaching english, its fun. And it helps me with my english haha. We also went and saw the lovely John and Mourine! Man they are great. They came to church on Sunday and lots of people talked to them!! I love seeing members fellowship our investigators. During personal study one morning i was reading about "Ye are no more strangers" by bishop Causse from priesthood sesh, and something that really stuck out to me was how he said that our meetinghouses are not "ours" they belong to Jesus Christ...anyone who walks into one should feel welcome! So true. Our investigators are Gods children, we are all fellowcitizens, and there should be no strangers among us! Awesome talk.

This week we had and awesome lesson with Phil Kimura (his last name is actually Japanese even though he is Maori) who has been going through a hard time. He is doing the training to receive the Melchezidek priesthood in March, and man is satan "doin his thang" as Katrina says :) but man it's sad! He is really trying to work towards his goal but finding stress and trials at every turn. We are trying to strenghten him and help him act in a way that the Holy Ghost will be with him always. We also saw Mitch and Loki and Glen, Mitch's dad practiced baptizing him because Mitch got Baptized on Saturday!! yay!!! Glen baptized him and we had an awesome turnout at the baptsim, we had to move everyone to the chapel because there wasn't enough room in the primary room where the font is. It was great! 
Mitch's Baptism

We also did some member work this week and took a cake to one of the young women that just moved in! We didnt make the cake haha Laureen did, and we got all the young women and went over. Stasia, the birthday girl's family is from Wyoming. They just moved over here for a few years and live in a company house...man when we went to visit them the first time i had so many memories of moving and going to school for the first time in a new place, a foreign country haha. I remember praying that i would find someone to sit with at lunch haha...ah, moving. 

Also there were cylcone warnings all week this week so we were tracting in the rain and wind! it was fun. And people are nicer to us when its raining! haha. We met some great folks and got some return appointments. On Thursday we had a broadcast from Brisbane where President Henderson was speaking in a cluster meeting with a bunch of stake presidents and members and missionaries...it was good! He talked about hastening the work and we now have new standards for the mission! also we have something called "missionary milestones" which im not entirely sure what it is yet because they were handing out papers...should be cool though.

We also missed lots of other people this week, Atimah is in Brisbane for the week (an elder once said "vacations are of the devil" hah. so true because they get back and we're like hey remember us? and their like wha..) And we only saw Charity and Ian stopping by because they were super busy working all week! They are doing good!
We LOVE ice cream!!!

On Sunday we had lunch at the Fentons flat and Helen Lealogata and her two non member kids came and also Phil and Monte, less active Samoan brothers, they are awesome!! They sang for us and Monte played the guitar...man these islanders know how to sing! it was grand. Helayna, Helen's daughter has a baptism date for the 22 of this month! We also had a huge turnout at church, more than ive ever seen, with 10 of our investigators that came, what a huge blessing, it was a marvelous week!

i love you all so much!
much love
Sister Schaelling

p.s..........guess who killed a bigger than fist sized spider last night? yours truly. and this morning i killed one with my bare. hands. i'm an animal!!!!!!  :)