Monday, March 31, 2014

Hello Family!!!

Well hello hello! Sounds like you had lots of fun in provo family!!! thats awesome scott, your designs look great. And i didnt even know that it was possible to rent a canoe. How cool!!
J and S canoeing on the Provo River

So this week was probably one of the more challenging weeks in my mission, for lots of reasons. We have been facing some adversity with just the work in general, finding lots and lots. I am fighting just general tiredness that seems to be more pertinent that usual. But all is well.  Its amazing to be opening an area because ive never been challenged this much in my mission. Missionary work has always been pretty natural for me with talking to everyone and teaching and stuff, and of course there have been hard moments, but those hard moments have oftentimes been swallowed up in joy and success. Which im sure is what will happen in the future!

But until that point, Sister Stanton and I will carry on carry on carry on! This week we were able to teach a few lessons and we are excited about one of our investigators, she is the daughter of a referral from our Bishop's wife. She is slowly progressing and we love teaching her. Also this week we were able to do some sneaky heart attacking of the members. We have this thing which we call "awkward hour" because we usually eat dinner at 8, so it gets dark at 7, we dont have many appointments yet and we dont usually go door knocking when its pitch black outside. (I used to go in my first area...Never again. Haha)  So during awkward hour or awkward half hour we go and heart attack people! Oh funny story so we are going to heart attack one of the three active families in Ballina and were being all sneaky sneaky walking up the side of their house when we see him just staring at us out the window....haha, we just ran away laughing! But we got them back the next night and they didnt catch us. 

The members here in the Lismore ward are just great. We love visiting them, and i feel a closeness to the members here more than in my other areas. I look up to them and they are all so amazing. They always ask how were doing in Ballina and are just great. I love the members here so much! 

We were door knocking this week on Benntinck street and found two really cool potentials. One man we were talking too told us how he was a rescue worker and had pulled so many injured or dead people or kids out of accidents that it was hard to believe that there was a God. Another lady we talked too said that she used to believe in God and then both her husbands died of cancer. We meet people like this every day, who have seen so much or been through so much that they question the existence and belief that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us. I feel for these people. I think all of us have looked at the suffering of others or of ourselves and have silently asked, why? I know i have at times, but i have realized that i dont know the meaning of all things and if i do know anything its that God loves me. But as i have thought and studied i have realized that the answer is not complicated. It simple. In PMG it says under "God is our Loving Heavenly Father "...."He loves us. He weeps with us when we suffer and rejoices when we do what is right...He has given us this experience on earth so we can learn and grow." This life is the test. I know that when i walk through hard roads, i need to believe in God to make it, to endure. I love in President Monsons last talk how he says "we truly need Him every hour, whether they be hours of sunshine or hours of rain." 

This week i have had the chance to come closer to my Savior Jesus Christ. This week, because of all that has happened, my testimony has grown at what a weak and simple servant i am, so full of imperfection. Its really quite amazing how our Heavenly Father trusts the preaching of his gospel to a 20 year old girl. But he is patient with us, thank goodness. I love this work. I love the Lord. "My voice shall forever ascend up to thee..."

Much love,
Sister Schälling (this computer can do the umlaut i discovered :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

HELLO :) from Ballina

Hola family! This week was jam packed with awesome stuff!!
Sister Schaelling and Cocker, together again, even for a moment!
But firstly, sounds like your week was great, Schaelling family! Mom and Dad how was the hockey game haha. and so cool you met up with Shannon! That must have been so fun. And Jenna hope you had fun at the dance! I bet you danced the night away like a dancing queen. :) Love you all sooooo much!!

This week started off with a FULL P-DAY which means we dont have to go out and work at 6 pm like we normally do. Thats because Gold Coast zone thrashed their goals last transfer. But Sister Stanton and I both werent here last transfer but i guess we still got to participate in the reward haha,...i think rewards for goals are kind of ridiculous, like, you baptized people, now you get to relax more! what? haha  But it was nice. We met up with the Tweed sisters at Brunswick Heads and just talked and walked around because there is nothing to do in Brunswick Heads haha but it was soooo fun to see them again and talk!!  With other sister missionaries :) Sister Smith and Sister De Chavez are sooo cool!
Sister Schaelling and Stanton and the Ballina Elders
Then on Tuesday we taught Valma our Finnish investigator, she is 79 and doesnt speak much english so we sing and hope the Spirit will translate haha. She is so lovely and witty and old. Teaching her is really hard though with the language barrier. We got her a Finnish Book of Mormon. We also saw our other old lady investigator Judith who was all excited to come to church and then she dropped us on Saturday on the phone it was so sad. any whos, on a happier none, we had TRADE OFFS this week!

And guess who is my sister training leader? SISTER COCKER my beloved trainer. So she traded off with me and we worked here in Ballina and it was THE BEST. it was like the good old days workin together again, tracting all day and teaching by the way and talking with everyone. So fun. It was so crazy that she is still the same to me, just stronger and grown. We talked about our missions so far and everything. It was like coming home, working with her again. She will always have a place in my heart. We also brought a member out with us to go follow up with a bunch of people and none of them were home....but hey! we got to road trip together haha I love Sister Cockers work ethic, it brought back good memories of when i would be tired and she would just throw me on my bike and tell me to get to work, haha, she didnt actually do that because i would never try to be lazy around her :) oh and she always talks about how she loves the way i talk about my family. im not really aware of how i talk about my family so i guess thats a good thing :) 

We taught our other new investigator Shirley on Thursday and it was so good. We sang for her too and she is a really spiritual person. its really fun teaching people you found. We taught Sister Monk a less active and also had weekly planning (yay,...i dont know who actually likes weekly planning...) Friday was deep clean we do every six weeks for 4 hours. Its always fun to clean. But cleaning is like introspection time which isnt always a good thing. Sometimes i dont like thinking too much, but anywhos...
Happy 20th Birthday!
Saturday we taught CARLY for the first time! She is so prepared its amazing. She was like, can you please explain why there are so many churches? um yes, we would love to haha....we had a relief society activity and we gave a little presentation on the history of RS, which was great i love RS, its the best! Worldwide sisterhood! oh also i turned 10 months old on Saturday which is gross. Who wants to be old? i loved being a young missionary!!.....:( 

Sunday was great because we got to go to church. No investigators this week at church :( we will try for next. We went to follow up with some referrals and then tracted the day away. Finding is fun and exciting when we find with faith! Also i think it was my birthday this week or something haha...the elders brought us a cake. how nice of them. Also at like 8 30 we heard a knock at the door and someone dropped off a present! how sweet :) its so fun having a birthday when its just a normal day. i wish all birthdays were like that...

More new investigators this week! Tracting, teaching, talking to randoms by the way. I love when things finally just come natural. When the gospel just becomes a part of who we are and what we say. We dont need a memorized verse or line to say while talking with someone when we see them as a child of God. Something that i think comes with time on my mission has been my ability to be calm and natural when i teach and not nervous and wondering what i am going to say next. We carry an important message to be shared with earnestness, but we also have charity and love for all, enough time to listen and reflect and then testify with our heart, not recited words in our brain. Theres a great talk by Presidet Eyring from may 2002 ensign, i think its called, a child, a disciple or something like that. But he talks about member missionaries and how they are bold and effective but its because of who they are and what they know, not their talent and ability. We can all be missionaries in different ways. Some members love giving out Book of Mormons, others invite everyone to have the missionaries.....we can all do it in our own way when we pray and find out what God wants us to do. :) 
Cute Little Lizard!
Also you may be wondering why this email is late, today is tuesday P day because its transfers. But sister Stanton and I are staying in Ballina for another six weeks! i hope we stay here for 3 together but who knows. its my bucket list to be with a comp for 4 transfers! 6 months haha.  Our housing coordinator, he was with one comp for 11 and a half months and they bought each other a fake wedding ring haha....

Also did i mention our car got broken into the other week? Some *loser* smoked in the Lords car and burned his or her cigarette in the seat...but on the bright side they didnt take anything. Except Ballerina's pride. Ballerina is the name of our car. 

Still loving Ballina and Lismore ward. The members here are great, still getting to know all of them. Trying to be a consecrated missionary and give everything to the Lord!!

Much love 
Sister Schaelling



Monday, March 17, 2014

Hello! Hello!

Family thank you for the Birthday wishes! Ive decided that a perk to being a J Dub would be you dont have to have birthdays...haha im not sure i want to be 20! Then i have to be an adult and responsable and stuff. eh...

Jenna how cute your donut answer. I love donuts. And I just love you all so much. Katrinas emails are always so joyful and full of life and enthusiasm! They inspire me, she inspires me! What an amazing missionary!
Sister Stanton and Schaelling, on Sister Stanton's birthday (March  13th)
This week was good, first i just want to say that ever since i told my comp Dad that you were in the air force she loves saying "oh thats because your dads in the military!" yep and now the elders are doing it too haha. So when i ask her if shes okay shes like "wow you can read my mind because your dads in the military" or when in teaching her my cool self defense skills its "because your dads in the military"or when i have a super sensitive nose and can smell everything, its because "Dad you're in the military!"  hahaha. SO anywho's...

This week is week 5 of the transfer which is hard to believe and we were blessed with two new investigators. Two miracles! THe first one is an old Finnish lady who doesnt read in english and small miracle the zone leaders were coming down to do trade offs with the elders and they had a Finnish book of Mormon in their flat and they gave it to us to give to her. Yay :) Our second new investigator is a girl named Thalia, we went to visit a member referral and ended  up doing service cleaning her neighbors house. (Ive never cleaned so much until my mission, love it :)  Well, i love cleaning other peoples stuff... :)  And then she let us teach her daughter Thalia and it was good! We started teaching the Restoration and also taught Book of Mormon. And we sang :)  Yay people to teach!!!

This week we did lots of service, we helped Matt and Annette clean all the walls in their house because their moving. They are moving out of our area :( and out of the mission...lame. We went over there twice this week. We stopped by Carly's a million times and only talked at the door, she is so awesome but its hard to share a message! Hopefully this week we will be able to teach her. She is so nice.
 
The elders gave sister Stanton a cake for her birthday and i think i attached a picture of me eating it,,,it was SO GOOD. (they didnt make it haha)  oh my goodness, best cake ive had! It was chocolate mousse and yellow cake with chocolate frosting,.,.om nom nom!!  This week we taught and inactive lady named Sister Monk, she was kind, inactives used to be so mysterious to me especially when they just act totally normal and nice, they are just real people like the rest of us...

Wow i love my mission so much. My mission is so amazing and is changing me, but boy it is hard. But its good hard. I cant believe i am turning 10 months old this week. Thats not okay, im not ready to be old! I think back at my experiences and how wonderful they have been, and i wouldnt trade them for anything, i know we are each sent to different missions for different reasons- and i love the story found in Luke 9.  Someone comes up to Jesus and says Lord, i would follow thee whithersoever thou goest- and Jesus replies, (i think this is how it goes) "Foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the Son of Man hath not a place to lay his head."" Its like Jesus is saying, yes, please follow me but its going to be hard, sometimes we dont even have  place to sleep-- he then says, let the dead bury their dead and go and preach the kingdom of God.  Man, it is so important to leave things behind from our old life and give our desires to the Lord.  Its explained beautifiully in the talk "The Fourth Missionary."  I have been studying that talk this week and something i love is that the consecrated missionary's dominant desire is to do what the Lord wants him to do. As disciples of Christ, i know i am most happy when i am doing what the Lord wants me to do. Its just hard figuring out what that is sometimes haha...
Sister Schaelling eating Sister Stanton's birthday cake
Family, the time on this computer is far spent :) i love all of you so much and hope you are happy and well. I hope and pray everyday for your happiness!!
much love
Sister Schaelling

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hello!!!

Wow hello family!! Sounds like this week was a success! Jenna you got asked to prom how cute!!! Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyy! 

So this week was full of miracles. Where to begin? We got to teach this week!! Yayy, thats a miracle all by itself! haha but we taught this cool part member family, and they have two boys, 17 and 15 i think...they are great. We also saw Shane, who has been taking the lessons for agessssss and we were excited because he organized his own ride to church! Miracle. Annd 

GUESS WHAT....we were tracting and we had been going for almost two hours and i was like yo! Companion! lets go get some water at a members and leave! ( we were having no potentials ) and my righteous and diligent companion was like, we will endure to the end! of this two hours! 15 more minutes! (Good thing shes here) and we meet this wonderful kind lovely lady who invites us to come back next week...whose name happens to be Carly. Spelled the same. She doesnt know thats my name...and she never will!!  hahaha

AND THEN we go pick up a member, Sister Deloncrais to come with us to teach Shane and she asks us if she can introduce us to her lovely amazing friend she has been visiting and has felt it is time to introduce her to the missionaries....her friends name is Carly. Same Carly we tracted into!! Whaaaaaat? Miracle!! Baptism soon to come!! :):) 

Also this week we were  tracting (we do a lot of that here in Ballina ;) And were talking to this lady who goes to Assembly of God (AoG) church and talking blah blah balh and sister Stanton is like, is it okay if we sing for you? *Sure* And we sing Abide with Me and i prayed silently that the angels would sing with us....*lady is weeping* and says we sound like angels and can come back next week and call her anytime. Yay!! Basically Sister Stanton is the bomb!! 

Also this week we had Zone Conference....the first one ive been to in the ABM (Australia Brisbane Mission)! It was amazing and President is pretty much a boss. So zone conference consists of a bunch of trainings by president and sister Henderson and the APs and such, then role plays and more trainings. Then the APs were doing a role play on street contacting a man on his way to work..probably the hardest audience a missionary can have. President stepped in and smashed it!! He said to the man (the elder pretending to be a man, who was walking quick to get to that bus,) i know you need to catch that bus, but i bet you love your family more than you love that bus. *silence*  *mans stops and stares at him* "Theres a message about families that i traveled 9 thousand miles just to share with you. Will you please let me take a minute of you time this week."* BOOM. it was so good we all cried and then laughed because if we all GQd like that Australia would get baptized! :) Then we practiced.  I know how important it is not to read from a script as missionaries. We do this all day, finding people. Its easy to ask the same questions...Hello, im Sister Schaelling. Were from the Church...have you met missionaries...we share a wonderful message....would you be interested? Do you know anyone who may be? okay bye...next person. But when we really look in peoples eyes and see who they really are and listen to the spirit and find out what matters to them...then we can really find people.  not just go thru the motions!! Love it!! 

I got sick the day after zone conference which was sad because we were all pumped to go smash the area.and I was out all day, then it was Sunday and Shane came to church!! and it was joyous. He knows lots of people there. Ward council was super good on Sunday. i really like Lismore ward, and Bishop is great. We had dinner at their house on Sunday and they are hilarious. 

Sister Stanton is awesome!! its her birthday this week. She is so great. Always listening to the Spirit. The Divine question i loved this week is from Jesus to Peter when Peter starts sinking into the sea after walking on water for a fleeting moment "O ye of little faith...wherefore didst thou doubt?"I love that because im sure Peter didnt doubt the Savior, just himself. But when we doubt ourselves, are we not doubting the being who created us? 

I also love whenever Jesus asks the Pharisees, "why reason ye in your hearts?" when they are muttering about how only God has power to forgive sins. its like hes saying, Why are you stewing about what i just said? will you just admit already that you know i am the son of God? Its like when we mutter about things the prophets or our leaders ask us to do. "Why reason ye in your hearts?" Obedience without muttering brings miracles!!!

I love you all!!!!
much love
Sister Schaelling

p.s. I forgot to mention that we named a baby this week!!! haha we went to follow up with a potential whose wife just had a baby and he was so cute only a week old and they didnt have a name yet and they were thinking of bible names and my comp suggests Mosiah and they text us later saying they named their baby Mosiah! :) Wow.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hello hello from Ballina land!

Hello family! Wow i dont have very much time left on this computer...oops! Jenna thats so cool you were in the talent show for juggling! Thats amazing! Im sure everyone loved you!! Family so glad you are doing well!! 

This week was our first full week in Ballina!! Wow opening and area is pretty exciting and awkward because we have no idea who anybody is. But i kind of like it that way because im awkward anyway so at least now i have an excuse! We have two investigators from the elders which is a blessing, one named Judith who is 80 something and reminds me of Grandma Meservy sooo much. And then Shane who has been being taught by the elders for years now and also studies with the Jehovahs witnesses. 
Carlyl and Her Grandma Meservy, 2006
So this week we have 15 hours of tracting, the most ive ever had in my mission. I never realized how tiring tracting is until we do it all the time haha. We tracted in Gladstone but it was usually only around 5-6 hours a week because we were teaching so much. Im thankful for this opportunity to improve my finding skills. Being in Ballina is so humbling for me! Ive never had to start with nothing in an area before, but its honestly great and i love it because we can lay the foundation for future missionaries and hopefully build a solid area. With patience and faith we will see miracles! 

One of my favorite things to do is sing in lessons because its like BOOM, spirit is here. And i love singing with Sister Stanton because she has a beautiful alto voice and make me sound better haha. We got to sing at a less active ladies house and i was happy :)  Cool story--we were tracting in this tiny town out in the whoop whoops (in the country haha) and we found a part member family! Wayyy inactive but we were excited! On that same street we also talked to a Jehovah's Witness family and the man was sooo nice. I think he is the nicest Jdub ive met. But very firm. Ive learned on my mission theres nothing wrong with being firm right back, but we have to be kind. But ive also learned that you can see in peoples eyes and hear in their voice if they are honest in heart, if they are ready to hear the message of the restored Gospel. Some people are just there to argue doctrine and try to wind us up.....nope, i will smile and testify that God loves all His children! I made a committment to myself that i refuse to let peoples words got to me and cause contention. Even if they are saying terrible things about what i believe or words that i know dont come from God, i dont have to get angry or frustrated and start bashing them. Some missionaries/people feel that they have to bash right back to defend what they believe in...it reminds me of Peter cutting off the soldiers ear, and Jesus is like, "Peter, thanks for the enthusiasm but i could have twelve legions of angels in no time to protect me! Dont worry." There are a lot of Jehovahs Witnesses in Australia and im learning heaps about their faith!

Also this week we saw and inactive man named Noel, he was super cool. He stood and talked to us at the door for ages. He has super long gray/white hair and is skinny. He told us everything about why he left the church and he let us come in to share a message. He also played "Hotel California"oh his guitar for us haha. He was so funny, his stories. 

We have zone conference this friday at Mudgeeraba which is like and hour and a half away and we all have to drive individually so our cars can get inspected. Yay!!...driving in Gold Coast for sister Schaelling! :) Nah its not even bad anymore. Ballina is a wonderful, quiet place. The Ward loves us, it was great on Sunday, there was more people there. We had dinner at bishop Fuggle's house and practically half the ward was there. Everyone in Lismore ward is related it seems! Sister Stanton and I are trying to figure it out, who belongs to who.

We did service and the Cooke family's cleaning and they gave us a ton of old Ensigns. Missionaries love ensigns:) I was reading in one from like the 80s and there was an article about divine questions, that the Savior asks. Ive started writing down all the questions the Savior asks starting in Matthew.,..its so cool. I love them! "Why are ye fearful, oh ye of little faith?" "Believest thou that i am able to do this?" "Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?" and one of my most favorites that Dad pointed out to me that i use all the time "Will ye also go away?" and the amazing response, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art Christ, the Son of the living God." I think of that so often when things are hard on my mission or when i see members, less active, and recent converts struggle...to whom shall we go? 

i love you all so much!
Sister Schaelling

Missionary work is the best. All things are hard in the beginning it seems, but blessings always come! I love you all so much!!