Dear family and friends,
Wow what an incredible week its been. I have learned so much this week. I love it in Canberra! The Belconnen ward is such an amazing ward, I've never seen a more missionary minded ward. Everything that they do is focused on missionary work and involving investigators and less-actives to join. We have an incredible ward mission leader. He is so powerful I've already learned so much from him. He is Brother Baker from Vernal, Utah actually but he has lived here for the last 11 years and has been a great asset to the ward. Everything that he does is focused on his calling and putting the Lord first in his life. What a great example.
I also am so grateful for my wonderful companion, Sister Schwab. She is such a great example to me and is so Christ-like. I'm so excited for this transfer and so many miracles have already come from this past week thats its been unbelievable. She has helped me to be a more concecrated missionary and I love the strong desire she has to serve the Lord.
We had so many miracles happen this week. We went to this less-actives house named Noni. He is the only member of his family. He is married and the sisters have been working with them for a while. And today we felt like we needed to come by. So me not knowing too much about them we just went up and knocked on the door. The daughter answered the door an she said that they were busy and had no time and that her dad Noni was out of town. But while she was talking I had this strong feeling like we needed to just get inside there house. So acting on faith the only way that I thought to get inside was to use the toilet. So that is exactly what I did. I asked if I could use the toilet even though I didn't have to at all. But I followed the prompting. As we came in the mum was surprised her daughter had let us in and didn't look too happy about it. But I just proceeded to the bathroom and left my companion in to talk to them. What I later found out from my companion was that she was afraid of the mum (Nikki) and that when I left her alone that she was freaking out a little bit. But then she told me that she just started to have a little small talk with her and then she felt like she needed to talk about her grandpa who just recently passed away two weeks ago. So she did and while she was out there talking I was taking my time because I knew we had to be there. When I came out Nikki was in tears as she was talking about the death of her mother and how even though it was 11 years ago she was still having a really hard time. We then started to talk about the Plan of Salvation and how much comfort and peace it brings. That we can see our loved ones again that have passed on and that in fact our loved ones are still always there for us. That they are our angels that watch over and continue to help us in our life today. The spirit was so strong as we each shared experiences of loved ones passing. We gave her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and she really wanted to read it and she even asked when we could come back. We set up a return appointment. We knew that God had guided us there for Nikki that day and that was what was going to soften her heart. When Sister Schwab and I got out in the car we were blown away by the experience we had just had. Sister Schwab then proceeded to tell me all the background story and how hard hearted Nikki has been ever since she's been here and she thought that she would never be interested in hearing the gospel. But God knew her heart and knew what would soften her heart so that she would listen and feel of the spirit. The lord knows our needs and continues to soften the hearts of men so that they can receive the gospel (Alma 13:24).
We also had another incredible miracle that happened yesterday. So yesterday we had to travel to Sydney for the Leadership council meeting so that is like a 3 hour drive. The meeting was at 9 in the morning so lets just say we had to get up super early. But we were going to ride with the Elders to save on Kilometers on our car. We left a little after the time we wanted to leave and we had gotten about 20 minutes away from our flat and realized that we had forgotten our phone at the flat. We didn't know what to do because we were already late but we knew that might be important so that we could get a hold of the elders so that they would wait a little it for us. And also when we had put the address in the GPS we realized that it would be 90 kilometers away which was a lot farther than the elders had told us and it estimated that we would get there an hour after we were supposed to meet the elders. We were unsure of what we had to do so we said a prayer. We both felt like what we needed to do was just keep going and do our best to get there. I don't think that I've said more prayers in a row than at that very moment. I was praying the entire way there that the elders would wait and that we would get there on time and all would be ok. I prayed that all would work out and that we wouldn't have any problems. I had faith that all would be well and that the Lord would watch over us. We listened to conference talks on the way and just were silent the whole time. When we got there to meet the elders we looked at our clock and it said 6:50 and we had only left 5 minutes before 6 am. We both looked at eachother amazed at the miracle that we had just witnessed. It was undescribable but we knew that God had taken care of us and made it happen. I said a prayer of gratitude as I was still amazed at what had just happened. It was as if God had stopped time just a little bit so that we could make it and all would be well. This experience was one that I will never forget. It was sure a test of faith for both Sister Schwab and I. We got away from the technology and relying on that and just trusted in Him. I know that the Lord will watch over us and protect us. He is all knowing and will always provide a way. All we have to do is have faith in him and act upon our faith.
On sunday we also had this woman that Sister Schwab has been teaching ever since she got here. She came up to us during church and said that she wants to be baptized. We were so happy! There are so many wonderful things happening in this area and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be here and experience it myself.
I've gained such a strong testimony of obedience this past week. I've been striving even more to be more exactly obedient and trusting in the Lord. I know that the Lord has blessed us for our efforts and putting Him first in our lives. I know that I'm not perfect at all but I know that through the enabling power of the Atonement that we can become better and come closer to our Saviour Jesus Christ. "He is the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6) Jesus Christ is the one that makes everything possible that we have today. I know that this is the Lords church and that He stands at the head. I know that as we align our will with His that we will be blessed and will have more joy and happiness than we can even imagine.
I encourage all of you to apply the Atonement in your DAILY life. I know that we each make mistakes each and every day but as we repent daily we will be strengthened. We will be able to become whom the Lord knows we can become. Continue to reach out to all that you know to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. You are the Lord's instruments in HIs hands in bringing others unto Him. I hope you all have a wonderful week!