Dear family and friends,
Happy New Year to you all! I can't believe how fast this year has gone by but as I look back I'm so grateful for all the wonderful things that have happened this past year. My heart is so full of gratitude for the love that my Heavenly Father shows to each of us consistently. I absolutely love this gospel!
It has been a wonderful week! To be honest, I'm so grateful that the holiday's are over so now we can focus on the work more and we can also have the focus of the members. It is starting to really pick up and we are loving it! The Oatlands ward is a wonderful ward, there are so many great people here. But our main goal now is to take all those wonderful people and unify them to all be on the same page. It is a big challenge but we know that this is the Lord's church so as long as we do it His way, we can do anything. That has been the main focus in this area is the members. We've been visiting more members than anyone else because if we don't have the members by our side the work is a whole lot harder. It felt so good to go to church yesterday and to be able to recognize most of the members there and to already have the relationship with them. I love when that starts to happen!
We've had so many great experiences this week and so much that I've learned. Here are a few of the things that happened this week:
- P-DAY: On Monday for p-day we went to the Sydney Olympic park. It was a really fun park and we had a lot of fun walking around and seeing where all the events took place during the Olympics. We also got as close to swimming as you can on a mission. We ran though a few fountains to cool us off. It was so hot that we dried instantly afterwards.
- ALMARIO'S:On Tuesday we went by to meet this part member family named the Almario's. The mother is the only member of the church and she has two daughters that are not members. They are both in their early 20's so we thought it would be good to get to know them and be able to help them. The elders before us were trying to teach them but they said that they never had a whole lot of luck because they never wanted to listen. But we had such a great lesson with them. We got to know them and was able to have a great spiritual discussion. It helped us to see where they were at spiritually and what we can do to help them. While we were there I had this strong feeling like these two girls are the reason why we are here. Now it is just the beginning of teaching them but I know that we can help them to understand just how this gospel can help them personally and that it is for them specifically. I can't wait to see their progression!
- NEW YEARS:For New Years Eve we had to be in our flat by 6pm so that was a little bit of a downer. We were meant to do a deep cleaning but because I live there it was already really clean so we didn't even have to do that. So we made a nice dinner together and just relaxed a little bit, which is un-heard of as a missionary. haha! We had a lot of fun with the sisters that we live with, Sister Prete and Sister Brewer, they're awesome! We also got to play one of my favourite games, "Ticket to Ride" as we celebrated the start of a new year.
- 20 REFERRALS: On Friday we were struggling because we hardly had anyone to see that day. Well I mean there is always someone we can see but we didn't have any set plans. We were just putting names down to try but that day I really felt like something good was going to come. The Lord always has greater plans for us. That day during lunch we received 20 referrals! Because our area is right across the street from the temple we received a lot of referrals from the Christmas lights that they do at the temple every year. It was such a tender mercy. Our plans soon changed as we had so many more people to go and see. We were able to have a member come with us and we started down the list and contacted a lot of people. With one of them we even had a full lesson on his door step and many of the other ones we tried invited us back for another day. So now we have so much to do and so many wonderful potentials!
- FASTING: Yesterday was such a great Sunday! I was fed spiritually for sure as I was fasting. I love fast Sunday's! Church was great and there was a lot of wonderful testimony's shared. After church we decided to just go out and walk until dinner time. Well lately its been between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius here (which is super hot for those that don't know). It has been really humid as well. We weren't sure where we would end up and how we would do in the heat with no water or food in our bodies but we knew the Lord would provide and help us. We walked and tried a few houses and no one was home so we kept going. But it got to a point where I could see that both of us were really struggling. I know for me I didn't know if I could make it so I told Sister Koster to stop and we said a little prayer for strength. We kept going in the faith and knew the Lord would provide. Just when I was about to give up hope and grab some water there was someone home! We went inside and started talking and shared a good message with them. It wasn't until after we left that I can realized the hand of the Lord in our lives just then. We no longer were struggling, we had more energy and were able to keep going. I KNOW that the Lord will look after us even when you're about to give up...hang on and HAVE FAITH! He will always bless you and help you! That was such a testimony builder to me that the Lord knows our needs and is by our side.
This week our mission has started a new Book of Mormon challenge. Instead of just reading the Book of Mormon we have been asked to read and highlight all the scriptures that speak of Christ or where Christ is speaking. I cannot put the Book of Mormon down! I love it and I have gained an even stronger testimony of the Lord, Jesus Christ. I have read the Book of Mormon so many times before but this time it has put it in a new perspective. I'm now looking for Christ and I'm realizing more and more just how much the Book of Mormon truly testifies of Christ. I never knew how much he spoke to His children and how much He helped the people in the Book of Mormon.
I challenge each of you to start this challenge for yourself. Get a new Book of Mormon, just those small, cheaper ones are great. And just start looking for His words and I promise you that if you have the desire you will find Him and you will come to know Christ more. For me it has helped me to learn more of the Character of Christ and who He truly is. Let me know how the challenge goes. I will send the paper for you to check off along with me if you'd like to.
Now you're probably wondering where the title of my email came from... Just yesterday we went to a members house for dinner and we had such a good discussion with them. I learned so much! This is one of the quotes the Sister Danielson said and I really liked it. We were talking about the importance of putting our trust in the Lord and in our Heavenly Father. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much and will be there for us. He has provided the Lord to be there for us and to help us in our lives. I know these things to be true because I've seen it in my own life, countless times.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!
|On Christmas day we went to this beautiful waterfall and wildlife place. It was really cool!|
|The Olympic Park|
|Happy New Year!|
|Sister Koster and I at the Temple, Christmas lights.|
|Book of Mormon Challenge|