To start off with, "mum", the house looks absolutely LOVELY! My goodness, I looked at that picture and nearly died. It was beautiful and made me a bit anxious to see it in like... 2 years. I am glad to hear about your adventures with Heath and Emma, and SO excited that Gabe gets to come home and visit as well. I am slightly jealous of the reunion you all are having without me but it makes the idea of coming home after serving a full-time and honorable mission that much more desirable.
Anyway, to start with the week.
This week was particularly tough to be honest. People fell through with lessons, doors were slammed in our face, investigators and less actives easily dropped off our radar, and things just seemed to be getting worse than before. However, I determined that not everything could be made easy for us, especially when it comes to spreading the fullness of the Restored Gospel. Something that comes to my mind a lot during trials is to think about how we all must suffer our own "Gethsemane" in life. If the ministry of Christ himself was as difficult as it was, then why would ours be easy? Obviously we are dust compared to his infinite love, glory, and strength, but we too must suffer to grow. That is all a part of salvation, and I know that we came to this earth knowing exactly what we have to do.
However, with patience, obedience (to the best of our ability), and faith come miracles. We had a few miracles happen last night as a matter of fact. At church, we had a lady named Fran come with her less active friend to our Gospel Principles class that Elder Hosman and I taught. She is not a member but says she will get baptized one of these days. I see potential to teach her lessons in the future. Also, a potential investigator named Anthony has come to church for the second time in a row and came up to us and asked us for lessons. He is a friend of a Less active girl we have been doing service for and helping out heaps, so that was a miracle to have him just come up. Next, we had a boy named Billy come to church by himself for probably the fourth or fifth time I reckon. He came up to the Bishop and asked him if he could be baptized. He then came up to us and asked as well. We have a lesson set up on Tuesday for him. Last, we tracted into an older lady named Sister Fisher who is a less active from Austria who had been praying for missionaries to come for a long time. She said we were the answer to her prayer!
As difficult as the week seemed, the Lord always provides for his servants. We are not perfect, no where near perfect in fact. Prayers were answered, hearts were softened, and testimonies were strengthened. I am grateful for these lessons and the wonderful experiences that just one week provided.
The work always presses on despite the hardness of the hearts of the people. I reckon that if you can survive Tasmania as a missionary, your testimony becomes rock solid. If you push on, stay as obedient as possible, and get as close to the spirit and the Savior as you can, all will be well.
John 16:33! "...be of good cheer. For I have overcome the world." There is no need in sweating the small things or thinking that our trials or struggles are impossible to overcome. Christ overcame EVERYTHING for EACH of us individually and personally. My testimony as grown in this aspect, and I know that if not for Him I would be absolutely hopeless. WE would be hopeless.
Along with my experiences here, I have come to realize that... I LOVE RUGBY. We play it every Preparation Day (P-Day) and there is something about it, even when it's touch, that just gets me riled up. No lie, I love it. I reckon I'll have to teach it to you all when I get back, because it's heaps of fun.
Anyway, I was assigned to speak in sacrament meeting next week on... you got it... MISSIONARY WORK. <-- One of my favorite topics to say the least. It's only a 5 minute talk but it's an opportunity to have the ward get to know me a little better. I am excited for it for sure.
Also, we had the opportunity to provide service on Saturday morning for a member in our ward named Brother Wheeler. He is a nice as man who reminds me a lot of Heath in terms of his engineering mind and talent. He makes everything himself and I reckon Heath will do that when he has his own home in the future. Good on ya mate!
We had the unique opportunity to run after a goat named Billy who has an infection in his right hoof. He walks with a big as limp! So, one of the Elders from the West ward of Launceston sprinted at the thing and grabbed it by it's horn after about 2 minutes of running up and down a hill, through bush and trees and all that. It was crackup. We lead it to a bin and filled it with water and some disinfectant to help heal the infection. It was an interesting day. Then we dug holes about half a meter deep for him in preparation to extending his home out for a new furnace or something like that.
I hear it's hot back in New Hampshire eh? I'm a bit jealous. It gets to about 10 degrees Celsius down here, which is about 35-37 degrees F. The days are lovely when the sun is out, but what can you do.
OH! I had KANGAROO YESTERDAY!! It actually was pretty good. It's a bit richer than most meats but tender to say the least. We had kangaroo patties and meatballs on pasta. Mmm.
Well, that's all for now. I'll be attaching pictures for your viewing pleasure. Hope all is well back in the homeland. I miss you all heaps and your letters and emails give me strength and encouragement.
----SISTER WILSON- Thank you so much for all your letters and postcards. You write me almost every week it seems and I would write you back but it's $2.60 to send 1 letter from here. I hope you realize and know of my great appreciation for you and your uplifting and edifying words. They bring me great joy and comfort when I need them most. I definitely need your closing statements on each letter that always include "Be Obdedient." Especially down here where missionaries are, at times, FAR from obedient. I love your letters and you and your family for their support. I cannot express the comfort you give me.
Until next week, cheers!
PS- I ran across three baby Huntsman spiders. They get about the size of your hand when they are full grown, but aren't deadly.