Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A New-Found Love (July 21)

G'day mates!
Tis a glorious day to be alive wouldn't you say? I sure do. Some days I don't think so but why should be so negative? It gets us no where.

Zone Meeting
Saturday was a remarkable day. We were able to sit at the feet of some truly inspired Assistants to the President for training as well as meet our new Mission President and his wife. We learned about some ways that we can use the members more effectively and efficiently in our efforts to bring people closer to Christ. We were introduced to a new program called the "30 Minute program" in which we as Missionaries teach lessons from Preach My Gospel to Members, Less-actives, Recent converts, etc. for 30 minutes. We are essentially allowing the Spirit to help them understand how to teach people they know better about the simple truths of the gospel, as well as a promise. That promise is that when we share our message that a name of someone that needs the gospel in their lives will come to the minds of those we are sharing with. We then teach, ask questions, and hopefully help people come closer to Christ themselves. At the end we ask the head of the household to bear testimony of the Church as they know it, and then ask if names come to mind. I have not been apart of the missionaries to try this out YET, but being apart of it for a role play at the Zone Meeting was enough for me to have a testimony of its power. It's amazing being able to promise blessings to people as we are so inspired to do. We have the opportunity to tell people what Heavenly Father wants for them, but only if we allow the spirit to let us know, and by inviting that spirit into our lives.

Meeting the Mission Pres.
We then met with our beloved president, President Maxwell and Sister Maxwell. They are the most humble and loving people I have met. Their countenance radiated with the Spirit as we each met. The interviews were just a get-to-know-you sort of thing. We talked about our lives growing up, why we wanted to serve missions, our health, our concerns, hobbies, likes, dislikes, everything under the sun! They REALLY wanted to get to know us and I suppose there is a profound lesson in that. Forcing things never works. We must be genuine in our efforts to bring love to others. As a representative of Jesus Christ we often overlook that our message, yes, is like  a $100 BILLION dollar bill (and even more so), but that it must be delivered in Love. Then blessings and issues and concerns are resolved and distributed to and from our Heavenly Father.

After meeting with them, Elder Hosman and I were giving a truly remarkable opportunity. The Senior Couple from Deloraine, (The Town/City/Area south of Launceston) were to take us home because the APs borrowed our vehicle for the week in Tassie. We were invited to have dinner with the other senior couple in Hobart, which is the town next to where we met for our meeting (Hobart is the main town in Tasmania that everyone wants to go to. I believe it was the first established town in Tasmania as well. Also, it's about 2-3 hours away from our flat in Launie). When we arrived, we were delighted to find out that the Mission President was there as well to have tea! Elder Hosman and I sat with them at our table and enjoyed casual conversation with them. President Maxwell is a native to Utah who is basically one of the CEO's of the Deseret Publishing Company, and his wife used to sing/play piano in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Turns out, we have some very talented people as our leaders. They, however, were so humble in their approach to answering our questions. They're a true example of what the Savior would be like I imagine.

We then made our way home with the senior couple from Deloraine named Elder and Sister Fillmore, who have taken to us as their Elderlings ( Missionary Kids).

---A New-found love.
Basically, the spirit of the missionaries, training, and the love of our new mission president left a print in my heart. It filled with a love for them as well as for the members of our ward so much that I honestly have never felt it before. I was SO excited, and am still SO EXCITED to get the members more involved and see the blessings that come from their efforts along side ours.

It's been a wonderful weekend filled with hope and aspirations for the future. Should be a good couple of weeks.

Shout out to my Boy ELDER GISH IN TAIWAN!!!!! I read about your experience with Fasting man... good on ya mate!!!! The Lord is ALWAYS on our side when we are willing to sacrifice a little bit.

I love you all and I think of you often. You are all often in my prayers and in my thoughts.

Some photos are attached of our Zone in Tassie with the Mission President standing in the middle with the glasses (WAY BACK) and his wife in the red on the couch with the scarf on.

-Elder Sargeant

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Power of Service (July 14th)

Hello! This is Elder Sargeant's sister, who manages his blog. Just wanted to say sorry for the tardy posts! I'll try to be better! 

G'day Mates,

This past week has been a week dedicated to service. It's no coincidence that service is a commandment because, man, does it provide some immense blessings. We had the privilege of providing about 12 hours of service this past week for members as well as investigators! Needless to say, I was hesitant when accepting so much service because I was unsure that we should do that much service in one week. However, I cannot help but say yes to these people because I cannot picture Christ denying people service who sincerely and honestly seek it.

So, to start I want to talk about the benefits of service:

1st experience. We were able to go to the Home of a member named Leslie Smith. He is a 71 one year old man who works about as hard or harder than ANY young man I have ever seen in my life. He grew up basically with two trades: being a butcher and chopping down trees. Now, he still cuts down trees and owns his own farm. He has 3 horses, heaps of "chooks" (Chickens), a giant parrot, and a very large tractor with that he uses to carry heaps of logs. We were asked to help chop down some dead tress out in the middle of the bush where he lives. He cut the trees down, made them into smaller sections and my companion and I were in charge of carrying them up and then stacking them. In about 2 hours we banged out 6 trees, and stacked ALL the wood. The wood would be used to give to some elderly women in our ward who are without firewood and could not provide for themselves in that area.

What did I learn from this experience? One, no amount of rain can keep from doing good to others. It makes me realize that we should not use the elements as an excuse to get the job done, EVER. Two, I learned that a man as old as Brother Smith can be the best example of priesthood service I have ever witnessed. None of the logs were for himself. Everything he did that day was for the benefit of others. We spent hours cutting down trees and making logs not to warm ourselves, but to help those less fortunate people in our area. He does this all the time and it made me aspire to be like that when I am older. I want to freely give of myself, and Heavenly Father has given us heaps of opportunities to do such service for others. We stacked close to a ton of wood that day, or so he says, and I know that he will be greatly blessed for his love and care of others.

Another experience. We were asked to go to tea with a member family named the Says. They told us anxiously of a friend they had who was seemingly interested in the Gospel and who was very dear to their hearts. We ate Thai food with them, and were introduced to a lady named Ju Young Kim from South Korea. She is younger, probably late 20's, who has a 6 year old son named Joshua. She is a widow of about 5 years and works as a primary school teacher (elementary equivalence.) We ate, talked, and got to know her well. We shared a couple quick Mormon Messages with her called "I am a child of God" and "families can be together forever." Needless to say the room filled with tears as the spirit penetrated our hearts. We testified to her that she is a daughter of God, who is loved beyond measure by Him. He created us and we are His children. He loves us so much He provided a Plan of Happiness for us that we can return to live with Him again, and also with our families that we have here on earth. She sweetly and powerfully nodded and said "Yes, yes, I know."

We offered this humble woman our hands for service to help out around her flat. We went over with Brother Say the next evening and worked for a good hour and a half to trim trees, hedges, stack wood, cut grass, and get to know each other better. We set up another time to do service, and it just goes to show that service is such a powerful tool in allowing others to see the fruits of the Gospel.

There are other examples I could give but I am almost out of time, unfortunately. However, service is an amazing opportunity. I remember being younger and being so reluctant to help out others at times. I have come to realize that what I have to give to others is a way to show not only my love for them but my love for my Heavenly Father. Service is our way of giving back. Who are we to deny others the blessings we have been given, the substance we hold in abundance? We are not. I know that King Benjamin of the Book of Mormon was inspired in his words when he said that giving of ourselves is something we MUST do. Not because we should, but because we can. Not because it's our duty, but because we want to help others. Not because it gives us blessings, but because it gives others blessings.

Simple truths you learn on a mission amaze me. I love being a missionary for the Lord, and it blows my mind how quickly the time seems to go.

I love you all heaps, and I pray for you often. Enjoy your summer time and your holiday! (Vacation).

I'll hopefully have photos to send next week. I haven't had much of a chance to take any these past couple of weeks because well... we are so dang busy! I love being busy though, because you forget about yourself, and it makes time seem so fulfilling to pass by.

With Love,

Elder Sargeant

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Freezing in Tassie (July 8th)

G'day me mates!

This past week has been frosty in Tassie. At church, the heaters broke so the numbers we had in attendance were quite few in comparison to the normal turn out, but I reckon some people will take every opportunity and make any excuse to sometimes just take a day off. We were provided with blankets from the members and knitted bean bags that were heated up in the microwave to warm our frozen fingers. Our ward loves us. It's amazing to have the blessing of a loving and supportive Ward Family. Since it was fast and testimony meeting, we were warmed in the soul by the wonderful and powerful testimonies of the members. I love fast and testimony meetings here. Every one is short, sweet, to the point, and extremely powerful. The cold was not as tough to handle when your heart was warmed by the blanket of the Spirit.

The task of staying close to the Spirit is something that has been my focus this week. Keeping the companionship of the Spirit is incredibly vital in our work, and more importantly in our lives. Being a missionary is impossible without the Spirit. Thankfully, we don't have to worry about whether or not the Spirit is truly with us as long as we do what Elder Bednar says: "Quit worrying about it. Be a good boy, be a good girl, keep the covenants you have made, and keep the commandments of the Lord, then shall you always have the Spirit with you." - MTC address I heard during my time there.

Since the interesting occurrence of the emergency transfer of the West Elders, I have seen a large change in the work here. There is more of it, and it is forcing us to focus on becoming better and more efficient missionaries. That is EXACTLY what we needed! My companion, Elder Hosman, and I are truly seeing that we have a work to do here and that the members will be the key to our success. Since we were able to listen to the wonderful Missionary/ Leadership Training broadcast, it seems that full-time missionaries are just a small portion to the potential of harvesting the white field. We all have SO much influence in the lives of those that we come in contact with. A simple invitation, smile, or hug can be the means of bringing someone closer to Christ. Even if they don't get baptized straightway, she'll be right (it'll be alright). The seed has been planted, as if they see the Light of Christ from you and your efforts than you have been successful in your efforts of following the example of Jesus Christ. Love is the means in which we HAVE to work. We cannot expect lives to change if we do not sincerely care for and help those we are trying to bring to Christ.

I have seen how love has changed my entire prospective on the work we have. You cannot go and help serve someone without a genuine desire and love for them. If you do, you miss out on SO many blessings that Heavenly Father is waiting to shower up you, this I do know.

We have heaps of people we will be talking to in the next few days, so I'll be sure to fill you all in on the happenings as they come in more abundance and detail.

I will however tell you that yesterday we were able to go to this place called "Tasmazia." It's the largest Maze of Bushes/hedges in the Southern Hemisphere! IT WAS COOL AS! There were about 7-8 different mazes to go through. It was a bit chilly since the bushes were probably 3-4 meters tall (So 9-12 feet tall) in some areas, and blocked out most of the sunshine. It was fun being able to go there however. The drive to the area where the maze was located was so beautiful. We have been placed in a fairly civilized area, but out there it was nothing but rolling hills, fields, and heaps of bush and trees. There were endless amounts of farms with cows lining up for close to Kilometer to just get milked. That was awesome being able to see the humble living of those in Tassie.

That's all for this week. Thank you all for your letters, ESPECIALLY FOR SISTER WILSON! I have said it before, but you are never late for a letter or postcard and it is truly a blessing to me to know that I will never be without a letter from the Postman.

1) MY BROTHER CHASE!!! First of all congrats on graduating high school man! The chinstrap looks sweet mate.
4) MY BROTHER HEATH. Just freakin love you man.
5) THE GISH FAMILY!!!! I think of you often, and I hope you all are happy and enjoying your summer. TELL GAGEROO I MISS THAT LITTLE GUY! I Hear there are some letters awaiting me from you so I'll be anxiously awaiting their arrival!

Well, that's about it!

Catches ya's all next week!

With Love,
Elder Sargeant

PS- I have started driving... on the left side of the road. It's seriously one of the strangest feelings I have ever had but really an adventure!!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Batman in Tassie?!?!

G'day Mates!

This past week has been, well, interesting. I cannot go into grave detail of what happened but things have seemingly changed for the better. To explain just a little bit, I will say that the lessons learned on a mission far exceed the boundaries of the two years we serve. The obstacles we face in the mission field honestly shape us to be a smoother stone than we start out to be. I like to think of our journey in this life as a rock in a river. We start out smooth we were are born, innocent and growing. We start to go down the river and increase in speed as the amount of knowledge, responsibility, and challenges grow. We bump against other rocks, get rubbed into sand, and feel the pressure of overwhelming decisions. As we journey on our stone becomes less smooth, it cements with baggage of sin, pains, sufferings, and guilt. However, we are made smooth through the Savior. Each time our conglomerate of a rock (our lives) become seemingly full of burden and strife, our Father in Heaven can forgive us and make us smooth through the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. This is has become evident this past week, and I realize that our sufferings are for OUR benefit on this journey down the river to the waters of eternal life in heaven with our families. One thing I have learned: forgiveness comes through Christ, and we cannot be forgiven if we do not forgive ourselves, and those that offend us. The repentance process comes through that forgiveness that we feel for others and from our Father in Heaven through Christ, and that they are necessary for the improvements needed to become as Christ-like as we can.

For some interesting news, the West Elders in my area ( we are Launceston East, they are Launie West), have been Emergency transferred because of extenuating circumstances. This means that Elder Hosman and I are working together for the next 6 weeks over almost the entirety of the northern half of Tasmania. It's seemingly overwhelming and looking out to see the heaps of homes gets a bit scary, but I know that there is no commandment given, nor task given, that cannot be done. 1 Nephi 3:7 says" And I Nephi said unto my father, I will go and do the things which the Lord commands, for the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the things which he commandeth them." How true that is.

The next week will be focused on teaching as many lesson to recent converts, less-actives, and our new contacts, because we have basically no progressing investigators these days since our baptisms. Means HEAPS of work to do with eagerness in our hearts.

Oh, to explain the name of this email, we were out walking around the city centre talking to people and passing out cards/ copies of the Book of Mormon, when out of no where... BATMAN COMES WALKING DOWN THE STREET?! I reckon Tassie is full of the most interesting people in the world. Turns out that this Batman is a 18 year old kid who had a custom made Motor-bike suit turned into a Batman suit. It cost him nearly $4,000. He was the MAN though. We talked to him about the Gospel as well and gave him a card with our number on it.

I always was able to buy a Batman Belt buckle that looks legit. He was quite excited to see that I was wearing it.

OH! On another note, I was able to give a talk yesterday in church for the second time since I've been in Tassie. Since the other Elders were shipped out, I was assigned in place of the one who was originally called. I was between a girl who is preparing to serve a mission, and her older brother who just returned from his Mission in the Phillipines. It was quite the amazing experience to see the maturity of him and the seriousness put into her preparation for her mission. Makes me keen as for the next 21 months. I just reached my 3 month milestone on June 27th. It blows my mind how quick times goes, but makes me realize the urgency needed in our calling as ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I love the work.


I best be getting a card board cut out and HEAPS of photos of the wedding when it happens. :)

Love you all, and on a side note, PLEASE MAKE IT KNOWN THAT ALL MAIL MUST BE SENT TO THE MISSION OFFICE AND NOT DIRECTLY TO ME INCASE OF TRANSFERS!!!!! My address is now, and will be from this moment on:

76 Cathies Lane
Wantirna South, Victoria 3152


With Love,
Elder Sargeant