This week was SWEET AS!
To start out, I received my birthday package from my wonderful and amazing Mum and from the amazing Dan the Man my step father! It was filled with contents that will not be discussed because of time! However.... THANK YOU MUM AND DAN!!!!!! You have no idea how much it meant to get a package. It was everything I needed.
This week was good because we were able to go to Melbourne! My companion had to take care of something that required him to be there so we got to take a little trek out to the center of it all. During this time I was beckoned by a lady in the office named Sister Epa! She is awesome as and works in the office part time to take care of all the supplies and badges and stuff like that. Anyway, she called me over as Elder Pearce was busy and told me to answer this mans question concerning Brigham Young. Well, turns out I was in a for a long...long phone conversation that started out good then went very one sided quickly.
At first we exchanged greetings and small talk but then I asked simply for his question. His question was about Brigham Young and a statement he made ages ago about African Americans and the church. From that moment I knew it was going to be a sticky conversation because it brings heaps of drama all the time I reckon. Anyway, I could tell from the moment we began discussing that he was only in the conversation to try to false the church. He really did not want to hear anything that I had to say! It was quite a hard experience as I tried quite hard to just let the Spirit guide and forget my own frustrations in his lack of letting me get a word in.
It got to a point where he was basically tell me to denounce my belief in the Church, and to deny that we have a living day Prophet. In that very moment... I can honestly recall the whisperings of "Just do it... he'll leave then!" and things like "He'll get off the phone with you if you just say okay and give in." To my horror I thought over these thoughts with shock. Never in my life had I had this experience. I remember after my heart sunk, I had this other thought trickle in the back of my mind that said... "Testify. You know it's true." That's simply what I did. I bore my testimony of what I knew. It was powerful to me... it brought tears to my eyes, and a very flustered man on the other end of the phone. I learned a powerful lesson that day.. actually a couple.
1) Bashes don't get anywhere so don't get into them.
2) When you're prompted to do something that "invites and entices to do good continually" DO IT.
3) In my moment of testing.... I can proudly and honestly say that I did no give in. When Satan and his workers were there to tear me down, Heavenly Father was there to bear me up with his Spirit. I've always wondered about those times where Prophets have been asked to denounce their faith and refuse, and then died. I've often wondered if I was put in a situation of that depth if I would do the same thing, and I think that this deep inner question was answered through this experience. I, simply put, doubted my doubts before I doubted my faith. Because of this, my testimony is SO MUCH STRONGER OF PROPHETS, THE CHURCH, AND EVERYTHING! I Love those teaching moments that we are constantly put in.
I also learned not to give out your mobile number to anyone like that because he called the mission office 4 times asking to speak to me and me only, then our mobile 2 times. Luckily our voicemail says the names of other missionaries so he has to simply call the missionaries in his own area ;). President Maxwell even got to talk to him because he called the office so many times! It was wonderful. I cannot help but feel a sense of love for Michael as I hope he one day sincerely wants to hear about the Restored Gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It's true!
Then, Saturday came and we were able to have a ZONE PREPARATION DAY!!!!! IT WAS SWEET AS! We picked up the other Elders near us and drove to the Zone Leader's flat. Then we got heaps of food to cook a feed, and played sport (basketball, touch rugby, and other non-physical games) for a few hours. I got burned as on my neck,face and arms. Turned into a tan though! Fair dinkum. Then we had District conference and had transfer news! That was exciting and sad as we found out those that were staying and going.... but luckily most are staying!
Anyway, HEATH! MY wonderful Brother. I saw a bloke driving a Deloriane on our way to Zone P-day and thought of you. Just thought I'd throw it out there.
Also, on our way down we witnessed a Kangaroo get SMASHED by a car. No blood or guts, but the thing flipped, did a 360 over the hood of the vehicle, and then simply just... well... sat there on the side of the road looking a bit in shock. I'm assuming it died but my goodness was it the funniest and quickest thing I've ever witnessed! For my first legit Kangaroo.... it was not how I expected to see it.
Heaps of photos are on the way. Life is good, the mission is good, and I Love being able to serve the Lord in this glorious work.
That's it for now!!
Oh, I also found out that Mum, you and Heath may have the Belgium nose... but I have the Irish Hairline ;) YEAH, That's the way!
Well, cheers for all the letters, love, support, and prayers. They are far reaching and deeply impacting me.
Love you all heaps!!
|Elder Whitehead, Elder Pearce, Sister Shurtz, Leota, Elder Sharp and Me|