This week has been quite an interesting time for me as a missionary. I have to say that since I've been out I've really seen the other side of life. People here in Echuca come in all forms, colors, shapes, sizes, and types... and that is the same everywhere, but here seems to be an exception to my little home town in New Hampshire.
I'll explain this, and the title of my post now.
We were given a referral from a lady we have been striving to teach! She told us about her mum, and it turns out that she is a less active lady who was baptized a few years ago. We went to visit the referal but without any luck. It was a hot as day out, about 30 Celsius and 86 F, but we decided to knock a few doors nearby. We met a lovely blind man, a couple of blokes rooming together, and finally... "The Black Jesus."
This man is an Aboriginal man that we said hi to while walking towards his home! His sister was outside and went in to get him and his nephews. He walked out drunk off his face and yelling at us... and yet personally I felt some sympathy for the man. He stands about 5'6, short buzzd black hair with a M shaped hairline. He is missing heaps of teeth, and usually wears shorts, jandles (thongs or flip flops), and a blue singlet (uhh... wife beater). He told us that he is worse than the devil and is the Black Jesus. After some simple smiling and talking, he grabbed our hands and asked for us to say a prayer to him. So, we offered a prayer, and miraculously he calmed down and said for us to come inside.
We walked into the living room which consisted of some worn blue couches that circled the area, and then one recliner chair. I'm assuming that was his chair because next to it was a bottle of grog that he had no problem downing before we continued our chat about God. Then, simply, he told us to sit down and tell us about what he believe.
He confessed that he had murdered 3 men, has been a chronic alcoholic for years, and is close to "sleeping for good." However, despite these things, along with heaps of foul language and other such crudeness... I felt a profound love for the man. We chatted about his brother who had recently died, and through tears he told us of his fear for death. We consoled him as best we could by simply telling him that there is no need to fear death, there is peace after this life when we turn towards God.
He told us he loved our words, the scriptures we shared, and the "warmth" he felt in his heart. We tried explaining to him about these things and what they mean for him... but he had been drinking non stop for about four hours. However, he told us to keep coming back to see him and each time has brought that same sense of love and spirit.
I Love being a missionary! I love helping other people, even when they exclaim they are worse than the devil and are "the black Jesus." I Love how Heavenly Father allows His love to come through us for others when ours in insufficient. It makes the hard days worth it when you feel you can be a vessel for the Lord and His love and message.
To add to the fun, we were able to bring a boy named Kyle to church yesterday! He is 15 and was... well.... fact baptized about four months ago by previous Elders.
Anyway, we ran into him at the park with his mum and family and he wants to become a Mormon. He loved Young Mens class and he is seriously the funniest kid I've ever met! He has a dry sense of humor so he never cracks a smile when he says crackup things, but he basically has a punchline for everything that anyone says. He is more simple than other kids, or rather he has some learning disabilities, but HE IS THE MAN!!! I reckon that despite his past experience he is completely capable of turning around and embracing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Mum, I also have to say... I'm sorry I never helped clean the house. In the two areas that I've been in thus far, I've spent heaps of time CLEANING out old flats and closing/opening new ones. Tassie was this way, and Echuca is the same. We were asked by the Mission Office to assist the Senior Couple Elder and Sister Curtis to close down a flat in Echuca that was for the old Senior Couple.
We spent about six hours total helping out last week doing yard work, weeding, moving furniture, and finally... scrubbing walls. The labour is much more redundant than I had ever anticipated but I learned a few new cleaning tricks and a life lessons. Cleanliness is of God, and Mum.... I don't know how you did it back home. In all seriousness after about 1 wall I was bored out of my mind!! However, we had a job to do and people to impress so it was worth the pain.
So mum... I'm sorry I never let myself help you. I hope you can forgive me... and allow me time to help you with the New Rye Beach house! :D
After cleaning we were treated to a free dinner at our Branch Mission Leader's Pizza shop! It is GOOD AS! We are spoiled here aye... free meals, a place to go work out every morning at our Branch President's house, and cool as young men. Blessings!
I had a warm chicken Salad and a slice of Supreme Pizza. Everyone else got random stuff.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST..... I got a package!!! I ordered new 2013 compact genuine leather scriptures since my old ones are falling apart... and they are ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!
Let the record show that never in my life, before my mission, have I been this excited about having new scriptures. Let me also tell you... scriptures are legit. Need I say more?
Anyway, things are looking very well here in Echuca. I was informed to my great happiness and excitement that Dan Han, our chinese investigator in Tassie GOT BAPTIZED LAST MONTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ah.... I Love the mission.
Anyway, that's about all I can really think of for this week! Hopefully all is well back home. For those that have been writing letters to me... I'm sorry for being slow as to write you back. I get really busy at night these days, and P days are hopeless. I still LOVE you HEAPS and appreciate your letters so much. You have no idea how much it means to open a letter and feel the love that comes from the words expressed.
Until next week.. turoo!
Love you all HEAPS!
Elder Sargeant aka Elder Satini (Samoan for Sargeant)
|Baptism of Eloise in Mooroopna!|
|Elder Munro (Kneeling), Elder Yim Tae- Cheung (Standing in back), Eloise, Elder Smith, Me kneeling in front, Elder Pearce next to Smith, and Elder Whitehead on the far right|