Monday, December 30, 2013

A Wonderful Week Around Christ (Dec 29)

G'day all!!

This past week has to have been the best week of my mission, no exaggeration. Bendigo has been SUCH AN SWEET AS PLACE TO SERVE AND IT HAS ONLY BEEN THREE WEEKS!!!! FAIR DINKUM!! ;)

Anyway, first of all the ward members spoilt us heaps with lollies, bickies, and heaps of leftover meals. Never have I had to indulge in so much food as I did on Christmas Day. Who is complaining though aye? NOT THIS GUY! (MY waistline may be but she'll be right) and now New years is coming up. A new year to work towards bettering ourselves and lifting others. That's what it's all about!

Anyway, some funny things happened this week. First of all being in a 4 man flat is funny as because I'm with two missionaries who had to learn English. They sometimes speak in a broken tongue which is hilarious as, and the best part is when they hear American slang that they've never heard before... because they just keep saying it over and over and over and over again. I'd give you some examples... but that'd be bad. 

To add to the awesomeness, the Bishop called us on Saturday morning and asked for our assistance with some service. 

Turns out... we had to help put out a bushfire in a vineyard of a less active member and her non member husband. Someone started a fire with some farm machinery and it sparked it and BAM 75% of the vineyard in flames! It was hot as and such but it was awesome. We walked around with buckets and poured them on all the posts. It was insane seeing the damage that a simple spark can bring... looking over the landscapes it was like looking at a green freshly planted pasture of grapes, then a desolate burnt wasteland with smoke rising from the ground. The best part was he didn't know we were in a evacuation zone. Technically no one was supposed to be there because of potential fires... but no one told us this and the Bishop didn't either. LEGIT! :D 

The best part of the week was talking to my family, followed quickly after some wonderful experiences with Elder Worsencroft. Bendigo is such an awesome as place. The work is so plenteous and the people are wonderful. We got invited to stop by and see this bloke named Brad, one of your potential investigators, on New Years Day. He wants us to teach him how he can bring his life back on the straight and narrow path. 

Then, yesterday we had a lesson with one of our investigators named Deckland. He had been taught formerly but lost touch with the Elders. He is gay, and smokes, but is such a sincerely nice and loving guy who has gone through... A LOT of unfortunate and horrible things that shouldn't have happened. The hard part of agency aye? Sometimes you get yourself into horrible places when you don't have the Light of Christ in your life. My testimony has grown so much. I love it!!! Anyway, we had a member with us named Mitchell Rechter, the brother of our Ward Mission Leader. He got back from his mission in April and he is SOLID AS. HE served in Germany somewhere and we've become quite good mates. He reminds me a lot of Nick Nadeau actually which is comforting in itself. So, with the testimonies of three Elders we sat down and talked to Deckland about how he could build his faith. We shared with him and bore witness of the truthfulness of the Gospel, and how Jesus Christ and His atonement make everything right in life that seems wrong. Elder Worsencroft looked over at me and whispered "should we invite him to be baptised?" and I just was overwhelmed with a "YES!!" So that's what we did. It was powerful. Deckland cried and as I invited him to be baptised, per Elder Worsencroft's wish, I had that overwhelming confirmation that everything I was doing was right. I FELT the pure love of Jesus Christ just wash over me, and I just knew from that moment that 1) I was saying exactly what needed to be said and done and 2) I KNEW that Jesus Christ lived, died, and lives now for me and everyone. It was exactly what I needed. I felt as if I took a bite of the white fruit of the tree of life that Lehi talks about in 1 Nephi 8. It was incredible. I LOVE THE GOSPEL!!!

Oh, and Deckland accepted the invitation with FLYING COLOURS! WOO!!!!!!!

This week was just amazing. I love seeing how the gospel makes everything better, and more happy.


-Elder Sargeant

Me and Elder Hirata posing like straight thugs. ;)

Sunset, lollies from Christmas, and workout time!!!

 Elder Smith, Elder Judd, and I posing in Mooroopna the day before I got Elder Worsencroft.


G'day all! 

This past week was quite hectic with all the transferring and the Mission Christmas Party which turned out to be a BLAST!

I'll start with my new companion and first born son in the wilderness as we call it on the mission. His name is Elder William Branson Worsencroft from Tooele, Utah and he is the MAN! He's 20 years old, the 2nd youngest of 8 and paraglides for fun... yeah.... sweet as. I think the best thing about him is that he reminds me of my Bro... ELDER SAM GISH! His mannerisms are SO closely related to you Sam it's ridiculous. I LOVE IT. His desire to learn, work, and serve is amazing and he genuinely loves. He is an incredible missionary already and I cannot wait to see how he turns out later in the mission.

The Christmas Party was a blast! Despite the new missionaries coming in and losing their luggage for a day (that was fun) we were able to enjoy a beautiful meal together with heaps of meat and potatoes and such. Also, we had a talent show which was cool! Last we had a mission video that each zone made. They had this one story of an Elder named Elder Howard from New Zealand who was called here almost a year ago. He ended up serving in an area near his father who had left and moved to Melbourne a few years back and got permission to not only see his dad... but meet him... and then BAPTISE HIM. HOW AMAZING IS THAT?!?! Heavenly Father puts so many people in the places they need to be. It's amazing.

So, my new area is called Bendigo. It's about 2 hours away from Melbourne but about 1 1/2 hours from Echuca! It's a bigger city area with HEAPS of potential. The ward is great, genuinely loves, and already has us all booked for Christmas Lunch and Tea + Skype. 

I'm staying in a 4 man flat with Elder Hirata from Kushiro Japan, and then Elder Tojong from Cebu Philippines. THEY ARE SO MUCH FUN. Basically... we have rice from breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Legit, and very good. Funny enough my companion cooks almost ALL the meals we eat and he loves rice. Match made in heaven. It's so much fun to be there.

We had some cool miracles as well! Our first hour of tracting, Elder Worsencroft and I were able to find five people that were interested in meeting with us. MIRACLES. The fire that comes from Golden (new) missionaries is awesome. It's giving me such a boost.

Anyway, I'm so happy here! We've had some pretty funny experiences already and heaps more to come so stay tuned for the action in Bendigo!


Well, Merry Christmas!!!! Hope all is well. It's the best time of year as we can reflect on the things we've done, and remembers our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and how much He has done for us. It makes me think of all the things I can do more to remember Him not only just during this time of year, but every day. 

Love you all heaps!! ENJOY THE SNOW!!!!
(It was 40 C here two days ago---105F ish)
--Elder Sargeant

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Moo-cows, bike falls, Hippos, and Christmas plans are---TRANSFERED?!? (Dec 15)

G'day all!!!
Well, I heard a quote describing the gospel that went something like this. "The purpose of the Gospel is comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." Just as I was getting comfortable in Echuca with my wonderful companion Elder Judd, I get a called from the AP's last night at about 8:54pm.

"Elder Sargeant, how you goin'?....That's wonderful! Did you enjoy your Sunday today?.... Good on ya guys, that's the way. Well, there is a new intake of missionaries coming in this Wednesday and President Maxwell has decided that you are going to train one of them!"

I was in complete shock! Thoughts like "Right before Christmas??" and "Things were just getting rolling down here" popped into my mind. I accepted the call, with no other choice of course, and realized.... why was I complaining?? I've always wanted to have a Mission son! My firstborn in the Wilderness as we call them often out here. I was humbled as I reflected on my attitude after the call. I was being selfish and inconsiderate of what Heavenly Father wants and needs me to do. I was getting to comfortable and now it's my chance to help another missionary experience the joys and hardships of the mission life, and learn to LOVE the gospel as much as I have learned to love it. I love those moments of reflection and humility. I'm SO KEEN TO TRAIN AND BE IN A NEW AREA!!! Even if it is before Christmas, she'll be right mate! :)

Anyway, this past week was heaped with fun adventures. To start, I am a living example and witness that trying to answer the phone while riding a bike is a NO NO. I was stupid enough to give it a go when we were riding on a sidewalk. I answered and to my utter surprise I looked up and saw myself drifting to the left...more...more... BOOM SMASH INTO THE BIG BUSHES. Mate... it was SO funny though. I dropped the phone and quickly picked it up but just started laughing my head off. I apologized to the person on the phone and said I'd need to call them back momentarily.

My companion raced back and just started dying laughing as I got up covered in leaves, dirt, and a big grin on my face. You live and you learn. Never TALK AND RIDE, despite it's funny consequences. I reckon Heavenly Father gets a kick out of those moments as well.

Thursdays have been designated as our "Tysoe" day. The Tysoes are a wonderful family that are quite big into dairy farming. We teach their less active son named Matt, who came to Mission prep and stayed at church for all 2 hours AND wore his suit, and then we do about 5 hours of service on the farm to get things situated... I GOT TO MILK COWS!!

Times almost up! I apologize!!

SHOUT OUT TO GABE AND MARK!!! CONGRATS ON THE WEDDING AND SEALING. I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU AND BELIEVE YOU ME I WAS THINKING AND PRAYING FOR AND ABOUT YOU ALL DAY YESTERDAY!!!!!!! :) I saw the photos and LOVED them heaps. Best wishes to my wonderful sister and new brother as they begin their adventures and new life together, for time and ALL eternity. :)

Thelma is getting baptised on the 1 January!!! SHE IS GOLDEN AS AND JUST LOVES THE BOOK OF MORMON and coming to church. Never have I met a more prepared and willing child of Heavenly Father. She just wants to truth. plain and simple. She has found it. This church is true.

I love my mission!!! I'll be better next week with time and photos.. please forgive me!

Also, we got invited to a Cantata in a Uniting church by a potential investigator named Sally who sang in it. It's wonederful being able to experience the joys of other faiths as they prepared and worship Jesus Christ during this Christmas season.


-Elder Sargeant

Heat waaaaaave (Dec 8)

G'day all! How ya goin??

This past week was pretty legit, not going to lie. It was HOT AS but she'll be right, because with heat comes sun, and with sun comes tan, and with tan comes funny photos... (which I didn't take any but my companion Elder Judd did. DANG was he RED.)

Anyway, let's start out with some amazing adventures. In the beginning of the week we were a bit down because our investigator Thelma was not home still from the funeral she went to almost two weeks prior. However, after trying to go visit with a former investigator we had the idea to go try Thelma one more time. We biked over past the post office on a street called 'Haverfield St.' and made our way on the narrow strip of pavement surrounded by gravel. After what seemed like ages of peddling through the intense breeze that felt like an oven, we made it to Thelma's humble flat. Bikes parked, helmets off, hair fixed, shirt adjusted and now it was time to knock. Her curtains were open! This was a big indicator that she was home.

I was first to the door so I began the missionary knock I do. (Knocking to the tune of Mario.) After waiting for a few moments, we heard no dog bark, and knew she must be gone. We disappointingly turned around and hopped back on our bikes to peddle around to see one last person before lunch.

Despite our slight frustration that Thelma wasn't home, we had the peace of mind that she was at least in town. As we made our way back towards the postoffice, we saw a little older lady walking her dog on the side of the road in a sweater with a red scarf. THELMA!

There she was, walking home just in time to see us. We chatted for a couple minutes and found out she hurt her knee during the funeral and would be in town for a while! This warmed our hearts as we realized that Heavenly Father answered our silent prayers. She had been gone for 5 of the last 6 weeks and with her Alzheimer's it's tough to keep her on top of things when she leaves for ages and forgets stuff. However, we said we'd stop by sometime that week and invited her to church.

Peace at least.

Fast forward to the next day. The similar circumstances were there. We were peddling to other appointments which all fell through. With sweaty brows and backs from dark backpacks we made our way past the post office again, when we though 'hey, let's go call into Thelma.' As we made our way to her flat, we were greeted warmly by our friend. She let us in and we sat down in the cooled air of her living room filled with a green couch big enough for 3, and two armchairs. We took our usual seats and began talking to her about her adventures in Melbourne. She seemed happier than in times past, more at peace, and we found out why.

Soon after the conversation ended, she pulled out a black piece of paper form the funeral. It said something in regards to her friend's death and how he was forever asleep. She asked us as sincerely as a starving child for food, "what is it that you believe happens again? I can't remember quite what really happens."

The spirit just poured into the room. My heart melted a bit as I recounted memories in the past of her exclaiming with conviction her testimony of the Book of Mormon. Hope rose in my heart for Thelma, as our golden investigator. We brought out some laminated cut outs of the 'Plan of Salvation' and began from the beginning. She LOVED every second of it, and we helped her remember all the parts to it, at least the truly basic elements she needed to know. It was beautiful seeing how the simplicity of teaching her was all she needed to feel that what we were saying was true. It was in these moments that her memory of the Gospel principles we have taught her came flooding into her mind. I love that about our Spirits and our Bodies. Though we physically may be limited, our spirits are divine in nature and have capacities beyond our own comprehension. She remembered what she knew to be true, because of the power of the Holy Ghost. Cool aye? I think so.

That made our week so much better. We've had so many little things like that happen that make our days worth while.

However, church was just as good, but filled with some interesting moments.

Elder Judd and I were given the privilege of preparing talks for this week. It was a wonderful experience to speak and everyone seemed to enjoy them. Ah, stress gone, no worries. All we had to do was enjoy Sunday School and "bob's ya uncle" (She'd be right, aka everything would be okay.)

Turns out... Sunday School was not quite as expected. The teacher is a wonderful older man named Elder Bellomo. He is a gifted teacher in that he knows so many stories and talks that Apostles and Prophets had given in the past that you could never have a moment of silence. However, this particular day he decided we'd talk about the Armour of God (Great! That's good for investigators!) and... the Law of Chastity.

This was a particularly sensitive subject for April, one of our mates who we found door knocking. She came to church and we've just barely started teaching her. You see, April comes from a broken family. She has two kids from two different dads, and 1 on the way with the father of the previous baby. Her mum was a prostitute, and knows only what it's like to live in what society would classify as the "normal" home.

The discussion was heated and the worst part was that most comments seemed to be given ignorantly towards April. She, however, being the devout Christian she is was able to feel the spirit and take the new found information of what Heavenly Father expects and desires for us in this life regarding families, our bodies, and our procreative power.

It --was---a--nightmare. Clearly, things were hard at first but the Spirit came in and enabled the tension to die down. The members were really supportive of April, especially the wonderful Sister Betty Snowden who held her hand during the meeting.

After Elder Judd and I apologized for the awkward lesson and reassured her that she was in no way judged, at all, and she wasn't which is true. She smiled and said it was all goods, and told us of her mum and growing up. The morals of today have been all she knows, and that was enough to get a little bit defensive over.

However, all the members of the branch comforted her, loved her, and made her feel welcome... luckily.

That was intense. We went home for lunch and just laid down on the couch absolutely smashed from all the emotions we were feeling. Elder Judd was just like "dang... that could have been bad." Luckily, all is well and she wants to continue learning :)

OH! So, the Zone leaders over the Missionaries in our Zone (so about 14 companionship covering about an 11th of the Mission) came down for exchanges with us. That was fun as! We were able to do some service for a branch member named Brother Tysoe. He owns his own farm and so we were able to let the Zone leaders milk cows while we simply cleaned up all the rubbish. That was fun. Elder Whitehead, my good mate, is one of the Zone leaders. He is from New Zealand and LOVES "moo cows" as they call em here. He was in heaven doing the milking...even though one of the cows relieved itself on him. All goods, he didn't seem to care.

Best part was we went in after for Tea and a FHE and there was a wolf spider on the ceiling that freaked the other Zone Leader, Elder Munro, out so bad he screamed. (He hates spiders even though he's about 6'2 and quite large in stature.)

I took a photo!

Things are great here in Echuca. Christmas is coming fast as!!! Hopefully all goes well back in the homeland. Enjoy the cold and the snow for me ;) It's SUMMA TIME HERE BABY WOO!

Cheers for all the letters and prayers. They mean HEAPS.

With Love,

Elder Sargeant

Watch tans and NO pumpkin pie (Dec 1)

G'day g'day! How ya going mates?

This past week has been pretty awesome, not going to lie. I have learned to really love it here in Echuca Victoria, the Bush, or as others call it "regional Victoria." I laughed when I heard people call it that... it's just the bush I reckon. Anyway, I'll start off by saying HAPPY THANKSGIVING! And, HAPPY DECEMBER!!!!!! I cannot believe how fast time is going aye? It just seems to be devoured, not just nibbled. Things just keep going and going and it makes me happy knowing that I'm off doing the Lord's work here in Australia.

Some sad news... since my last companion went home I've started to lose my developing Aussie/Kiwi accent that I had! Since Elder Judd is from the states, he is about as American sounding as can be. It makes it hard to not naturally switch back to my native tongue, but... all goods. She'll be right mate. Still got HEAPS OF TIME :)

So our week has been spent just going out and trying to find through our own means. We've been quite fortunate as we've been out and about the area we are in. We've been able to find a Tongan lady who isn't a member but who has a son named Michael living with here who IS a member and Potential missionary! He's young as but LOVES the missionaries so we are going to be spending heaps of time with them, and hopefully learning some tongan. Also, we were able to find a GOLDEN lady who has just blossomed in the Church. Her name is April W. (Can't spell her last name) and we found her tracting AGES ago. Elder Pearce never wanted to go back but with Elder Judd being here we decided we should. We knocked on her door with high hopes and excitement only to find that she wasn't home. We pebbled away but were prompted to turn around when we saw a bright yellow taxi driving down the street we just left. Elder Judd was the one who initiated the pursuit back. Satan was definitely trying hard as he placed a lot of doubt into my mind. Luckily, Elder Judd was able to dispel any doubts and we ended up inviting her to our Ward Christmas Party.

She accepted happily and came! The night was A BLAST FOR HER! She felt so at home with the members and it was as if the members wrapped her up with a giant blanket of love, suited just for one who was new to the area and was in desperate search for good friends, and a good place to raise her young children. She was invited to come to church without us even having to ask! She came, LOVED IT, and then went to a fast breaker at our Branch President's home. It went extremely well as she just simply meshed with the people in our small branch. It was such a blessing seeing how members really are the key. We're going to help her mow her lawn on Tuesday and are excited as she wants to be taught. Hopefully all works out with it.

So, the title is called "watch tan" because well.... Elder Judd and I have been on bikes for the past month! It's been awesome being among the Aussie's here and getting waved at, laughed at, and seen. The funniest part of the week was when we made a 9km bike trip out to visit a potential investigator that we had GQ'd (general question--- basically teaching by the wayside or just talking to a person while biking around to our appointments). He was not home, but this group of ten year old boys were riding around on bikes in their neighborhood. It was CRACK UP. The ring leader was a cocky and confident kid named John who was asking us heaps of questions. He's from America too... which I don't believe from his obvious Aussie accident and look. I could be wrong. Anyway, Elder Judd in hopes to impress these young minds decided to pop a Mono (or Wheelie as we call it) and he pulled up too much and flipped the bike underneath him and just smashed on his heels. It was CRACK UP seeing the kids laugh for ages at him. He's all good though. In the process, we ended the day biking a total of 40+kms, with only sweaty pits and a mean farmers tan (with Watch tan as well) to show for it. All goods.

Anyway, life is good, things are great, and the work is moving forward. I've found that my time as a missionary has become so precious to me!!! I have ages to go which makes me happy as!

Well, that's about it for the week. Love you all heaps. Hope your week is well and not too cold hahah.



Elder Sargeant

We got randomly breathalyzer tested... Came up... 0! :D