Thursday, January 30, 2014

BAPTISM...of Fire! (Jan 26)

G'day all!

How ya goin? HAPPY 'Straya day!!!

Yes... just as we have our 4th of July, Australia has their Australia Day! Basically everyone just dresses up in their colours, gets smashed on alcohol, and has heaps of parties and such. Fireworks are banned here so none of that. 

This morning, about 5 hours ago we had our Aussie Day Brekkie! There were heaps of people there, and Declan came too! HE GOT BAPTISED!!! We'll get onto this in a little bit.

The ward had heaps of snags (sausages), eggs,onions on bread, and pancakes. Just for those who want to know what a usual Bar-B would be like in Australia, they have white bread, sausages, sauce (ketchup/BBQ) and cooked onions. They take a sausage put it into a between a single slice of white bread, put sauce on it and give it a go! It's easy, and actually quite good.

So we had a lot of non members there, we played footy (AFL), and then just hung out and had a good time! We got 2 new contacts out of it and were able to see some people we invited come as well. Missionary work and relaxation all in one!

So, back to this past week. We had a cool experience with a less active named Samantha Woods. She has been less-active for about 10 years or so but we've been teaching her and her kids again. SHe likes us and we get on quite well actually. A couple days ago, Elder Worsencroft had a bit of free time after our Tea appointment and decided hey... what should we do? We checked our planner and both had this prompting to go see Sister Woods. We stopped by and she was there alone so we sat outside and had a nice chat until her neighbours came over! They are named Bo and John. John has been recently interested in religion so we started talking to him about the Book of Mormon and Elder Worsencroft basically taught the entire first lesson to him! Meanwhile, I noticed that Sister Woods was a bit quiet in the corner so I slid over and felt prompted to ask her a question of why she left the church and how she was and all that stuff. It was quite a roller-coaster of  story but we connected and I was able to share with her the story of the people of Limhi in the Book of Mormon and how they came out of "bondage" or those bad times we all face in life that drag us down. It was inspired... and I wondered why I read it that morning during study! She couldn't come to church but she came to the Ward brekkie this morning which was a big step for her so we are excited!

Gah.. there are so many moments I wish I could share but I'm almost out of time so I'll have to skip to the BAPTISM!!!!!!!!! Declan Smith asked me to perform the baptism on Saturday which was an awesome experience. I remember walking into the font with Declan and waiting for everyone to be quiet. I was quite stressed that morning with all the preparations but he was ready and I was ready. As I put my arm to the square and closed my eyes to say the prayer, I can distinctly recall a feeling washing over my body. No... it wasn't the fact that the water was so hot my toes were steaming afterwards that caused this feeling, but it was a feeling of peace, chills, and warmth running through me. For a moment I remember thinking about those feelings and saying in my head... "It's alright. He's ready." What a wonderful love our Heavenly Father has for us! In my moment of struggle, right before I was called upon to baptise someone, comfort was given to me. That trust in Heavenly Father always pays off. Prayer is power.

Needless to say, Declan is excited and is now focused on what's next!

Oh some cool highlights. We were able to dedicate someone's home infront of about 30 people! A Partmember family invited us over to do it and we did. What a powerful moment where the spirit could penetrate people's hearts and we could be the means to act in the name of Jesus Christ. I love those moments. A few people were then interested into talking to us about what we do and we were able to get a few names to go see.

Life is good, all is well. No worries mate! :)

Well, more to come! I'll attach some photos!!

Love you all heaps!


Elder Sargeant

Feelin' Hot Hot Hot! (Jan 19)

G'day all!!!

This will have to be short as, as I'm almost out of time!

This week was a great week! Our car, that I told you about last week, ended it's streak of going flat in the middle of the servo (petrol station, gas station). We asked for a jump from some people but they didn't have any cables.. DA HECK! But, we gave out some passalong cards, which was a bonus. Luckily, we were blessed with a Good Year next to us that put in a new battery for us. NO MORE PROBLEMS WOO!

It was HOT HOT HOT AS THIS WEEK!!! It was about 43C-47C this entire week. We were sweaty as with each person we talked to but we were invited in to talk to a few people and shared some lessons. One lady, her name is Colleen, invited us in. She went through a tough divorce from her husband who cheated on her for 5 years, and we were able to tell her about how she doesn't have to be alone in this, that there is someone who KNOWS how she feels and wants to hear from her. That is our Saviour Jesus Christ.
She invited us for tea and we had steak, veggies, and some pudding. Mmm... so good.

So, basically Declan, our investigator... IS  KEEN FOR HIS BAPTISM!!! It's amazing seeing how much he has changed. He's given up smoking completely and is working on it. He's gone 4 days without a cigarette and he's still working on it. 

Also, we had interviews with our Mission President and that was a good experience as Sister Maxwell showed us our family history! I've gotten quite excited as I learned that my great-great grandpa died of a heart aliment while he unloaded hay from the back of his ute! My companion got his family history all the way back to Adam!

Finally.. we had an amazing experience with a less active/part member family. We shared a Mormon message called "Our True Identity." It talks about how knowing that we are children of God makes all the difference in our present and future. The husband, brother Swift, cried as he talked about his duty as a father and to his family. We talked about how that's exactly how Heavenly Father is with us. It's his duty to us, but more importantly... HE LOVES US.

Ah... it was wonderful. I feel bad not thinking of any good stories to tell but I hope you all know that I'm happy, healthy, and good. 

One of the missionaries, Elder Hirata, and I do INSANITY the workout program every morning except Sunday. I'M GETTING MY SIXPACK BACK! WOO!

I love my mission!!! The miracles are amazing. The best part is those moments where you see your weaknesses and see how you can improve. Then, you can work on it no matter how frustrating it is.

This week will be tough for Declan so any prayers on his behalf would be very much appreciate. Cheers! 


-Elder Sargeant

Let us all press 49 degree weather (Jan 12)

G'day all!

This past week has been HOT AS but not just from the sun... it's been hot with the Spirit too.
Let's start with some funny moments from the week though aye:

1) Elder Hirata, the Japanese Elder who is also serving here in Bendigo, was boiling an egg for brekkie on Tuesday Morning. With the hustle and bustle of mornings, sometimes showers just get the best of us as we prepare to get ready for our 8am studies. With this in mind... Elder Hirata accidentally left the egg to boil for about... 1 hour and a half. In the middle of our personal study, all of a sudden we hear this BOOM. We come out to see that the boiled egg was ALL OVER THE WALL AND THE PAN BASICALLY EXPLODED SENDING SHRAPNEL EVERYWHERE!! No, that's an exaggeration but the egg did go all over the walls... and it sounded like a shotgun.

2) Elder Hirata, again the man of the hour these days, was enjoying some Martinelli's sparkling apple cider from my wonderful family Papa and Mama Gish. :) He was opening the top and as he twisted the cap, the stuff just shot out at his face! So, instinctively he just stuck his mouth to the side and just started inhaling the juice. Mate... it was FUNNY AS!!! Never had I seen a moment of sheer instinct more full on than in this moment. It was awesome!

3) To explain the title... Elder Worsencroft and I were on our way to go teach Declan, the man who is scheduled to be baptised the 25th of January. While we went to pick up our fellowship named Jamie Clark, his cousin, our car decided to not work. As we sat in the front seats we looked at the temperature gage each time we desperately turned the ignition. "49 degrees C". Yeah.... for those that don't know the conversion... that's about 120F. WE WERE ROASTING IN THE CAR. Finally, after about 10-15 minutes of asking people fora jump, we got a very nice older bloke to hook us up with a battery jumper. It was good.

Three days later... it happened again. -.- ALL GOODS! IT WAS AWESOME! :)

This week was awesome. We have been so blessed here in Bendigo. First of all, my companion Elder Worsencroft, my son, is such a STUD. His Boldness and willingness to talk to everyone is astounding. He always looks for ways to improve and he is such an example to me. Every morning we are able to study together and work on becoming better missionaries. It makes me hope that one day I can become as good as he is already.

Declan, our baptismal date is going strong in the gospel and progressing SO rapidly towards his baptismal date. Every time we talk to him he just pours out his heart saying how much he wants the gospel. I wish I had the same conviction all the time. 

Ash, his mate was able to see a miracle as well. About a week ago he was driving with his step mum home from visiting his Pop (Grandpa) who just died two days ago. On that way home he say an older man collapse on the ground and smash his head into the cement road. He instinctively told his mum to pull over and he performed chest compressions on him for 13 minutes...straight. His face was so bloody that mouth to mouth was impossible and unsafe so he just pounded away on his chest. The man was able to get medical attention and now is recovering fully despite him having facial fractures. Ash took that as a new look at his life. He told us when we met with him "I finally feel like I have a purpose. I want to be baptised... but my partner doesn't support me." We were saddened by this news but realized that all would work out. Turns out, Saturday night came and we met with Ash again. He told us that he got a call from his partner to tell him that she was fully supportive of him and his desire. 

MIRACLES!!!!!! :) I LOVE IT! The work here is so awesome. Those days that seem to last ages and go no where are ALWAYS followed up by miracles from Heavenly Father.  

Well my time is up so I'll attach some photos!


LOVE YOU ALL HEAPS!!!!!!!!!!!\

Special Thanks to Mum and Dan, Mama Gish and Papa Gish for all those wonderful packages :)

They made my DAY!!!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

WEEK OF MIRACLES... and fun ;) (Jan 5)


This will have to be quick as considering I'm almost out of time!! 

This week was AMAZING. Our investigator Decklin is keen to be baptised, came to church and loved every second of it! We were able to have a fast and testimony meeting, as you all are having now or had I should say. He said he wanted to get up and bear his testimony! HE IS SOLID AS! Best part was he brought his good mate Ash to church as well. He, Ash, was hesitant at first because he has had a tough as life but he softened by the end.. HEAPS. For example, Ash didn't sing any hymns at first or join in the prayers. However, after the sacrament, the testimonies, and all the SPIRIT BOMB that we all felt, he sang the last hymn, joined in at the prayer... and told us he wants to be BAPTISED!!!!! He told us he has never felt like this before, he took a copy of the Book of Mormon, and then said he was going to read it and prayer tonight. We are meeting with him this week and his heart just changed. It's amazing what the Spirit of the Lord can do. It speaks to us in our language according to our needs and desires, and when it does...we change, and it's always for the better. He went from a silent and resistant young man, 21 years of age, to one who WANTS the gospel in his life. "[His] soul hungered..." 

We've been so blessed! 

THELMA IN ECHUCA, my last area, GOT BAPTISED AS WELL!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll attach a photo. I couldn't be there but YEAH!!!!!!

I love my mission. It's been the best thing I've ever done in my life and I can't wait for more of these experiences.

Well, that's it for now. 

Kia Kahe.

-Elder Dane Sargeant