Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"And My Father Dwelt in a Tent" (Feb 23)


Who would have thought... one simple phrase like "And my father dwelt in a tent" could change my entire view of missionary work!

I'm just grateful for tents... or OUR HOMES!!!! :) I'd explain more but... too many stories to tell.

Our home was broken into!! (But not by people..... by insects)

Well, to start out, we had to bomb our flat this Sunday. Literally, we got cans of "ANTI BUG" stuff to spray while we were gone so all the bugs would die. Summer in Australia means... Redbacks (Black Widows), White tails, Bull Ants, flies, beatles, and anyhting else you can think of... COMES INTO THE FLAT.

Elder Tojong got bit on the finger by a bull ant this week too! He woke up at about 5:35am and was walking around. Then we shook his mattress and all the bedding on top of it. I woke up a bit annoyed but soon watched as we looked around. I thought to myself  "Oh dang.. if he got bit by a spider I'm flipping out of this bed." However, he shined his torch around the place and went to the bathroom to investigate his finger. Turns out, it was just an ant, no spiders... BUT THE ANT IS MASSIVE AS!!! It has pincers about 1/4 the size of it's entire body, which spans about 2.5-3cm or 1-1.4 inches or so. Thing is massive. WE found it on the curtain right above my bed. Luckily, we snipped it in half with some scissors.

THEN, we found that there was a White Tail on our ceiling. That thing is one of the most deadly spiders in Australia. It's Necrotic, meaning it eats flesh with it's poison if not treated quickly. Far out... I beat that thing to a pulp on the ground. THEN, near the Air con there was a red back, ANOTHER MASSIVE AND DEADLY SPIDER. When I say massive, it's like the size of a half dollar basically, but it's just nasty looking. We smashed that thing to pieces as well.


Well, Elder Worsencroft and I got a bit discouraged one day, or maybe it was more me. We tracted for about 2 hours straight before our tea appointment because we got pants by our investigators, (meaning they just dropped us or dodged our appointments) and every...single...person... slammed doors in our face. We didn't give out a single thing. However, the way back up the street we talked to this guy name Adrian. He was kind, not interested... but he took a Restoration Pamphlet and let me tell you that made such a big difference. That gave me hope for the next time we went out.

Sunday came, we had some time after church to either sit around before tea, or go tracting. We decided to go tracting. Of the four houses we went to... two of them weren't home, and the other two were KEEN AS!!!! One is named Emma Wilson. She, that day, had read her scripture readings for the first time in over 2 years. She said she wanted to find God again, and that her other churches weren't for her. Boom we talked to her about what we believe, shared some laughs, and next thing you know she says what we LOVE to hear "Well, I was reading this morning... now you're here. Right boys, sign me up. Where's your church?" 

BOOM!!!!! What a wonderful thing to hear!!!!! Man, I'm so grateful for diligence. Heavenly Father just flippin provides a way. When you work hard, are obedient, He always makes up for our faults and our hardships.

It was an awesome week. I'm out of time... but LOVE YOU ALL HEAPS.

By the way... here is a bull ant 
White Tail and... Red back Spider

Go Australia! Love a little bit of danger. Live Life on the edge mate.
-Elder Sargeant

Fast weeks... slow days (Feb 16th)

G'day all!! 

This past week was intense and wonderful, and it went by QUICK AS.

Well, last Monday was a bit depressing... my companion and I were muckin around after emails. We found a gecko in the chapel so of course, being the goofy Elders we are we decided to take photos of it on our faces (or attempt to). I think Heavenly Father must have been angry because we, I'm sorry to say, trying to take pictures of it in the chapel. ( I KNOW I KNOW STUPID.) So, why do I say that?? Because... as Elder Hirata put the gecko on my face to take a photo, it jumped off, Elder Worsencroft smacked my camera... and it broke :(

Sad day. I love that camera...still do. However there is more to the story.

The week has gotten less hot, and the miracles just keep on a coming. We've had some pretty intense fasts in the mission, and in our Zone. We fasted for miracles in our areas, and a mighty change of heart. I've come to see these happen so evidently in our areas. They haven't come in the way I would have imagined, but they are what Heavenly Father wants and what I believe he wants for Elder Worsencroft and me.

For me, I've always wanted to be a good teacher. Since the beginning of my mission, I learned obedience, work ethic, and diligence. I've come to love the scriptures, but teaching was something I needed help with. The Spirit is always the way so we had success, but I wanted to change.

Let me tell you... the Lord provides a way. Our ward has 5 Return missionaries that usually give us advice. Our Ward Mission Leader (WML) is a LEGIT teacher. He has been teaching us HEAPS and helping us learn how we can do so. We had mission prep yesterday and he taught us how to teach to active members to build their faith.

We took his advice, and it WORKS. We shared a lesson that night at the Rechter family home, house has 2 RM's including our WML, and three sisters two of which are going to be serving missions. They are LEGIT. There were about 15 people there total, including Declan our recent convert, and a non member friend named David. 

We taught about prayer. How we prayer, why we pray, and then finally... How does GOD want us to prayer? We talked about how we need to wrestle with ourselves, like Enos in the Book of Mormon, to find what God really needs us to pray for. What he NEEDS us to Need for ourselves. Not just our selfish desires, though He is mindful of those desires.

The Spirit was strong as. Everyone shared uplifting and amazing stories of the power of prayer saving lives, granting hope, and lifting pain. Tears were shed, and everyone felt good... at least I know Elder Worsencroft and I did!

IT WAS AMAZING. Learning to teach better, and more simply pays off. 

I promised I'd share about my camera. To me this was the most legit answer to a prayer I've had. After my camera broke I was a bit peeved, but I reckon it passed. I knew it'd be okay. I had really wanted to have it get fixed but I didn't know how. That Thursday we were informed that it could be fixed without paying but they weren't sure how to do it anymore.

So, Saturday came... we were at a family's house. The mum is named Pauline, they have two kids named Tanica and Haiden, and the husband is named Robert. They let us in straight away after two weeks of not seeing us (because they were on Holiday). Finally, we went for a tour of the place because members used to live there. We saw her HUGE rose garden and her little areas where her kids keep their rabbits. It was awesome. I took out my camera knowing it was broken. I had a thought come to my mind to push the lens (because the lens was stuck out and wouldn't shut.) As I did so, I turned the camera on... and next thing you know IT WORKED! Not even a dent or scratch on the lens. It works as well as it did the day I got it! WHAT AN AWESOME ANSWER TO A SIMPLE PRAYER IN MY HEART.

Prayer is power. God listens. I know he does.

Glad America is basically covered in SNOW! Better than ice I reckon...

Well, Love you all heaps.

( This photo was at that family's house where my camera was fixed miraculously. They invited us back to teach them the Gospel :))


Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Church is True, the Sea is Blue

G'day all!!!

Things here in Victoria are going quite well. The HEAT IS UPON US... you know what that means?! Sweaty as shirts and lots of socks to change. Far out, it's crazy how much a body can sweat in one day! Luckily, we've been blessed with our Car which makes these days much more bearable. 

The blessings of the heat though, what are they you ask? Well, tracting is heaps of fun! You talk to a lot of very kind and loving old ladies that give you icy poles and glasses of water. Kindness makes the heart grow softer. 

Despite the heat we were blessed with some miracles that stick out in my mind. The first one is this:

Declan, our recent convert, came out teaching with us! He is so willing to teach with us and go out with us and share is growing testimony. This was evident in our Chapel tour we gave on Thursday to our investigator named John! John was told and under the impression that we were, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Cult. Far out mate.... you for real? That's the first time on my mission that has been a problem. Luckily we were able to convince him to go on a chapel tour with us. Now, prior to this tour we were under the impression that we needed to ask him to be baptised. We had a goal we wanted to reach, we had feelings that he was prepared, but something was in the back of my mind that caused me to doubt a little bit. 

However, there came the time to show John our meeting house. We walked in with Declan trailing behind a couple paces, and first were able to say a prayer. In my mind, I ran through quickly what we would do and the order it would happen in. As we made our way through the foyer, the Chapel, and finally to the Baptismal font, my fears and doubts ceased. I knew, with a certainty that we needed to invited John. Elder Worsencroft, Declan, and I all taught the first lessons, told experiences, and bore testimony. Hesitantly, Elder Worsencroft looked at me as if with his eyes to say "Should I say it?" I simply stared back into this eyes without moving or saying a word. That was my way of saying... "OI MATE GIVE IT A GO!" 

With those warm feelings surrounding our hearts, the invitation of extended.... and was accepted as well! WOO!!!!!!

My faith grew HEAPS from the experience. Those doubts and fears were quenched. I knew that the Spirit was able to let us know what we needed to do! No doubt when we listen to what we know to be right, despite what seems to be improbable, when the Lord wants something done he will give us the opportunity to do it. IF we don't someone else will, and THEY'LL get the blessings.

What a wonderful experience :)

COOLEST THING EVER HAPPENED YESTERDAY! We were driving home from Stake Conference, which was legit by the way, and we were informed that the main highway back to Bendigo was closed. We were a bit puzzled and asked why. The response from our Bishop was this:

"Oh, basically there are Bush fires over the roads and around Bendigo so... yeah. I reckon they're out by now but just thought we'd let you know."

For someone who has never seen a bush fire I was STOKED! As horrible as it sounds, I was excited to see them.

We made our way home and saw black land cover the rolling hills that surrounded the road. There was a plume of smoke probably 200 Meters long (600ish Feet) or longer over the horizon with Helicopters flying over head spraying water and other things onto the flames. We were put on a detour and were able to see first hand a house burning to the ground.... it was insane. We felt bad  but were quite aware that these things happen and we simply cannot do anything about them.

What a cool thing to see though aye? I'll never forget seeing black hills of wasted trees and crispy grass. Far out..

Anyway, for some other exciting news... I bought some Brown pointy shoes at Salvos for $10! WHAT A BARGAIN! Far out Mum, your bargain skills have obviously rubbed off on me. Now I'm going to church with shoes that don't look like a rapid Kangaroo has chewed on them and spit them on the asphalt. ;) Naw my shoes aren't that bad, but they are getting their scuffs. 

Well, Letters are always loved, and TIES are always as well! I'm going through a bit of a phase. I like the fat ties with cool designs on them, or skinny ties to add to my collection. 

However..... all goods with emails and letters if that's all that can take place ;)

LOVE YOU ALL!! STAY WARM!!! ENJOY THE SNOW!... Really... enjoy it. Aussie Sun burns your lips! 

-Elder Sargeant 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

What a week! (Feb 2)

G'day g'day!

What a week might I say? I'll try to be a poet and rhyme in whatever the words may.. 

So far from last Monday, we've seen lots of miracles!
Investigators progressing, and lots of referrals.
Things are going well, Declan is still strong,
despite kicking his flatmate out because he was 'hitting the bong.'(This was his words.)
He came to church, Declan did
despite a 3am start to drop off that kid,
who was causing him issues and stresses beyond
his own strength and power but God he leaned on.
Now he is better, and things are mended,
hopefully through prayer his testimony will be defended.
On to the rest of our week, it was hot and quite scary,
we were able to teach this super-naturalist named 'Barry.'
He claimed to be a prophet who heals, and casts out devils,
but all he did was change a 7 year old believe on many levels.
A Less active named Samantha, who's son is named Noah
told us a tale of her Son's disbelief of God from before.
Barry scared him by saying he was possessed,
poor Noah was frightened, and cried in Sam's chest.
Now he is good! We've showed him and Sam the way,
we're teaching them FHE on Monday's and lesson on another day.
They say they want to come back to Church and to God,
what wonderful words to hear from two who were in fraud.

On to the shout outs, THANK YOU PAPA GISH!
You've been my Dad when I've felt like a fish.
That letter you sent was a great way to uplift
me when hard times came and Satan was trying to sift.
I love you, I hope you know,
that 14 months will go
quickly and speedily and we'll just hang out by the pool like bros ;)

Right-O Far out! I had sushi for the first time!
A member brought them over to our flat at quarter past nine.

We had a wonderful Sunday, as we visited a family of Samoans,
that are part members and want to come o'a (Australian Accent saying Over like.. Ova but O'a)
what I mean to say is that he wants to come to church! 
We shared a lesson, and our hearts were at a lurch
as the Spirit stirred us and words we did tell,
Of Eternal Families and redemption from Hell. 
They fed us heaps and we couldn't say no
so we had helpings of curry, rice, and snow..
naw, just kidding, I just couldn't rhyme again.
He had ice cream, laming tons, and the flesh of a hen.

We're going back sometime next week
and hopefully their Testimony's will peak!

I'm grateful for struggles that help us to see
the potential we have, and who we can be.
Elder Worsencroft is the man as we learn and grow,
we just go out, work hard, and one day we'll know
of the results of our efforts when things may be slow.
Our Faith will endure and onto Victory we'll go!

Well, basically the week was good. We've been blessed heaps and were able to see the Chinese New Years parade which was legit. It has been hot but I actually don't mind because coming home with sweat on your back and face makes you feel like we used our time and strength. I found out that I will be staying here for another 6 weeks! So WOO!! BENDIGO!!!!! 

Hope all is well back home. I heard that the Seahawks are winning so SHOUT OUT TO MY BRO ELDER HAMMAR IN NEW ZEALAND!!!! They'll smash it bro!

Love you all heaps and thank you all for your emails, letters, and prayers. They help me more than you know. Your efforts are never wasted!

Until next time, Cheers!

-Elder Sargeant

Elder Worsencroft cutting Brother Naldo-rei Casanova's hair! (He is the coolest South African man ever! He comes teaching with us heaps and served in the Philippines.)