Sunday, April 20, 2014

TONGAN SMASH!!!!! (April 20)

G'day all!!!

This past week was an amazing experience leading up to an even more incredible Easter Sunday. Nothing beats when the world, and all the nations that abide in it can take the take to remember the Lord, OUR Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It's cool to think about that... one day maybe that'll be what the ENTIRE WORLD will do Everyday! 

Anyway, this week was quite an adventure. I have to admit... we were use for heaps of good this week in more ways than just preaching the Good tidings of the Gospel. 

Monday we were called and told of a very unfortunate circumstance where the Chan family in our ward was getting removed from their house because of some crazy financial and contractual stuff. So, we were called to help move. We arrived, jeans and non pros. clothes on ready to move the stuff. I've never had such an intense work out! IT WAS GROUSE MATE!

We ended up being their for the next day and a half, doing a total of 17 hours of service for them. The best part was the summoning of the ward. They were incredible easy to entreat and seemed to just come in flocks. At about 7:30pm Monday night, 30+ people showed up with another 20+ YSA arriving after the 13 missionaries left to retire home. AMAZING. The hands of many make light work.

We were so blessed, and our backs, arms, and legs were sore from the heavy lifting. It was good for the love of the ward but bad for our goals. However, we were blessed anyway. 

So, to put things into perspective for those who haven't served a mission... you eat heaps. But for those who have never been to a Tongan feed... you have NO idea what it means to eat heaps of food. We visited the Mahina family, and were invited to a Hangi, or what we may know as an in ground oven where they cook meat, and veggies with taro leaves on top. SO GOOD. Never have I eaten so much meat (mainly because if you don't it's rude!)

Bro. Mahina is a big man and told us... "Eldas----Eat---more meat."

So fun 

Our Part member family, the Ball family (Finley, Hayden, and Lochlan) came to church for the first time on Sunday... in 10 years! What a good time to do it! EASTER SUNDAY WOO!

It was an amazing experience seeing the ward just scoop them up and take them in like brothers. It made me realise the kind of RM I want to be when I am off my mission, or rather the kind of disciple of Christ I want to become. 

Hayden is keen to be baptised!!!! 3rd of may!

KEEP THEM IN YOUR PRAYERS!!!! And thank you all for your prayers towards us as missionaries. We feel them. We receive that strengths when we are in our weakest moments, and they are seen even more in the miracles wrought by Heavenly Father.


-Elder Sargeant 

PS---- I got my first speeding ticket of my life :( Australia doesn't go too cheap either... $180!!!!!

You see, here there really aren't many Police officers but what's called "Red light cameras" so if you are going even like 3 KPH our, they bust ya. Stank. Well, ya live and ya learn. No better time than on the mission.

This District:
Top-Elder Nicholson, Elder Matu'u, Elder Newell, and Me.
Bottom is Elder Hollist and Elder Cook.

Monday, April 14, 2014

'Our Four Minutes' (April 13)

G'day g'day!

What a powerhouse week of miracles and fun! We were blessed so much this week with people to teach and experiences to be had. To start, let's just get into Conference. MY GOODNESS HOW AMAZING WAS THAT?!?! I have to admit that I've never taken away so much from a conference in my LIFE. I love the prophet, the words they spoke, and I know they are true.

Anyway, I loved the quote "This is our Four minutes." from Gary E. Stevenson.

My goodness how true dinkum is that! FAIR DINKUM MATE! FAR OUT! Naw, but on a more serious note there are few things more important that this life. I loved the idea of knowing that we are able to improve and grow each day as that is something that I am doing heaps these past weeks in Waverly. Growing often comes with pain. Why complain? It means something is changing inside of us, hopefully, if we are doing what is right. I've come to love that growing pain of repentance that has been given to us as a gift from Jesus Christ because of His suffering and Atonement. It boggles my mind how it all works, but I know it does.

This week was full of RAIN. HEAPS of rain..  SO MUCH RAIN that it didn't stop for four days straight! luckily, there were no floods in these parts but up north was hit by a cyclone as bad as Hurricane Katrina. That's Bad.

Yesterday we had a cool experience after conference. We were going to visit some former investigators that had been taught about 1 year ago that lived a fair distance away. We drove to the curb of the street, said our prayer, got our copies of the Book of Mormon with pamphlets ready, and scurried out the door. We were shouted at by a lady across the street who seemed a bit flustered. We waved and she glided over to us and asked for directions to the Library. This was difficult for someone like me... who has a HORRIBLE sense of Direction when it comes to areas of the City, unless I actually go there frequently and Don't have a GPS. Anyway, we attempted to help her and found out some interesting things about this girl named Cassandra. 

1) She is a AVID fan of Twilight, vampires, and anything pertaining to it.
2) She didn't know that the author of Twilight is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
3) She just got out of jail.
4) She went to church in jail and found solace in and comfort from God.
5) She wanted us to come and teach her.

With these things in mind, we were so BLESSED. Someone came and sought US for something and in return we were able to fail at helping her but provide her with a copy of the Book of Mormon. Hopefully she'll see that that is a priceless gift from God.

Then, we rocked up to the house of the formers and they had JUST gotten home as we finished talking to Cassandra. Perfect timing, what up.

We talked to them, taught them about Jesus Christ and set a return appointment. One man, named Nelson was born Hindu. He quietly sat back and listened but as we handed him the Book of Mormon, we watched him start reading it to himself as he seemed to utter the words contained under his breath. Elder Newell and I have high hopes for this man who's stutter causes him insecurities. It's amazing to know that those insecurities can be cured through Christ!

I wish something funny happened that I could share, or some ridiculously amazing experience that would blow peoples minds! 

Unfortunately, this is something I did not have this week. However, I can say that this week was a blessing. That despite the rainy days... I found happiness in them. I didn't have to see the rainbow at the end to see the blessings. I'm grateful for this experience and I'm grateful for the love, prayers, and MANY letters I receive weekly from so many wonderful people. THANK YOU ALL. YOU ARE LOVED!

Enjoy your week! Enjoy your warmer weather! 

-Elder Sargeant

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gratitude is the Ultimate Sign of Humility (April 6)

G'day all,

What a week this has been... let's just get right into it.

You ever had one of those moments where a thought pops into your mind as you're thinking deeply about stuff? Me too! I had it folding laundry. <-- who would have thought you'd hear me say that?!?

Anyway, i was thinking about one of my past companions and how we used to do little acts of service for each other: ironing shirts, folding laundry, putting in each others laundry, making breakfast for each other, etc. and the thought came to my mind about how grateful I was. I then reflected on why I didn't always feel so grateful for the IMMENSE blessings I receive daily. Then it hit me... this thought came to my mind. "Gratitude is the ultimate sign of Humility." 
How true that is... Heavenly Father has given us heaps, and every blessing we receive is always for our progression and benefit to one day see HIM. Even if those blessings are trials, we should be grateful. 

It's amazing how much you learn from doing those little things.

Anyway, on to the next portion of my week! So, Elder Newell and I have been blessed HEAPS with miracles. Like, there are always little miracles but we've seen some serious ones.

There is a less active man named Finley Ball. He is about as Aussie as you can get mate. "G'day mate....ah fair dinkum... I'm good mate, thanks mate... mate...mate...mate... I was watching the tele...." etc

Just... yeah it's awesome. He has been less active for 10 years and was praying to God for guidance of what he needed to do in his life. Next day.. SISTER MISSIONARIES GO AND VISIT HIM!

They referred him to us and we visited him. We talked for ages about his life, the Book of Mormon, and he told us we answered his prayer. It's AMAZING. You just get these little ideas in your mind. Listen to them! If it's anything good just DO IT because it brings miracles.

His son, Hayden, isn't a member and is 17 years old. He joined in on our conversation, and the second time we saw him he asked us to be baptised. Apparently he's always wanted to be but was waiting for his chance to do it.

Just amazing.

So, I finally got my companion to join me in Choir! We have a Elder named Elder Hollist in our district that seriously blows my mind with how well he sings, so.. we're in stake choir, ward choir, etc. etc. What a blessing music is.

On P'day we went to the City for the first time! (At least for Elder Newell and me), and we went to this tower called 'Skydeck.' It's 88 floors high and you can see the entire city, and Tassie on a good clear day as well! That was heaps of fun and a thrill for me since it was the first time I road the train in Melbourne. It reminds me a little bit of Boston. Smaller, but still legit.

Good stuff. Well, I hope all is well with you all! This is short, and to the point but that's how the week went. Can't believe I've been out for a year already.

-Elder Sargeant

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

11 minutes (March 30)

G'day all!

I have 11 minutes left. Forgive me for my lack of timing skills as I am a man. In the words of Paul, rephrased for this time. "As in Adam man is made late, in Christ will all that be made up at the judgement bar."

Hopefully all those times I take for granted the time I can be forgiven! 

Anyway, this week was AH MA AAAAZING!!!!!!!! Not going to lie each day has been incredible. To start out with, being a district leader comes with many interesting responsibilities. One of those being that we are to go on exchanges with the other missionaries and help them grow and learn together. This is always my favourite opportunity because you learn HEAPS from other missionaries! You also have fun as well.

So, this week we went out with each companionship so we had about 3 days to do actual work in our area. However... with diligence, faith, and the grace of Heavenly Father we were able to reach EVERY SINGLE ONE OF OUR GOALS!!!!!! We even went beyond some! What a miracle. We were able to see Heavenly Father's hand just bless us. You want to know why??Because He loves His children, and that means you!

Miracle two! Today, I got a breathalyzer test... and I PASSED!!! Wooh, I was stressing it. ;) Cops here randomly do it at times so it was my first time. 

Miracle three: We were tracting on a street near a potential investigator and we were invited in by a 14 year old boy named James. He had some questions regarding his relationship with God, which church to go to, and wanting to be "nice to everyone." Sound a bit similar to anyone we know?? *COUGH JOSEPH SMITH!* 

We taught him the restoration of the gospel, invited him to be baptised, and the next day his dad dropped him off at work.What a cool chinese kid. MIRACLES!!!!!!!

Miracle four:

We got a referral from the sisters in our area. Sisters lemme say, are LEGIT. They are MIRACLE MACHINES!!! Anyway, I digress.. but we met with this man named Mehdi who was incredible. He wanted to learn about Jesus Christ, and we felt impressed to talk to him about the Plan of Salvation. What a powerful lesson. The spirit was SO strong. We invited him to be baptised on the 3rd of May and he accepted. What a wonderful opportunity. He said with tears in his eyes "I know that what you are telling me.... it is right."

He is from Persia so he's the MAN! His english is amazing as well.

I just love Heavenly Father and His blessings. I have no idea why we were given them, other than that we just worked hard, were obedient, and prayed for miracles.

On a funny note... at every supermarket this week we've been mistake for workers and were asked to lead people to certain foods... 

LOVE YOU ALL 50 seconds left!!


-Elder Sargeant