Tuesday, May 27, 2014

ALMOST OUT OF TIME!!!! (May 25th)


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY WONDERFUL, AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL MOTHER WHO I LOVE SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's over due, but I hope you can accept it anyway. Love you mum. You're the best. :) 

This week was amazing and filled with many fun adventures. We had ANOTHER guy come up to us and ask us if we could teach him. He even walked to the chapel and then we were able to teach him. His name is Victor... we'll let you know what happens with him.

Our recent convert was confirmed a member on Sunday. That was such a blessing as he asked me to confirm him. Nothing beats being a tool for Heavenly Father to further His work! Haedyne is happy, excited, and ready to baptize his younger brother THIS WEEKEND WOO!!!!!!

We also had an interesting story tracting... we were doing some early morning door knocking before lunch, and this cat came following us along. He looked like a ball of charcoal with embers scattered over his coat. He followed us with each step we took and each snap of our fingers. Eventually, he led US to a family. He bolted inside when the door opened, and this nice as Chinese lady invited us in. We talked to her and her husband and they were SO excited for the Book of Mormon, baptism, and for us to come back and teach them.

Even cats... can lead to miracles ;)

Last p-day was Zone P-day and it was legit! One sister smashed a whole sleeve of Ten Tim Tams in like... 2 minutes. Mind you... she was doing tim tam slams the whole time as well!

Our district had a BBQ and that was fun so I'll attach photos.

Love you all! Sorry this was short. I'm still bad at managing my time.

-Elder Sargeant

P.S- for the first time in my life... I smashed a whole 2 liter container of ice cream in a week. Never... again. Australian ice cream is CREAMY AS AND DELICIOUS!!!!!! I'd say... somewhat better than ours.

The photo of the BBQ is Elder Hedin (left), Elder Campbell (mid) and Elder Newell (Right) pretending to be "one with nature." Crack up Elders... :D

BAPTISM!!!!!!! WOOO!!!!! (May 18th)

G'day g'day!

The baptism was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, the Ball family are quite honestly the coolest Aussie people I know. They're genuine, humble, and just themselves in every phase of life.

Finley, the father of Haedyne who got baptized, bore his testimony in front of every one for the first time in his life. He was calm, cool, and just said what he felt. Far out did my heart burn as I looked into his eyes! They were filled with love and happiness that his son had done the right thing. He has a plan to quit smoking in the next two months. We are then starting the stop smoking program with him after the first month, and then after that he'll be ready to prepare for the Temple!!!!

Finley, Lachlan, Elder Newell, Haedyne, Me, and Jamie Enrique Guterrez Perrez. He is a recent convert that I was able to ordain to the Melchezidek Priesthood! :)

There really is nothing better than meeting more of these wonderful people. They just change your life. If I could recount all the fun experiences we've had at their home teaching them... I'd probably write a book. However, the best part is when we get talking about Aussie slang and how to use it properly. They're PRO at it. Grouse mate.

We had a culture night last night for the ward and goodness me, I've never had so many different types of food from other countries! There was food from: the Nederlands, Korea, Japan, Africa, China, Canada, America, Australia (duh), New Zealand, The Philippines, Czechoslovakia, Tonga, Samoa, and a couple other places. Melbourne is the most diverse place I've EVER been to... and I love it ;) 

I don't have any photos because they aren't working here.... please forgive me!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Gabe here--he did attach some photos later!)

We had a cool experience this week though that kind of changed how I see things. We went to visit this older bloke in the ward and came across this old as man struggling to carry some bags. We were about to go home because we needed to be back and I remembered seeing this guy just struggling to carry these bags. His cane was slipping out of his hand, the bag tore, and I could just see he was miserable. I felt I needed to act or I'd go home knowing that I failed to do what I knew was right. I walked over and grabbed the bag from his hand and began to offer him all I could muster to give him in his inner frustration... a smile.

We walked to the door of the nursing home, and he explained how he had celebrated his birthday earlier that day and that he was so glad we were able to help him. He said he had seen missionaries like us before and would never forget us for that day. I felt nothing but love for the man. I can't really explain it as it's hard to describe the feelings, but it was like my heart was engulfed in happiness. I felt that I was being used to help, and for that, this man one day would find the ultimate source of happiness. Nothing we do really is for us, it's for the purpose that Heavenly Father has. We are just the means whereby those purposes get fulfilled.

I'm out of time!!


-Elder Sargeant 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tubs of Ice Cream (May 11th)

G'day g'day! 'Ow ya goin?
Well, I've come to truly love my companion. Cool little story about Elder Newell... the day we were to find out our new companions two transfers ago when he came in, I was supposed to be with another companion named Elder Beal! Right before announcements, President Maxwell switched us and put us together! Why? Because Heavenly Father knows what we need, and who WE can help. My do I love this guy. He's the man!!!
Every P-day we have a fun tradition that makes things more fun for the cold months of winter. We buy a new flavour of herbal tea and try em out. We have flavours from cinnamon, rose hip, Vanilla dream, etc etc etc... (I'll take photos next week.. I forgot my camera!) The best thing... every week Elder Newell get his tub of ice cream and has a bit each day after meals. It's hilarious. I caved and wanted to, in case we depart at the end of this transfer.
Well, this week was amazing. We got to Skype home and MAN DO I LOVE MY FAMILY!!!! Mum, Dan, Heath, Emma, and Gabe I love ya HEAPS. Seeing you made the weekend the best. Best quote from mum. "Dane, you still look cute!" ---thanks mum ;)
To go to the little miracles, we were able to have a man named Kai come to our flat.. YES... come to our door and knock. Our mission had a fast that the Elect would find us and Elder Newell had been praying specifically for this to happen, while I had been praying for the family to find (as part of our fast). Well, Wednesday morning at 11:34am, Kai from Germany walked up to our door with some free door mats as part of a government project. He is the MAN! HE told us how when he was homeless about 3 months ago in Germany that a family took him in and gave him a place to live. They taught him about Jesus Christ and the happiness that comes from having Faith in Him. It was legit. I love how the Lord uses people as His hands here on Earth. He said "well, now that you've heard my bit, I'll install these door mats and let's have a discussion." So, he came in and we taught him about Joseph Smith, the restoration, and he said (after watching the Restoration video) "I feel just like dis man." We were able to get this info and referred him to the missionaries in his area. As we drove off, he was sitting on the footpath, smoking a cigarette, and reading one of the pamphlets we gave him. Miracle!
Yesterday was a cool experience as well. We had Stake Conference, and being apart of the choir has been the best experience for me! I've come to love music HEAPS and singing those hymns has blessed my life. Nothing beats feeling like you're apart of a good cause, more than just being a missionary... but a FULL PURPOSE MISSIONARY! ;) I drag Elder Newell, but he comes pretty willingly now.
Today for P-day we're going to hike up Mt. Dandenong and have a BBQ on the top of the mountain! Photos will follow. Life's good, there are New England Patriot fans here, and Boston Red Sox fans here as well. I can't complain.
Thanks to all those we send me letters. It's been such a blessing! I APOLOGIZE FOR NOT WRITING BACK AS STAMPS ARE $2.60 for one letter... so... yeah. I am pretty frugal about my letter writing. However, I really love and appreciate your efforts to keep my letterbox full as well as my heart. Thank you. That's all I can say.
Photo is from zone Pday!

Love you all heaps!!!!!
-Elder Sargeant

Monday, May 5, 2014

Fire of Faith (May 4th)

G'day all!!

This past week has been quite filled with the spirit. We had to push our baptism back another week due to some complications with Hayden and his extended family (last minute holiday stuff) so we pushed it back. It'll be good though because it gives him more time to prepare and us to help him!!!

Anyway, we had a Zone Conference with Elder Hamula, from the Seventy. My goodness this man smashed us with the Spirit. He taught about our Eternal Heritage and how we are MORE than we really think we are. "If you knew what power you had, you'd move mountains." 
That was such an eye opener to me. Knowing as a servant of the Lord that when we exercise that faith, miracles will happen. We were told that in all honesty, the only thing that keeps us from changing is OURSELVES. WE have the God given power to Choose things. 

If we accept that agency and just press forward striving to make those right choices, we'll be blessed. I know that is true. Here is an example (with a pending result):

Yesterday was Sunday and we had some time to go do some finding. We knocked on a potential investigators door and she finally answered! Her name is Karmeni and she is from India. She has a hindu background but wants to know more about Christ and His church. We were at the door, in the pouring rain talking to her when she finally invited us in... The moment we had to teach her about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ... and we couldn't go in. Why do you ask? Well, as missionaries we are not allowed to go into homes of women without a male being present. There was no male present. The thought came into my mind, as well as my companion Elder Newell. "It'll be okay. She has small children anyway." But, something inside both of us stopped us from entering, even if we wanted to. I made the decision and told her we could not. She understood, and told us that when her husband comes home in a month they'd go to church and see for themselves. That was awesome, but Elder Newell and I felt that maybe our chance was lost. I knew, however, that "there is a law irrevocably decreed in Heaven, before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated. And when we receive any blessings from God, it is by OBEDIENCE to the law upon which it is predicated." (Look up D&C 130:20-21).

I knew we kept that rule, that commandment, that Law. We followed, and it was relatively willingly I'd say. I KNOW that we will have another chance to see her and her family, and to teach them about the Gospel and it's beauties, about Jesus Christ and His Atonement that allows us all to have purpose and LASTING peace. IT WILL HAPPEN.

So stay tuned for some news about that ^^^

As for anything else... it's rained every day for about 2 weeks straight! I love the coolness and the noise against the roof of the flat when we are sleeping at night. All is well here in Australia. I'M KEEN AS FOR MOTHERS DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You're in my thoughts. (At least EVERYONE that reads this will have had crossed my mind since my 13 months as a missionary). Thank you for your prayers andlLove. It's far reaching and is helping me become better, and that helps me know how to help OTHERS become the best that Heavenly Father KNOWS they can be. We just have to know who we are, why we are here, what's important, and that God loves us each.

-Elder Sargeant

A Week to Remember (April 27th)

G'day Cobba! How ya goin? Fair dinkum, that's the way!

Yeah, just felt like exploding with some Aussie slang as NO one says any around here! I'm learning to use some Chinese though which is a pretty cool experience.

ALRIGHT before anything happens, let me just say that SOMEONE TRIED TO BREAK IN THIS WEEK?!?! DA HECK?!?!?!

It was 5:37 A.M and Elder Newell and I were awoken by the sound of the back door rattling. Now, in my half slumbered condition I thought either it was a massive opossum trying to get some pamphlets... or some very keen investigator! I think either way, both options would have been disappointed as all we to give is copies of the Book of Mormon and some pamphlets.

Everything turned out fine. We ran out the door and no one was there so the person must have taken off. Cool experience though.
So this week was AMAZING. I've come to truly appreciate the Spirit and those subtle promptings... and those promptings come in many forms. This week, Elder Newell and I had some pretty deep and open conversations about us as companions, what our strengths are, differences, weaknesses, and the good things we have to come. Being open with people, I've found, is DIFFICULT AS but always worth it when it's done with love and the right attitude. Nothing beats being able to open up. Elder Newell has this remarkable gift of being able to dig deep into people and understand them. He does with me and it's amazing what HE teaches me about ME. I have learned to appreciate his bold statements regarding EVERYTHING. It's a wonderful gift, even when my ego and pride think and feel otherwise. He's the man. 

Some other cool experiences are that we had the chance to teach English class and that's always  a blast. Elder Newell and I put tongue twisters on the board and the Chinese speakers had an opportunity to pronounce them. IT WAS HILARIOUS!!!! After a few tries they got them down pretty dang well though. Then, we practised reading out of the Book of Mormon with a pen between our teeth as this helps, again, with pronunciation. The things you learn on the mission

The best thing was at church. We had a rough Sacrament meeting as our investigator family of Hayden, Lochlan, (both brothers) and their less active (returning!) father were sick and missed church. This means Hayden's baptismal date is pushed back!!! However, we had another investigator named Mehdi that had never come to church before but always told us he would. Elder Newell and I said to ourselves, as well in prayer, that Mehdi would come.

10am came---no one.
11am came--- no one.
12:01pm. Came--- MEHDI SHOWED UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WITH HIS 11 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER!!! MIRACLE!!!! He's coming next week, and loved looking at the baptismal font.

Amazing week. Many miracles, and HEAPS of cold weather.... But it's good.

This is short, I apologize. TIME IS UP!


-Elder Sargeant