Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Morning Exercise Gone Crazy! (Aug 24)

G'day all! 

I'm getting this one out as soon as possible to let everyone know of the amazing adventures to be had in Tasmania. 

First off, Jeff's baptism went AMAZING. The Spirit was so strong and his testimony was stunning. I've loved seeing his transformation and his humble spirit to obey and do right. He has a simple and powerful testimony and he bore it with conviction after he was baptised. To add to the spirit of it all, my companion asked him while they were preparing to come back to the chapel after the baptism, "Jeff, how do you feel?" 

His response, as Aussie as they come: after a pause he said, "pretty damn good."

I thought it was crack up. He's a good bloke.

This week was pretty crazy. We traveled up and down Tassie to go on exchanges and see the Stake Presidents and that was always good. We stayed with a family called the Webbsters in Deloraine! They LOVE having us and we love going there. I feel like a son whenever we do. She makes us breakfast with Lemon maple syrup, SO DANG GOOD, fresh towels for showering, the most comfortable beds, and a bag of choc chip cookies for the road. What a wonderful lady she is. 

The miracle of this week was how much we need to work to see miracles. My companion and I were working all day on Saturday to try to accomplish our goals and make up for the days outside of the area. We were able to tract, tract... and tract some more. No such luck. We had the thought to go visit one potential we had contacted a week or so ago and his name is Jai. He is 16 and loves to read so we left him with a Book of Mormon. He read a little bit, but said his mum flicked through it as well. He invited us in and his mum came walking down the corridor in her pjs and said "WOAH WHAT THE HECK!?" But then saw who we were. She then said, "I actually have a question for you.... why are there so many churches?" 

That's the Golden question we love to hear! We chatted and they both want to learn more. We're seeing them next week. 

Such a small miracle, but such a boost it brought to our dragging day.

This morning however, was the funniest morning exercise I've had my entire mission. My companion and I went down to this nearby field and soon we were kicking our soccer ball around. However, there are some birds called a plover. They are VERY aggro and love to swoop. Our ball got a little too close, and next thing we know we're getting dive bombed by some crazy as birds! We sprinted for AGES before they flew back to their spot of ground near the ball. Finally, we tactfully moved away from the ball and picked it up. Then.... we turned around to see them flying at us in a pack. HOLY CRUD WE RAN SO FAST! It was so fun. My companion Elder Cavanaugh almost got smashed by one of them, but it flew back when we crossed over some boulders. It was intense. I loved it. Here is a photo of one of the birds.

Life is good! The miracles are as real as you and I. I love the gospel and sharing it every day. I'm grateful for the body we have with legs that allow us to run away from such ruthless birds, and for memories we are able to have. A "Perfect recollection" of things sounds bad, but I'm keen for all the memories to have brought back. What a blessing it is to have a memory, no matter how bad it may be! We can always look back to those moments where we taste pure happiness.

Havea  good week!

Elder Sargeant

Exhaustion...but never burnt out (Aug 17)

What a week it has been! There are crazy things that come with serving the Lord, and going about doing his work. Among the most exhausting..... traveling up and down the island of Tasmania! We had ZONE CONFERENCE!!! It was amazing. The Spirit was so strong and the words were just what we all needed to hear. I was able to reconnect with some beloved members of my first area's ward in Launceston. SISTER CLARK I LOVE YOUR GUTS!!!!

This week was filled with some simply and powerful lessons learned. The Spirit is such a power influence and can change the hearts of everyone that feel it. Jeff and Ebbi, two of our best friends are loving the gospel these days. Jeff is preparing to be baptized this weekend and has given up HEAPS. He loves his partner Ebbi so much he's willing to sleep outside in a tent every night just to keep the standards he needs to meet to be baptised (keeping the Law of Chastity), as well as keeping Ebbi happy and feeling safe. He's a great example.

I'm almost out of time, but I'm on another sugar kick! NO MORE while helping one of our Recent Converts, Jess Roberts, give up smoking. She's going so well and hasn't smoked at all this week! Please pray for her to have the strength! 

I'm grateful for how Heavenly Father strengthens us through other people. I have had many people recently that seem to reach down and just take you by the hand! The Love of God is real! 

The best experience was being able to help some missionaries that were struggling in their companionship. They needed some help and we went to their flat and talk with them. That was the best. They set goals and made plans to improve and the BEST thing I've seen on my mission is when two people can honestly and sincerely see the strengths and talents of those they serve with. Nothing beats positive communication.

In the words of Paul: Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Ephesians 4:29.

Oh man oh MAN! The strength that comes from uplifting others. That's my favourite part of being a missionary.

Love you all!!!

Elder Sargeant 

Monday, August 11, 2014

HE WASN'T READY!!!!!! (Aug 10)

G'day all! Hopefully this email finds you happy and safe!
This past week seemed to last for ages, but it was a good week! We were able to see some miracles and see the wonderful blessings flow over us here, and all over Tasmania. I'll start with exchanges up in the NW coast of Tas!
We went with Elder Pain who is struggling with his testimony of the gospel and is having a hard time working. We went out with him and mainly were there to let him talk about what his struggles are. It was so sad to hear about that... that he didn't know the answer if it was true before he came out. He wants it, and expected his mission to tell him it, but I think he probably has missed his answer. We challenged him to read the Book of Mormon and to find out if it was true. He said he'd give it a go and next time we're going to pray together with him as we study together. That'll be powerful.
Burnie is pretty dang cold (this is the NW coast) and to illustrate this point... I would normally have attached  photo of some penguins... but my camera is not with me. All goods! They are the smallest little things and I think Elder Cavanaugh and I blinded one with our camera flashes by mistake. The poor little guy fell over into the water and then about 2 minutes later hopped back up. It was crack up watching him get smashed by the waves. He just soldiered on though.

Then we drove back and began our day, but we've found that honking at sheep while driving through the country side causes them to flock like wild geese. It's HILARIOUS... and probably very immature... 

The coolest thing happened on Monday though. Our investigator Jeff GOT HIS ANSWER!!!! He had a dream where he was told that he needed to be baptised. The purpose? So he could receive the Holy Ghost and be born of the Spirit. That way he'd learn to grow his Faith in Jesus Christ and then he'd gain the answers he is seeking. I was pretty blown away. We got a text on Monday night that said "Hey guys, I want to call you regarding baptism..." How legit! I WAS SO HAPPY! Heavenly Father pulling out the big guns! Now he is striving to live the commandments and loves coming to church. He and Ebbi, his partner, are the best.

Had a pretty cool experience yesterday! Yesterday we went to the home of a Sudanese man named Theogin. He is a Christian and is friends with a preacher named Jo who has bashed with us before. We went to Theogin's house and who was there? ... Jo. We knew it'd be a waste of time. He called us anti-Christs and said we taught false doctrine. I remember just feeling that I needed to bear my testimony. So I did. And I can't even remember what I said but I never felt such a power come through me as it did at this time. The men were silent as they stared at the floor, and Doctrine and Covenants 100:5-8 came to my mind. I'm grateful for the Spirit and for the testimony that God gives us! IT'S A POWER LIKE NO OTHER. HE WASN'T READY!!!!!---for the Gospel in it's fullness. Some people...

PS- THANKS PAPA GISH FOR THE LETTERS. They mean heaps to me and also a special thanks to SISTER WILSON! You're the best and those notes are hilarious. They keep me going.

Well, that's about it! Thanks for your emails and your prayers. :)

With Love,

Elder Sargeant

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The things you do and see... as a missionary. (Aug 3)

G'day g'day!
What an epic week of adventures. It rained more this week than it has in over 17 years apparently. That could be completely made up but someone said it so I'll take their word for it. However, there was heaps of snow on the mountain the past couple days which was cool. We even drove down to see one of the Sister Missionaries, who is going through a hard time, and it was snowing while driving... THAT NEVER HAPPENS IN AUSTRALIA! We're so lucky to be in Tas.
Anyway, some cool experiences for the week!
I went on exchanges with the District Leader this week and he is the man! His name is Elder Vakalahi and he is from Tonga. His English is INCREDIBLE but he still drops the occasional hilarious grammar mistakes: "Elders, we must be exact obedience!" We had a cool experience together where we prayed with a active member on her door step that we could find someone to teach the gospel to on her street. She offered the prayer and we began our door knocking. After the first couple doors, we got nothing, but finally we came to one door. Kristine opened and told us how her son, who died of O-Ding on drugs, was a member of our church. She said she wouldn't want to hear from us because it hurt so bad, but my companion at the time asked if we could say a prayer. If she felt it was right, we'd come back, if not then no drama. He offered it and after the prayer she had a tear in her eye and said we could come back.
Moments later... her son Daniel came out and we started talking to him! He has been looking for the right church for ages and hasn't had any luck. We told him about the Restoration of the Gospel, the Book of Mormon, and how he can find out the truth through the Holy Spirit. It was such a powerful meeting. We talked for about 45 minutes with him and he gladly accepted our invitation to see him the next day. WHAT AN ANSWER TO A PRAYER!
We went to a member's house for tea last night and one of the little girls is named Lilly. She is the cutest little 4 year old girl who LOVES to be involved and help out. I was handed my plate of food and she offered to put some tomato sauce on my Silver side. I was happy to say yes! She squeezed the bottle, and realized it wasn't open! She was insistent in helping me out so she unscrewed the top a little bit and attempted to apply the tomato sauce on the plate. I noticed that she unscrewed the wrong part and tried to stop her when it started spewing out the sides! HALF THE BOTTLE came out all over the mashed potatoes, veggies, and meat. I just sat there for a second... and laughed my head off! It was cute as haha. I love the little mistakes that kids innocently make. She got it all over my shirt and pants too but I wasn't fussed. It was crack up.
Last, Daniel and Sam got married on Saturday WOO!!! HOW EPIC WAS THAT!!!!!!! I'll attach photos.

On another note, I need some assistance with you and your prayers. We are working with Daniel's younger brother and his friend's family. They want to come to church but something has always got in the way. PLEASE PRAY THAT TY FELLOWES, COREY YOUNG, AND ZACH YOUNG will be able to come to church and progress! WE NEED TO CALL DOWN THE POWERS OF HEAVEN FOR THIS ONE!!!! Thank you! :)
Little shout out to Cecilia Kruger! I got your post card in the letterbox the other day and I was ECSTATIC about it! How cool is it that you saw some members in Sweden! :) Hopefully they treated you well. I miss ya Cecilia! ENJOY YOUR TIME THERE!!!
Things are great. The work is true! I love being a missionary, even when the struggles come! There is always a bright side to everything.
Elder Sargeant