Sunday, December 28, 2014

It's Almost Here!!! (Dec 21)

Gabe here--sorry I posted these last two posts out of order!

MUM!!! It'S ALMOST HERE!!!!!!!! CHRISTMAS... CALLING YOU ALL.... It happens so quickly!!!!!!!!
I've been so filled with excitement, love, and gratitude this week it blows my mind. What an exhiliarting feeling to have. No better time of year, and yet so often we put this Spirit behind us as soon as the Christmas season is over.
I have found a way to keep it alive. The way it came for me was through going about doing good. This week was the time to go out and do good and see the miracles that come from it. So, starting off the week we went on exchanges with some missionaries local to our area. I was with a man named Elder Crapo. No relation to Yvette Crapo back home. (Thanks for your letters though).
We went out and were doing street contacting while walking to our next appointment, when a lady pulled up who was carrying stuff into her house. I thought, LET'S ASK HER IF WE CAN CARRY STUFF IN! I was a little surprised when she said yes, and handed us a mini pool for her grandkids, and also a bag of plastic balls, no less to jump in I imagine.
We helped her out and found out her name was Wendy. She is 60 years old and had a ROUGH upbringing, but found God when she was 17. Her husband cheated on her, left her with 3 kids at the age of 26, and she struggled by herself for 29 years. With God's help she made it through. I related to her your story mum, and she and I connected. It was AWESOME! We got a return appointment to share about "He is the Gift" and I'm sad I won't be there. She gave us Lindt chocolate to eat on our travels.
That morning I had passed up a prompting to talk to a lady across the road out of sheer laziness I imagine... It was just a "Ah.. it's across the road... it'd be awkward..." And I knew it was a wrong choice. The rest of the day I promised I'd do my best to talk to everyone and help along the way. Heavenly Father provided some awesome opportunities.
So on a more awkward and funny note, I was GQing in the mall with Elder Crapo and I talked to this young couple named Mark and some... crazy... part Aboriginal name for thise fair skined lady (his wife) and their small child. We had a great conversation about God but... his wife straight up just started breast feeding right infront of my face. DA HECK!?!? I was a little bit taken a back, but I just let it go. Man oh man... it was weird. Then I talked to another man who turned out to be a schitzophrenic. That was interesting, and I knew he wanted peace but he wouldn't accept the chance to learn :\
It was a great week though. I've had some awesome experiences, and there was a Bishopric member that went out of his way to help answer a question I had on making prayer more meaningful. He printed out some tips and strategies and gave it just to me... I was so taken back by it! I was humbled... and ever since then I've just gone on a giving rampage! We made little gift packages for all the missionaries in our District.
We've gotten smashed with food. :)
Love you mum. Enjoy Paris!
this will be the weekly email as well!
PHIL,TASH, JULIA (the daughter who is 15) and their 3 small children Bruce, Myrium, and Elizabeth, came to church and they fit perfectly into place. THey just look like a church going family. We'll keep you up to date.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Keep going out and doing good. Mum and Dan... I'm so proud of you for your missionary efforts, and I know that Heavenly Father is just beaming with joy.
Love you all! :)
Elder Sargeant

The road less traveled by--- (Dec 28)

G'day g'day to all around the world!

Elder Sargeant here, just wanted to fill you in on our Christmas adventures.

Let's start off with the beginning of the week. One of the most exciting parts of the mission for me is trying to come up with ideas that get the missionaries together..... I fail epically at it. That's why we have other missionaries who organize DISTRICT CAROLING!!! So,Tuesday we went up to my old stomping grounds to do some caroling with the missionaries in the North of Tasmania. We went around to members, investigators, and others around the area. Some of the missionaries got members involved to play guitar, harmonica, drums, and ukulele. It was full on. We sang a few songs and had a blast the whole night. Christmas eve, as missionaries, is the time to go out and smash as many lessons with investigators and others as possible. That's what we were going to do... but we did an interview for a baptism with a Chinese guy named Eric Wei! HE IS THE MAN!!!!

So, to say "hello, how are you?" You say something along the lines of: Nee-how Ma?

But... Elder Iliffe said a different phrase. It was the first thing he said to Eric when he sat down to chat with him and instead if translated as "Hello, you're beautiful."

CRACK UP AS!!! They laughed for a bit.

So, Christmas eve we got given 4.4 lbs of CHOCOLATE. WHAT THE HECK!!!!

Next day, 5:45---basketball. 7:30--- Breakfast 1----Dowes 9:00---Breakfast 2 --Jury family 12:00---Lunch 1 with the Blackwells 2:00---lunch 2 with the Evans 4:00-5:30---basketball.

6:00-9:00---dinner with the Parsons and playing guitar/skyping family! SO AWESOME! We got smashed with and love. Can't beat it!

On top of that we took photos of all our goodies in a pile. It's impressive so don't be too jealous. 

My favourite miracle was Christmas Eve when we went to see a new family we've been teaching known as the Fraser Family. They have 7 total---Phil, Tasha, (kids -->) Julia 15, Bruce 7, Elizabeth (3-4?), Miriam 2, and then Samuel who's like 2 months or something. We had a great lesson with them and taught them about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Spirit was SO strong and they were so keen to listen... ON CHRISTMAS EVE. Great great family. They know what's important ;)  We invited them to be baptised and Phil + Julia said Definitely! Tasha is working through some things. She knows that if it's true she will be so we'll help her find her answers. NExt day, they looked up all the commandments and we had a chat with them about those commandments a few days later. They came to church and loved it! I WAS GUTTED TO LEAVE!!!!!!!!

Phil said he was praying that I'd stay a bit longer since we'd built up this relationship. :\ Sad day..

By the way, I'm being transferred. Did I mention? Where? I don't know. Promised land 2 I hope.

But saying goodbye was hard. Many people gave me hugs, which was strange at first but you embrace the old ladies and accept it. You can't deny people happiness. Tears were shed by the Blackwells and that was really sad... I've never felt so much love from people in my life. I've never been able to have that much impact before, and I don't feel like I even did that much. It goes to show... happiness is not found in cars, money, or riches... but in time spent with people. Love can't be bought---only expressed, given, shared, and accepted.

Well, I must depart. Gotta go to the airport! I'll attach some photos.

Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Mum--- it was awesme talking to you and Dan! :) I missed your guts.

-Elder Sargeant 
Eric Blackwell + Me

Monday, December 15, 2014

Terrific Tassie Transfer of Christmas Fun (Dec 14)

G'day g'day, how ya doin?

Elder Sargeant here, just giving a shout out to my mum, because I love her. Mum... I love you. 
Also a shout out to my Dad in Nevada, thanks for the letter! I've meant to write you, but I didn't have your address so now I have it. President Maxwell was very humble about me getting a talk given by him. He laughed and said "watch out for false doctrine." He's the man.

This week was a good week! We had our mission Christmas Conference, wait... TASSIE CHRISTMAS CONFERENCE! We're basically the guinea pigs for these things so it was good. We had a massive feast, sang Christmas carols, watched some uplifting videos, and Elder Worsencroft and I sang a duet off the cuff. It was a really good song called Gesu... something in another language. I really love singing.

OH! One more shout out to a family I love dearly: THE KINGS!!! They came and saw me up in Launcestn Tas, during our Christmas party! MISS YOU GUYS!!

During our week we had some cool experiences, 1 that I would really love to share. One of my favourite promises in the scriptures is "Open your mouth and they shall be filled." I have a testimony that that is true.

We went to go see these potential investigators that we met a couple weeks ago. We walk up to the house in a pretty run-down area called Bridgewater. A Metallica poster was hanging from the window and the lighting was dark. We knocked on the door, and a tall red headed guy opened up and invited us in. His name is Andrew. We met his brother Will previously and that's who we were there to see. So we walked in and there we see Will... chuckling on the couch, embarrassed and unsure how to act. The reason... he was smoking a bong with his mate. I was a bit irritated at first, thinking, "what is the point of trying to teach these people. They won't feel anything at this point." Oh how wrong I was. You gotta learn to bite the bullet and listen to the promptings! Inside something kept whispering ever so slightly, to keep there.

Ended up starting a conversation about Christianity and how Jesus was a Jew and such, which led to other things. My companion and I were blessed with words to say and you could see in their eyes the interest they had in knowing if these things were true. I was humbled afterwards, only slightly because I'm still a pretty terrible person, to see how much we were "filled" when our mouths were "opened." It works! Just open your mouths and speak. It's powerful, if you're doing the Lord's work.

A part member family called the Roach family came to church on Sunday! Sister Roach!
We''ve been working with their family for a while (just dropping in and saying hello). She called us up one day and asked if we could play sports with her 2 sons Solomon and Steven. We did and shared a message. They went on the YM campout, and her oldest son watched 17 Miracles with us. They came to church... We're KEEN AS for them! KEEP SHARON ROACH, SAMUEL, SOLOMON, AND STEVEN in your prayers. They need it.

I Love the Christmas season. I wish it felt more like it here, but it's getting there slowly. Enjoy the snow for me!!!

Love you all!

-Elder Sargeant

Friday, December 12, 2014

Don't let your guard down! (Dec7)

G'day all! Hope all is well in the cold as winter of America/ where ever you find yourself.
Our summer thus far has been quite cold and rainy, but hey we can still wear shorts so not so bad.

This past week was a pretty interesting one. We went up to Melbourne for a meeting with the Mission President and the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. It was a spiritual experience and we had CAFE RIO FOR LUNCH! Fetch I miss that stuff. In the words of my mom "Nectar of the Gods (*as she shakes her hands in expression of delight*) All those that know my mum well know that expression and that phrase. Love you mum!

I learned this week to NEVER LET YOUR GUARD DOWN!!!! Why?? After the Meeting in Melbourne, I realized that I needed a haircut. We have some clippers at the flat so about 30 minutes before bed I asked one fo the Elders to trim the sides just a bit, since my hair was getting over my ears--- looking like a dag.

So, Elder Nyanhamo came and was like "Bro, I got you." As he approached my hair.... BOOM THE GUARD SLIPPED AND I GOT BUZZED WITH A 1 on the side of my head.

It was so crack up, but we worked through the disaster to fix my hair. It actually doesn't look bad but every one says I look like I should be in the Navy.

Moral of the story, don't let your guard down... or let Missionaries cut your hair when it isn't a P-day, even if you are trying to do what is right!

On a more Spiritual note, we've been really blessed to find prepared people here. We tracted in the dodgiest place in Tasmania and were fortunate enough to find a family of 7 that are Searching for the true church! When we met them I was immediately taken back by the feeling of goodness I felt just being in their home. It was an indicator to me of God working in us. They're coming to church!

SANDRA GOT BAPTISED!!! Despite her fears, she was really looking forward to it and it was a blessed experience. She loved getting the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday as well. 


-Elder Sargeant

[Gabe here-Elder Sargeant ran into the King family this week and they sent us some pictures. You can see Elder Sargeant's new hair cut!]

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Wallet Butt (Nov 30)

G'day g'day all, hope you are all going well!

Let's jump right into things here and tell you about our fantastic week. It was really good to be honest! We've seen some miracles and had some cool experiences as well as some laughs along the way. My companion and I have been doing heaps of door knocking as we're looking to find those that prepared! 

So, first of all we were in Ward Council meeting today and out of no where at the end Brother Mackay came up to me and asked a very interesting question, and making an even more interesting observation regarding my pants and the back pocket...

He said in his South African accent, "Elder, has someone been trying to steal from you?"

I was a bit confused, but I replied "No,"

"Well, I've noticed a bulge in your pocket from you wallet I'm assuming? You really should get that fixed Elder."

He then went to tell me that there is something called "wallet bum" for those that keep their wallet in the back pocket for too long and sit on it. It can cause walking problems when it hurts a nerve in your butt. I thought it was funny... "Elder, watch out for wallet butt!"

Lessons to be learned each day!

This is going to be short... 60 seconds left! Couple shout outs

1) Jeff gave fantastic testimony on Sunday!

Yeah.... the Gospel is true :)

-Elder Sargeant