~worked on learning how to navigate the trams between our home in Richmond and the chapel in the city
~got a little better at talking to strangers on the street (turns
out I just need to take that first step to initiate conversation and
then I'm pretty sweet)
~learned a couple phrases in Vietnamese (xin chou!)
~set a solid baptismal date with our investigator, Ken. He is from
Thailand and has lived in Melbourne for a few years. He is so
enthusiastic about learning the gospel and is so diligent in reading the
scriptures! I am so excited to continue to help him progress.
~met a girl named Tijana who is absolutely amazing. The elders are
teaching her, but I just want to be her best friend. She's Aussie and a
total hippie, which is not normally the type to be receptive to the
gospel, but she came to church on Sunday and loved it so much that she didn't want to leave!
I love the city and I love being a missionary and I love the gospel!!
could not be happier about it! Melbourne is so bustling and alive and I
love everything about it! The branch here is so adorable. It's mostly
made up of international students, a lot of whom are Vietnamese. Most of
the members have been baptized for a year or less. The branch meets in
the first level of an office building. It's small, but it's always full
of people! The branch members are all really close with each other and
with the missionaries. It's like one big multicultural family! It's such
a unique place with such special people.
We don't do any tracting in the city, but we do what we call
Golden Questioning, or GQ-ing, where we just strike up conversations
with people on the street. As you would probably guess, that is just
plain terrifying for me. Luckily my wonderful companion, Sister
Vuta, is not afraid, so I can follow her lead. GQ-ing is amazing though,
especially in the city. This week alone I have talked to people from
Japan, China, Thailand, Tasmania, Pakistan, the Philippines, and
Vietnam, all of whom were just walking down the street or sitting on a
bench. For some reason people are more likely to hold a good
conversation with you if you talk to them on the street than if you
knock on their door.
We have seen so many miracles this week with teaching and GQ-ing.
The most amazing one was Fin. She is a lady from Vietnam who was only
visiting Melbourne for a week. We started chatting with her and invited
her to see our chapel, which was about a five minute walk away. She was
very interested and told us that she is Catholic but she always finds a
church to go to whenever she travels. We gave her a tour of the chapel
and she kept asking us what makes our church different from other
churches. In Vietnam, they only have Catholic and Protestant churches,
and ours was a third different one that she did not know, so we taught
her the restoration. When we talked with her about the first vision, she
said she got goosebumps! She was so excited to learn about the Book of
Mormon and we gave her copies in English and Vietnamese. After we taught
her she kept telling us how grateful she was and how she felt that God
had meant for her to meet us. She gave us big hugs before she left, and
we gave her our phone number even though she was leaving the city a
couple days later. Yesterday she texted us, saying that she was on a bus
to Canberra and was reading the Book of Mormon! I am so excited for
her. I just know that she will get baptized one day. I really hope she
finds the church when she goes back to Vietnam, because I know how much
the gospel will bless her life!
I am so blessed to be able to serve here in the city. It's
such a special experience and you get to meet so many wonderful people.
The Lord's work is alive and well here in Melbourne!
This week I got to
witness the baptism of my darling little Aprilia! She may only be eight
years old, but she is wise beyond her years. She knows what it means to
have a testimony and she truly understands what the gospel is really all
about. During her baptismal interview, Elder Apulu asked her what
repentance means. She paused and thought for a minute, and then said,
It has been so incredible to watch the change in her entire
family. Their mom who never used to say a word to us now has been taught
the restoration, has had us over for family home evenings, and invited
us to Aprilia's birthday party. Latetia, the oldest sister, used to mock
Natalya for not drinking and would leave every time we came over, now
talks with us for hours and tells us how glad she is that she knows us.
She has so many questions to ask about the gospel and is always so
excited to learn more. Last week we taught her the plan of salvation and
challenged her to pray about baptism, and she did! She said prayed and
then she had a dream that she got baptized in a silk dress. She told us,
"Now I know I need to get baptized! I just need to know what day!"
There is such a different spirit in their home and it has been so
amazing to watch the change in each of them. Natalya is so happy that
her family is beginning to follow in her footsteps. For Aprilia's
baptism, our primiary president gave her framed pictures of Jesus Christ
and of the temple, and Natalya put them in their living room so
everyone can see them every day. She is such a good example to her
family. It's amazing to see how one person can be the catalyst for the
change of a whole family. I've been so privileged to be a part of their
lives and their change.
I feel like I've finally gotten the hang of what
missionary work is all about. It's about helping people to change. It's
about uniting families in the gospel. It's about loving people and
helping them to see how much Heavenly Father loves them too. And it's
about moving on when your work is done.
The transfer news is in and I am bidding farewell to
Point Cook. I'm sad that I won't be able to continue to be a part of the
Solomon's conversion, but I feel at peace about the change. I think
it's about time to go wherever the Lord needs me.
I love you all! The church is true! The gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families in a way that nothing else can!
We have been working with our wonderful family and teaching Aprillia all the lessons so she can be baptized this coming Sunday.
We found out that Jecinta's mom isn't too keen on letting her get
baptized because she has already been Christened Catholic, but hopefully
we'll get to see more of her to see where she really stands. Zandria's
date has been pushed back to the 27th because she doesn't quite feel
ready. We hadn't seen Chozan for at least a week, so we had assumed that
he would want to push his date back as well, if he was even still
really interested. But they had promised to come to church on Sunday,
so we waited expectantly through all of sacrament meeting, hoping that
they would come in late. When they didn't, Sister Rooney and I were
devastated! We stressed out all through the second hour class, and
afterwards we decided to just go over to their house and invite them to
come to the 1:00
ward. So we left church an hour early and just showed up at their
house! Turns out they were awake and ready to go...but their ride didn't
come. :( We called everyone we could think of to get a ride for them to
church, and we finally got ahold of a sister in our ward who was
willing to drive them! So Chozan, Aprillia, Natalya, and their little
sister Impala all went to the chapel and attended all three hours of
church together! We sat with Natalya and Chozan in class and Chozan
seemed to really enjoy it. After church, we showed Aprillia the
baptismal font so she could see where she's going to get baptized. We
asked Chozan how he felt about baptism, and he said, "I feel great!" We
asked him when he felt like he could get baptized and he said, "After
Aprillia?" Sister Rooney and I were like, "Wait, straight after?" And
Chozan just said yes like it was the most obvious thing! We had no idea
that he was still reading and praying and wanting to get baptized!
Apparently he's been reading all the pamphlets we gave him and studying
with Natalya, his sister who is a member. His other sister has been
giving him a hard time for "wanting to be Mormon" but he doesn't care.
He just knows it's right!
They had planned to get baptized on the 13th, but with some
complications with the chapel and the members it might be pushed back to
the 19th. But as long as they get baptized, that's all that matters.
We've got a busy week ahead of us, because we have to teach Chozan all
of the lessons before he can have his baptismal interview and all that
jazz. But we are so, so excited! Heavenly Father definitely answers
prayers and prepares people to hear the gospel!!