Melbourne Mission Moments
Whoa. Look at that date! I can't believe that I've been out for 10 months! Time goes by so quickly on the mission! I can't believe it's already Monday again and I'm emailing home.
Monday last week we had a busy p-day just getting our groceries and running errands but we did have time to go back to the flat and take a little nap which was so great! I haven't taken a nap in forever but it felt glorious! That night we had dinner with a family in our ward. The mum and kids are all active but the dad is less-active. He wasn't there because he had to work and the whole time we were eating I was sitting there thinking how we can help him. After dinner this dear sister asked if I wanted to play the piano for a few minutes. Naturally I said yes, because I miss playing. I sat down and started playing around a little bit and then I had a thought to ask if this sister wanted to do a musical number because I know she sings. She was so excited about it. In a couple of weeks I'm going to accompany her in Sacrament meeting. The best part about it is that it gives us opportunity to get back in to their home and hopefully build a good relationship with the dad so we can help him come back to church.
Monday night right before bed I felt so strongly while I was sitting there, how grateful I am to have such an amazing family. Seriously, I have been so blessed. Our family is so tight-knit and everyone is strong in the gospel and I don't have the worries that others have. I have been so blessed. I think I have kind of taken it for granted most of my life because that's all I knew. As I've been here and realized how different some people's family situations are, my appreciation and love for my own family has grown immensely.
Tuesday morning we went to district meeting and our district leader was training about prayer. The training was perfect. I have been so impressed with our leaders here. Without fail, every time we have a meeting they train or testify about the exact thing that we need. You can tell that they really follow the spirit to know how to help us. How grateful I am for the priesthood and that my whole life I have been surrounded by worthy priesthood leaders!
After our meeting we went to see a lady. We tried to teach a lesson but she just kept talking about the Amish people. Seriously, the whole time. It was really difficult. So even though she's a really sweet lady, we probably won't be going back because she doesn't really have a desire to learn anything or listen to us. Tuesday night we had dinner with two newly-wed couples in our ward. They were so cute! Both got married just in December so they are in the love-birds stage which just makes me smile. But the best thing about them is that they are really keen about doing missionary work and want to be really involved which is awesome!
Wednesday morning after studies we were at the mission office for interviews with President Maxwell. While we were waiting Sister Maxwell was showing us how to use Family Search. We got on and I found out that I love it! I really want to do more family history work when I get home! And also, Sister Maxwell worked it out and found out that we are 2nd cousins once removed. Pretty cool, huh? My interview with President Maxwell was so perfect! He is such an amazing person. He was able to tell me exactly what I needed to hear and I just felt so good afterwards. One thing he told me was that he has asked me to train again because he trusts me. Which was so good to hear.
Wednesday night we were able to have another lesson with a young investigator that has high-functioning Autism. He is so smart. Literally anything we tell him, he remembers it. Which is amazing. We were able to teach him the Restoration and it went really well. I think it won't be super fast coming but he will get baptized probably sometime in the coming months.
Thursday morning while we were doing weekly planning we felt like we needed to call the Elders and get the phone number for one of their investigators. Her son just got baptized a few weeks ago and she is still working towards baptism. But the Elders kind of feel like there is not much more they can do for her so we are kind of taking over. We called her and were able to go over and spend several hours helping her in her house and then we talked about her concerns in relation to the gospel. She still doesn't feel like she has a testimony of the Book of Mormon so we are going to go over every day and read a chapter with her and help her try to get that testimony. Our visit with her was so good. I think she has needed the love that we can show her as Sisters. The Elders are great but hopefully we can show her a different kind of love, a love she really needs.
Friday we woke up to rain and grey weather. We had two lessons that fell through so we were feeling a bit down. We were in the car when our district leader called, just to see how we were doing. Again, I am amazed at how perfectly they follow the spirit. He gave us the encouragement we needed and then sent a message that was perfect. We hit the ground running after that and decided that we were going to have a good day. And we did! We had some good hours of finding and then we went to visit a less-active family that has recently moved up from Tassie. They had some friends over and they told their friends who we are/what we do. And then we were able to teach a lesson about faith and invite these friends to learn more. It was an amazing lesson. One guy in particular seems particularly keen. He messaged us later that night just to say he was looking forward to learning more and seeing life from a new perspective. It was such a miracle that we went to their home just at the right time.
Saturday we were able to see the sisters we have been teaching again. They were getting ready to leave but it seemed more positive than last week and they seem more open to learning more still which is really good. Saturday night we got transfer news. My companion and I are both staying in this area! :) But we are losing our amazing district leader which is really sad. I am looking forward to the new transfer though! We really have big goals for this transfer and a vision of what can happen and I know that we are going to see miracles!
Sunday morning unfortunately none of our investigators came to church which was a bummer. I feel like getting them to come to church is the hardest part. In the afternoon we had a lesson with an investigator which was really good. We finished teaching him the Plan of Salvation and then we were able to talk about his concerns. He said that he had read some things on the internet about the church which were not good but that he still wanted to meet with us because he feels different when we talk with him. We were able to resolve some of his concerns and he is still really keen to learn more.
This morning we went to 1000 Steps to climb up the mountain which was fun. It has 1000 stone steps. Hot and sweaty though. [The 1000 Steps Kokoda Track Memorial Walk is located in the Dandenong Ranges National Park. Plaques along the trail depict the lives of the Australian soldiers who fought and died on the real Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea, during World War II. The climb is about 2.8 km and takes about one hour to reach the top.] The rest of the day we're just going to hang out and write letters.
One thing I've really been focusing on this week is prayer--why we pray, how we should pray, how I can improve my prayers, how I can help investigators recognize answers to their prayers, etc. I learned so much. I love studying by topic.It is truly amazing that we can have such a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. And that we can pray at anytime, anywhere and He will hear us. And I truly know that He does answer our prayers. I love being able to pray and tell my Heavenly Father exactly how I feel. Especially on the mission I have learned to cherish that. At home, I always had mom to talk to about everything, but here I don't have that. But I think it's been a blessing in disguise because it's allowed me to improve my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
I am so grateful to be a missionary and get to share this gospel with everyone!
Love y'all heaps!
Sister Baker xxx
Phillip - Keep working hard, even in the hard times. It will be worth it. Just remember to PUSH-- Pray Until Something Happens.