What a week it has been! I feel like it all went in the blink of an eye!
Monday after we emailed we were at the flat most of the day and I was trying to pack. I'm so grateful I was able to bring both of my big suitcases to Tas or I never would have fit everything. I have accumulated a lot of stuff during the mission and I ended up still having to leave some things on the mainland (mostly souvenir type things.) Monday night we went to see the M family so I could say goodbye to them. J was especially sad for me to have to leave. I am so so grateful for the opportunity I have had to know that family and to see them come into the gospel. After that we went to Bishop's to have him sign J's baptism record. He just kept saying how much he had appreciated having me serve in the ward. It made me feel really good.
|The Mooroolbark Sisters and Elders|
Tuesday morning I finished packing up all of my things and then we went to the mission office for transfer meeting. The meeting was really good. President Maxwell talked a lot about obedience. He talked about how as missionaries we are always on stage, that there are always people noticing us, watching our every action. He also talked about Alma 39:11 and how it applies to missionaries: if people see missionaries being disobedient, then they will not believe our words when we teach. I am so grateful that I don't struggle with obedience. I WANT to be obedient. I know how much I need Heavenly Father's help and that makes me want to be obedient. I am so grateful for that. I was assigned to serve in Deloraine, Tasmania, with Sister R as my companion.
There were four of us missionaries who were assigned to fly down to Tassie, 2 Elders and 2 sisters. One of the Elders was flying to Hobart and the rest of us were flying to Launceston. Our flights didn't leave until 8 pm so we had a lot of waiting around at the office all day. One of the senior couples drove us out to the airport around 5:00 and we got there around 6:30. Airport security is so relaxed in Australia! We got through in no time at all so we had to wait for our flight about an hour. The flight to Tassie is only an hour and five minutes. It was so short. Sister S and I were sitting together on the flight. There was a guy sitting across the aisle from us who is from Deloraine. We started talking to him. He is part of the Plymouth Brethren church. I had never heard of it but he told us a bit about it. He also asked some questions about our church and we were able to share with him and we gave him a Book of Mormon.
|Stepping straight off onto the runway!|
When we arrived in Launceston, it was about 9:15 pm. As we walked to the front of the plane to get off I was surprised to see that we just walked down a set of stairs that they had pushed up to the plane and stepped straight off onto the runway. It was awesome! I felt like it was something from the movies or something. Sister R and Sister S were there to pick up me, S Stoker and Elder L. Five people, three people's luggage, and one little Toyota Corolla. Let's just say that we were playing tetris for a while and it was a miracle that everything fit! We drove ten minutes to the Launceston sister's flat and dropped them off and then had about a 45 minute drive to Deloraine where Elder L's companion met us. Sister R and I got to our flat about 11:15 pm. We unpacked some things for about 30 minutes and then finally got to bed around midnight.
Because Deloraine is a farming community
|Our kitchen even has a crockpot!|
I love Sister R. She is from Adelaide. She is fun and quirky and she really wants to work hard and see miracles. Deloraine is the smallest little place. It reminds me of a little Idaho farm town or something. The hills are beautiful and there are "mountains." There is only one grocery store in the whole place and everyone kind of knows everyone. I love it. The ward is really small, it's more like a branch. But the members are wonderful and I have a feeling that some really good things are going to happen here!
|The Meander river flows through the town of Deloraine.|
Wednesday night we had dinner with some investigators. They are really awesome. They have been Christodelphians for a long time. L is not overly interested, but G is. We taught G the plan of salvation and he really loved it! And L was definitely listening as she was acting busy making dinner. I have a feeling that we can help her to gain a testimony as well!
Thursday morning we were at the chapel for a couple of hours in the family history center. There are a lot of community members that come to the chapel to do family history so the missionaries are there to meet people every week. I am actually really excited about this. I am becoming more and more interested in family history so it's cool to actually be in the family history center and help people, or try to help them at least!
Thursday afternoon we saw a girl who got baptized last year. She never had the new member lessons so we are teaching those to her and helping her to solidify her testimony. Thursday night we had Ward Council which was good. The ward is small so everyone is really looked after. Hopefully we can add some numbers to the ward too!
Friday we had a mission fast. The focus of the fast was 1) to be able to find families in our areas to teach and 2) to be prepared to receive revelation from Elder Hamula as he comes to the mission this week. He is doing 2 zone conferences on the mainland and one down here in Tassie. I am excited to hear from him! Friday was Anzac day (which is basically the equivalent of our Veteran's day) They have a memorial service in town here in Deloraine so we went down to the city center and tried to do some contacting in the morning. That evening before our dinner appointment, we had about 20 extra minutes. We decided to visit a member. We went to this sweet widowed sister's home. I am so grateful the spirit prompted us to go and see her. She had been having a rough week because her dear friend passed away. We were able to go and uplift her a little bit and she seemed so grateful! After that we had dinner with this really sweet Filipino lady in the ward. She has kidney failure and is having to do dialysis all the time but she doesn't complain at all. Instead she says, "I am grateful for my trials." It was incredible to see her faith. It made me think about my own life and how often I complain about little things.
Saturday we spent a lot of the day visiting and trying to meet members of the ward which was good. We had dinner with the cutest little family. At one of the member's that we visited, they gave us chocolate chip cookies. They tasted exactly like the ones from home! I haven't had that in a year so that was really nice!
Sunday at church was interesting. I have never been in such a small ward. There were only 71 people there. This ward really needs to grow. I know that there are people living here that are prepared to hear the gospel, we just need to find them!
Sunday afternoon we went tracting and we had a miracle. In a little less than two hours we got return appointments with 6 different people--three potential families to teach! It was amazing. Apparently that's better than they've had in Deloraine for a couple of transfers so it was awesome!
Tasmania is so beautiful. I love it here. Except it's already so cold. Seriously today it's 9 degrees C (48 degrees F). Welcome to winter. I'm pretty sure I'm as close to Antarctica as I will ever be! But, that's okay. We are going to have success this transfer. I just know it. And guess what?! It talks about Tassie in the Book of Mormon! 2 Nephi 10:20-21:
20 And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful God has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off; nevertheless, we have been adriven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a bbetter land, for the Lord has made the sea our cpath, and we are upon an disle of the sea.
21 But great are the promises of the Lord unto them who are upon the aisles of the sea; wherefore as it says isles, there must needs be more than this, and they are inhabited also by our brethren.
I love being a missionary. So much.
Love you all to Kolob and back!
Love you all to Kolob and back!
P.S. For mailing things, just send them to the mission office still. They just forward everything down here to us.