Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Before the mission I knew what the atonement was, but now I know what it feels like. - 7/28/14

Melbourne Mission Moments 07/28/14

Wow what a week. Tarneit is such a great area and we are constantly so busy! I can't believe how much we get done in one week. I feel like we're literally running from one thing to the next. And I love it! I am so grateful that I will probably end my mission here. I want to be working this hard until the very end.

On Monday after we finished emailing and getting a few things at the store, we just went back to the flat so I could finish unpacking my stuff and then we both took a nap--we were both feeling so exhausted! That night we went to Bishop M's for FHE. They have two little boys that are so cute and SO smart! One of them reminds me so much of McKay. Actually to be honest, tons of boys here remind me of McKay. I guess I just miss him that much or something. Haha. After FHE we stopped by to see a less active named and her non-member husband. We had a short but powerful lesson with them and they invited us over for this coming weekend to have dinner and a lesson with them. We really want to start formally teaching the husband so hopefully we can start that this weekend!

Tuesday afternoon we picked up one of the Laurels in the ward and went to teach the daughter of one of the recent converts. Unfortunately, they weren't home. We had a backup plan but we felt like we should try to contact our referral, M, instead. When we knocked on M's door, she opened and said, "Mormons? Come in." WHAT THE HECK?!?! It was so unexpected that it took us a couple of seconds to react. M is amazing. She told us that just that day she had been emailing Sister T (one of the missionaries that just went home). They went to school together in NZ. She asked us to tell her more about the Book of Mormon which we gladly did. We had a really good lesson and she committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. I feel like she is as golden as they come. I can't wait to see her again this week! That night we had dinner with the T family. After dinner, we had a lesson and showed the Mormon message, "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father." They both really felt the spirit and it was so good. Our goal is to get them to the temple to be sealed forever! After that we had coordination meeting with our Ward Mission Leader. He is so amazing! I am so grateful for him!

Sister A and found Deloraine Drive.
So fun since we both served in Deloraine.
Me and Sister A
Wednesday morning after we finished our morning studies, we went on exchanges with the Point Cook Sisters. I was able to spend the day in their area with Sister A. Sister A and I were in the MTC together and went to Texas together so it was fun to be together again! We had a really good lesson with L, one of their baptismal dates. She is 17 and is so excited about church. She has a notebook that she takes notes from every lesson. She has read all the way up to Alma in the Book of Mormon too. We had a bit of a funny experience later that afternoon when we went to try to contact a less-active on the ward list that they didn't know. This guy has one of those screen doors that make it impossible to see through it. When he opened the door and was standing behind the screen door, he told us that he wasn't wearing any clothes. Uhhh awkward... But we continued to try to make an appointment to see their family when we hear the door close. Ummm.... excuse me? We knocked on the door again and this time he opened the door, and the screen door—fully clothed may I add. He thought he was going to get rid of us that fast... haha think again. He was really nice though and we were able to make an appointment for them to see him later in the week. Another funny experience from that day--we were walking through the park when we met an Indian man. We started talking with him and shared about the Plan of Salvation and it was really good. Before we left, he pulled Sister A into a big hug and kissed her on the cheek!! Haha it was so funny! Then we continued on our way and we were knocking on some doors when we saw this same Indian man coming up to us. He reached out to shake my hand and then the next thing I knew, he was pulling me into a hug and kissing my cheek. Yuck. Haha it was funny though. I can now say I've been kissed by an Indian hahahaha.

I stayed the night with Sister A and then we had studies together Thursday morning. Being Pioneer day, we had to sing pioneer songs! :) I loved that the quote on the Conference Calendar was about pioneers too! After studies we switched back and Sister W and I headed back to our area. It was a bit of a rough day. We had lots of people cancel and then other people weren't home so it was pretty slow all day. Sometimes you have those days and there's not a lot you can do.

Friday morning we went to visit a less-active named TJ. We read a bit from the Book of Mormon with him and invited him to come to church. He said he'd try to come but we really weren't too sure. After that we visited the H family. A is 19 and waiting for his mission call to arrive. He was so cute asking so many questions about mission rules and things. He is dying to get his call. He's been waiting 3 weeks so it should be here any day now! Thursday afternoon we were able to stop by and see K—a recent convert. She got baptized in December but has been finding it hard to come to church. We were able to really encourage her to come on Sunday. We had dinner Friday night with a family from Tonga. Man, Tongan households are crazy! But so fun! Islanders have so much love to give!

Saturday morning we had zone studies which was really good. We talked a lot about obedience. I was reading in 1 Nephi 17:3 and it's so simple--if we keep the commandments or the mission rules, Heavenly Father will bless us. There's nothing complicated about it. I just wish I could make every missionary understand that. After studies, we went to pick up H and S. H is 19 and just got her mission call to Tonga and S is her 16-year-old sister. They came out with us all day on Saturday and man we saw miracles. I went with H and Sister W went with S. Between the four of us we were able to teach 10 lessons and find 4 new investigators! It was amazing!
Me and H with some kids in the ward
Sunday morning we called EVERYONE inviting them to church. We had a goal of having 3 investigators at church and we had been inviting people all week and wanted to do everything we possibly could to achieve that goal. We were pretty sure that at least 3 people would make it. Then we got to church and no one showed up. It's really easy to feel discouraged but I fought those feelings away knowing that we had done everything that we could and in the end it was left to those people's agency. And, we had all the recent converts in the ward and about 6 less-actives that we had invited show up, including TJ! It was great to see so many of them come! The 4 missionaries in our ward were asked to speak in sacrament meeting yesterday. Our topic was "How has my testimony been strengthened while serving the Lord?" I am so grateful for this topic because it gave me opportunity to really reflect on the past 16 months and all that I have learned and the change that has taken place in my life. So many aspects of my testimony have been so strengthened. I have become truly, truly converted to the gospel. I have experienced the atonement. Before the mission I knew what the atonement was but now I know what it feels like. I am so grateful for the gospel and to be a missionary. I love it.
With the Elders in our ward

Sister W, Sister L and me - Matchy, matchy Sunday

With some of our wonderful member!

Love you all heaps!!
Sister Baker xxx

P.S. -  Sister W finishes at the end of this transfer. I love her NZ accent. Sister W and I are over 6 companionships. We do exchanges once per transfer. There are 5 companionships of STLs. We have Mission Leadership Council so I will see all the others this week.

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