Monday, July 28, 2014

I am so grateful for the power of music and the spirit that it brings! - 7/21/14

Melbourne Mission Moments

I think I have been busier this week than any other week of my mission but it has been so good!
Saying goodbye to Sister H at the airport.
Monday was my last day in Deloraine. Sister H and I were so busy packing up all of our stuff and cleaning the flat and getting it all locked up. By about 2 pm we left to drive to Launceston. We had a couple hours in Launceston with the sisters there. We went to a little cafe and had hot chocolate and then finished packing up Sister K's stuff. About 5 pm we had to leave to drive to the airport. We were super blessed at the airport that everyone's bags went through with no problem (even though a couple of them were 2-3 kgs over weight.) Tender mercy. Sister S and Sister H came down to the gate with us to wait until we could board our flight (Australia is super lax on security and anyone can go through security and wait at the gate). When it was time to go, I was so sad to leave Sister H. We both cried. I loved serving with her and it was sad that it was so short lived. There were just three of us flying up from Launceston--me, Sister K, and Elder J. The flight is so short--only about an hour. We landed in Melbourne and found our bags and then some of the Elders picked us up at the airport. Sister K and I stayed the night with some Chinese Sisters that serve close to the mission office.

Tuesday morning we got up and got ready and then the Maroondah zone leaders picked up Sister K and me to take us to transfer meeting. It was so fun to be back on the mainland and see so many people that I haven't seen in a while! My new companion is Sister W. She's Maori from New Zealand. She's such a hard worker and even though in some ways we are so different, we are so similar too! It's been so fun! We are serving in the Tarneit Ward on the west side of the city. The ward has heaps and heaps of Islanders! I love Islanders. They have the biggest hearts and are so accepting of anyone. I have felt so loved here! And the work here is really moving!
Transfer meeting went pretty long because there were so many departing missionaries who were bearing their testimonies. After transfer meeting, we had a leaders meeting. By the time we drove all the way back to our area, it was after 5 pm. We dropped off our stuff at our flat quickly before heading to a dinner appointment. Our flat is great. We share it with the Werribee sisters (Sister M and Sister S). We had dinner that night with a wonderful Samoan family. Sister F is the Relief Society president and is so loving and caring!

Wednesday morning we had a zone meeting. Our zone is great! We have some really awesome missionaries here! Our Zone Leaders are two of my old District Leaders-- Elder H and Elder D. In our zone meeting, the zone leaders committed all of us to go out and set a baptismal date that day. Sister W and I are both quite competitive and we decided we wanted to be the first ones to set a date! We had a lesson with a girl from South Sudan. We were teaching the Plan of Salvation and we got about halfway through it. Then we invited her to be baptized on August 16th and she said yes! It was Sister W and my first lesson together and it went so well! After that we went with Sister F to visit some of the sisters in the ward. Then we went to our dinner appointment. Sister T was sick so she hadn't had time to prepare a meal for us but Islanders love feeding the missionaries (they believe that is how they receive blessings) so she insisted on taking us to get Asian take away. After dinner we went to meet the K family who are wonderful! They have both served missions and we encouraged them to get back out their copies of Preach my Gospel and to study them. After that we had coordination meeting with our Ward Mission Leader, Brother S. He is such a good ward mission leader! You couldn't ask for better! He is so on top of things and I felt so encouraged about the work in this area after meeting with him. 
Thursday morning we were inside a lot of the morning. First we set our transfer goals. We set a goal for the transfer that we will have 5 new investigators every week. We decided that we wanted to have a consequence for if we don't achieve our goal to help us be more accountable to it. We decided that if we didn't achieve it, we would have to sleep on the hard wood floor on Sunday night. You better believe that we were committed to that goal! After that we had to work out an exchange schedule for the transfer. Then we had to do our weekly planning. Later we had a lesson with the M family. They found them last transfer while tracting. The mum and dad are members but have been inactive for a long time! They have 5 kids, four boys and a little girl. All of the boys are baptismal age. We had a lesson with them about God's love and invited them to a family home evening with another family. As we were finishing the lesson, I had a prompting that we should sing a song. We pulled out our hymn books and we asked Sister M if she had a song that she really liked. She asked us to sing I am a Child of God. They used our hymn books and we all sang it together. The spirit was so strong. I am so grateful for the power of music and the spirit that it brings! After that we had a quick dinner with the Ls and then we went to visit a part member family. M has recently returned to church. Her husband O is not a member. He just got his visa and came over from Tonga. They have a 6 month old little baby. O is slowly warming up to the gospel.
Friday morning we had zone studies. I've never done it before but it was really good! Basically the whole zone just does personal and companionship study together. After that we went to pick up Sister L and went to teach a man named D. D is Yugoslavian but was raised in Australia. We had a good lesson and taught the first half of the restoration. He was really feeling the spirit and we helped him recognize that. He was pretty hesitant to commit to anything though. That afternoon we went to contact a referral named M. She wasn't home but her brother was. He was really nice and told us that he had gone to school with lots of members in New Zealand. We have a return appointment with their family this week! 
We were asked to help with the Heidleberg Stake mini-missionary weekend this week so we had to drive to there on Friday night to pick up our mini-missionary. Sister V was with us all weekend. She is Samoan and really sweet! Saturday morning we went back to their stake center to have an "MTC" for the mini-missionaries. After we finished that we drove back to our area. We had a lesson with B but it was crazy because there were about 20 little Sudanese children running all over the place and people coming in and out. We were doing a little bit of tracting after that and we met an Indian family--J and I. They are Seik but invited us to come back next weekend! After that we went to visit a less-active family--the Ts. We sang Love at Home at their doorstep and they invited us in and we had a really good lesson. After that we had dinner with the T family. 
Sunday morning we had Ward Council. After that we didn't have very much time until we needed to be back at the chapel for church. We really needed one more investigator for the week and prayed that Heavenly Father would help us find someone. The first person we talked to was a Sri Lankan man. We were able to have a lesson with him right away in the park and then he came to church! Church was great. I love the ward here! However, the names are so hard to remember! After church we had a baptism. W, a little 9 year old got baptized. The baptism was small but it was perfect. After the baptism we had to drive Sister V back to Heidleberg and went to the testimony meeting there.

It was been such a good week. I love serving here!

I love you all so much!
Sister Baker xxx
P.S. -  As a STL we basically watch over all the sisters and make sure they are doing well. We also have to go on exchanges with all the sisters on the west side at least once during the transfer.

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