Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Australia Melbourne Mission - November 2011

15 November 2011
I arrived in Melbs no worries! The flight was great! I slept for 8 hours straight and I'm rearing to go!
The Mission President, President Lifferth and his wife are really nice! They were all waiting for us at the airport...
I have been assigned to serve with Elder Howard in Ballarat!!!  I'm really excited about this area.  There is a struggling ward there and I'm just excited..
Elder Howard is from Sydney and knows the Bennallack's up there..
All is well, talk soon! My P-day is Monday!!!

Elder Howard & Elder Bennallack
20 November 2011- BALLARAT
Yes I am in Ballarat.  My companion, Elder Howard is a really nice guy and we get along very well.  President said that he felt I needed to go to Ballarat after interviewing me. Elder Howard has already been here 6 months and he will at least be here another 2 transfers.  It seems that President likes to keep Elders in their areas for a long time, so I'd better get use to it here...

I've heard Ballarat is a really hard area.  There hasn't been a baptism here in ages and the last person baptised is less active.  We had Stake Conference this Sunday, so I still haven't met many from the ward, but I've been told that we only get about 70 to church on Sunday and somtimes it gets as low as 35.  So the ward is struggling alot, and there is nearly 100,000 people in Ballarat.  There is definitely some work to do here..

On a brighter side, I'm in a car here.  Most areas have a car, and we have the best flat in the mission apparently? It's really nice and plenty of room.. We have a dishwasher and all.. it's because Senior Sisters use to live in the flat, so it's way nice!

There is a booklet for Trainers now called 'The First 12 Weeks', so we're just going by that.  It's challenging but I know that the Lord has put me here for a reason.  He knows best, so it's all good.  I'm excited..
This is why I'm loving my mission:  I've been here three days and haven't wasted a single second.  The day after I got here, I set some goals with my companion to get things moving.  We called the Bishop, we met with him and called the Ward Mission Leader, then we met with him and the first counsellor.  That was good.  We are trying to get them really excited and make sure they know that they are really important to the success in this area.  I'm really excited to see what we can do here...

We then went through the area book and looked over dropped and past investigators and pulled out a bunch that didn't make sense why they were dropped.  So we established a list of people to go see and visit.  We are also encouraged to do an hour of 'fresh finding' each day which is tracting or talking to people on the street..

Country Victoria - this is Australia!!!
In 3 days, we have been able visit many people and establish 7 NEW INVESTIGATORS!!! hahah loving it! and teach 7 other lessons!! That's a record for the area! The past ages, they have been getting maybe 1 a week if they're lucky!   We visited a few people that have been on the fence for ages! Some for over a year.  I spoke to them  and found out their needs and concerns and was fairly bold with them.  I think we're making progress with them now.

But this is great!! Because of this hard work and following rules to exactness, we have had much success in the past few days which is really great for the area and Elder Howard! He is sooo excited for the work and we're both so unified about the work and area which is really important!

I've been trying to get members present during our lessons so we can gain a trust with the members as they see the way we teach.This has been great because we are starting to build positive feelings in the ward for missionary work!  This coming week is a big week! Alot of return appointments and setting foundations...
I love the Spirit so much! I been raving on about how important it is, but it is!!!

A cool experience happend yesterday.  We were just driving back from a lesson and we drove past this young lady running her dog.  The Spirit told me I had to speak to her. But I ignored it for a few hundred metres and then told my companion to turn around.  He thought I was crazy.  I was just being myself and spoke to this lady and told her I felt impressed to turn around and talk to her.   I turns out she dosen't believe in God at all, but she was really open to the idea and she told me if something was to come up in her life, she would definitely be open to the idea! loving it!! So we arranged an appointment and are seeing her in a few hours, even though its P-day.. I'm excited!!

Miracles are beginning to happen in this area!! I'm so excited! We have set a goal to baptise in this area during this transfer! We can do it! We have gone from having 3 stale investigators to having several strong  investigators..  It has been really physically demanding the last few days.  I'm spent, but very excited about the work!
Elder T Bennallack B2

Elder Bennallack & Elder Smith (from Firle Stake, Adelaide)
27 November 2011
What a crazy week!!!
In my District there are 3 companionships.. We have Melton and also Horsham, which is where Elder Smith (from Adelaide) is! I actually went on trade-offs with Elder Smith this week!  It was awesome! We got slammed way hard with tracting but he is a solid missionary! So I might see him a fair bit.
We have District Meeting each week but only with Melton because Horsham is too far away...

There was probably about 70 at church? And church was great! haha they chucked me in the deep end and made me the last speaker with the Stake Presidency there as well.. haha, I was to talk on 'the life of Christ'.  I think it went really well though, lots of people said they liked it.  
This Sunday we had 6 investigators at church!  I was loving it and they all loved it!! We're trying to break the 'personal bests' in all key indicators for each area. So we broke that one which was awesome.. the previous best was 4..  Speaking of key indicators, we have broken a few other records too which is great! I'm really trying to get to know the ward.

Because we weren't getting any dinner appointments I took the roster into Relief Society and told how we want to get to know them all personally etc, and now we have 4 dinner dates this next week, which is the maximum we can have.  We had zone conference this Wednesday and President told us he dosen't want us having dinner dates on Friday, Saturday and Sunday because that is the prime finding time.. soo I'm happy with my efforts!

My companion from the MTC,  Elder Hasson arrived on Wednesday, so I got to see him at zone conference! I'm glad he's here!

Michael hit the nail on the head when he said that investigators go just as fast as they come. We're really trying to get the pool of 20 investigators going, adding 5 newies each week and putting 5 on the back burner each week to keep it fresh.  Our golden investigator Amanda was dodging us. We went around to her house and I saw her, but she didn't think I did.. she was hiding.  ahh.. We were going to go over and set a date with her, but I think she must of read some 'anti' on the internet? Satan plays a hard game, just means we need to play harder..

We actually set 2 baptismal dates yesterday for the 24th of December with Lamourette, the daughter and Christian, the father.  They're a west African family that speak French.  I wasn't planning on setting a date, but the Spirit had other ideas.  It's a bit tricky teaching them, but it's ok.  We get Lamourette to translate to her father.  My few lines of French came out.. haha.. We also watched 'The Restoration' in French.  We're catching up with them on Wednesday to see if they have kept their commitments. I hope so because there is eight in the family :P 

Also, anyone can email me.. but I cannot reply to them, only family, but anyone can write to me :)

I did have to pay for a bike, but the way they do it, you just pay $75 and every flat has a bike and the bikes stay in the area..
I was on it the other day and we were speaking to some protesters.  We were actually on the News, I found out on Sunday... crack up!

I've had a really great week this week, highs and lows.. but I know every experience is making me a better missionary..  The Assistants are coming down for trade offs this Friday so I'm excited!! I'm excited to see what we can do here with Ballarat!
Elder B2

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