Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 2012 - Gold in Ballarat!

5 March 2012
On 'exchange' with the Melton Elders..
Has it been raining heaps in Adelaide?? It was like flooding here!!!Tracting for hours in the rain drenched!! Love it! So much better then the heat..
This week has had it's highs and lows. But on a whole, it was a great week becuase I  had a lot of time to reflect and try to improve in my own Chistlike attributes.

This week we had an exchange with Melton which was all right.  I was quite saddened with some news this week.  Our golden investigators, Jordy and Larry have moved!  I saw Jordy at the 'Helping Hands' service project on Saturday and he was telling us how they suddenly had to pack up and move for work.  Worse than that, is that they have moved to Ararat!!! So that's like an hour and a half away from us, and an hour from Horsham.  Even worse, Horsham is closed now and so they are out there by themselves.  There is not much we can do, because even if we travelled out theret o see them, it's not practical for them to travel to church each week seeing that Jordy was riding his push bike.  I was shattered because we were just preparing to baptise them... ahhhh... it really gave me a time to reflect.

I guess somtimes we're just put into people's lives to help them through difficult times and maybe not to baptise them? I don't know, it's way sad.  On the flip side, I guess I am sort of succeeding at loving my investigators.  It's just having that Christlike love, but now we don't have anymore dates at the moment :(   It's ok though..
Down time at the flat with the Elders from Melton. 
We're trying to do our 'pukana' (the scary voice you do at the end of the 'Hukka')
I'm really trying to work on selflessness.  Deep down you try to set dates within the transfer so you will be able to be there for the baptism, but it truely dosent matter.  And this is what I'm trying to work on.  Instead of rushing dates, having dates when they are ready.  We have been teaching this guy called Shaun that comes to church each week all the way form Geelong because he has a friend up here.  He has felt the Spirit and knows the church is true and is working towards baptism, but he will need to be baptised in Geelong.  But it's ok, I don't mind, it doesn't matter if we baptise him or if we hand him off to Geelong - it's all the same work.  I'm really trying to have that focus of working for the whole mission and not for my own satisfaction.
This week will be a great week! were off to Werabee for a zone P-day today and then we're going to the Temple as a zone on Wednesday, so I'm really excited about that!!
Elder T Bennallack (B2)

14 March 2012
Sorry the email is a bit late, we have had a crazy but an amazing week.
Monday, we were in Werabee together as a zone again for P-day.  We travelled up there because on the Tuesday, there was a leadership meeting which Elder McNeil had to go to being the District Leader of us and Melton. So I was on trade-offs with Elder Strackie in Werabee.  Elder Strackie is a new missionary this is his first transfer. He is the MAN, I was so happy to spend a day with him.  He is still fresh which I love because he is still 100 percent obedient and has the same desire that I have. We had a great day and although we lack in experienc,e we were able to set a date and all.
As for news about here in town in Ballarat, this week has been an absolute ripper! We were able to go to work with unity and on the same page.  This week was awesome! We have found a few golden families, found 10 new investigators, taught 25 lessons and the biggest miracle of them all caught up with Larry and Jordy!!!
I was really excited as Jordy came to church.  He caught a bus down from Aararat.  We were able to have a really good lesson with Larry, his strict catholic wife Sally and Jordy.  We talked about the importance of church and the parents were both super supportive of letting Jordy catch an hour and a bit train down each week for church.  Because that is the case, we then extended a baptismal invitation to Jordy because he truly desires to be baptised.  He is getting baptised this coming Saturday the 17th.  It's really exciting.  We need to find a place for the family to stay here in Ballarat over the weekend, for they are now in Aararat for Larry's work but it should be great.  A true miracle. I know that the character that Jordy is, he will be able to continue to work with his parents. It's amazing how its only after a trial of your faith that you see these tender mercies.
I wish Jordy's new best friend in the ward, Owen could baptise him but he is too young and both parents laid down the law and said that one of us missionaries had to do the baptism as a sigh of respect. And that was the last word, so Jordy has asked me to baptise him.  It should be a great day regardless.
The Australia Melbourne Temple

Our District at the Temple
The temple trip on Wednesday was amazing!!! It was by far the best experience I have had at the Temple.  So much was revealed unto me!!  It's so true that we learn line upon line, precept upon precept.  To top off all of the amazing experiences at the Temple, we went to 'Grill'd' at Knox City :P yummmm!
A pic especially for Elder B1 in France!!

There is so much happening in Ballarat. We have families we are teaching with others that are golden.
We will find out about transfer news on Sunday. I'm good either way, if I stay in Ballarat, there is so much work to do! And if I leave, well then I'm happy and blessed to say that I believe I've left it in a better state than I found it. It's booming at the moment!
This is the way we take photo's,
with Elder Strackie on the right.... good guy!!

I am really at a high in my mission right now. I truely feel blessed to be out here as I feel like I'm succeeding in loosing myself in the work. We were on the treain the other day and just overhearing this teenager on the phone, all her problems. I'm so glad I have no worries in the world. I just get to loose myself in the work. I love it!!

Elder Bennallack

19 March 2012
I have found out I'm getting transfered.  I need to go to the transfer meeting tomorrow in Melbourne to find out where I'm going to be serving.  Even craizier news, I'm training!!! hahaha! So I'll be picking up a new missionary on Wednesday.  I feel way humbled but at the same time really excited and a little nervous to think that President has put trust in me to train one of his missionaries.  This means because I'm being transfered, that I'll be doubled into an area as well!! (doubled in with a new missionary ie both new to the area) Way to throw me in the deep end President! na! I'm really excited for the opportunity though. I cant wait to see what we can do with the Lord's help in this new area.
I don't want to let President down!
As for the week in Ballarat.  We had exchanges on Friday with the zone leaders because they were down to interview Jordy for the baptism on the following day.  He passed with flying colours no dramas, and because he was down from Ararat, we got his best mate at church and his family to put him up for the night. Anyways we get a call at 9pm at night and there was a bit of a hiccup which resulted in us calling off the baptism ony hours before it.  It was quite disappointing, but at the same time, it's good there is an opportunity to sort all issues out before the baptism.  We told him were just postponing the baptism for a couple of weeks so we'll see.
Elder Bennallack and the Blake family
I've been really trying to focus on what Dad told me about the 'circle of influence and circle of concern' this week.  I guess it is what it is, and all we can do is focus on the things that we can influence.  Having said that, we have had a ripper of a week for finding!  We have found 23 new contacts to teach for the following week with 23 return appts for this week already set up.  This place will go off!!!  There is so much teaching as we have really been focusing on finding.  So there is some fresh work for the new missionary here, alongside with the golden progressing investigators that we have.
We had 10 investigators at church yesterday including this family with three YW girls.  It's great!!
Elder McNeil and Bennallack with a champ called Billy
I'm excited for the new challenge that lies ahead and to hear about these golden families and investigators progressing here, including Sean's baptism in a few weeks! He is so golden!
Elder T Bennallack
26 March 2012 - WAGGA WAGGA!!!

So I'm in Wagga Wagga in NSW!!!!!   hahahaha it's crazy!!!  I drove up here on Friday, a 7 hour drive from the Melbourne Temple.  I'm closer to Sydney now than I am Melbourne.   I was so shocked when they read at the transfer meeting that I was off to Wagga! (so excited though!!!) Even more shocked when they read that I am a District Leader now too!! Wow! President has thrown me in the deep end, not only doubling me into a new area, in a different state, in the middle of Australia but also a District Leader!  I'm the Distict Leader of us and Griffith and a senior couple.  Even more hilarious and ironic, is that I'm now Eder Howard's District Leader! hahaha He's in Griffith.  We had a good laugh about it!

After transfer meeting, I went and hassled the office and got hold of a bike rack and picked some bikes up form the repair shop so I could drive them up to Wagga, because the missionareis being doubled out of wagga told me that they weren't teaching anyone.  So we have no investigators to start with, so I thought bikes would be a good idea so we could be out and seen.  We will have our lines in the water. 
Elder Bennallack and new 'golden' Elder Lambe from England.
I spent the night in Elthem and on Wednesday morning went to President's home to greet the new missionaries.  I'm sooooooo stoked with my new companion!  His name is Elder Lambe and he is from England!!!! He is the man!!! He is a convert of only two years and is the only member in his family.  His girlfirend of 5 years actually introduced him to the missionaries and now he's out serving and she's waiting... waiting with a ring on her hand actually.  They're engaged.  He is a really great guy and we get along sooooo well!!!! I'm sooo happy!
On Wednesday night we actually were invited to stay at President's home with President and Sister Liffereth. It was also really good spending quite a bit of time with them. They are truly amazing! I love them both dearly!

Thursday morning we hit the road after studies and Sister Liffereth packed us a lunch (you could tell she missed packing school lunches) haha and I drove the 7 hours up the Hume Highway to Wagga Wagga.  I'm the only one that can drive, becuase 'goldens' (new missionaries) can't drive in their first transfer...
We got to Wagga and sussed out the town, where we could GQ and then went to the flat. The flat is awesome! It's a whole house and garage! It was completely trashed and still is a fair bit of work, but it has so much potential and even better, we have so much stuff here!  I'm soo happy, we have a whole gym at our house! A bench press, an incline bench that we use for fly and stuff, my chin up bar, and heaps, heaps more! We have resistant bands that we have set up, and we have a boxing bag that I put up outside with golves! It is amazing! My dream!!!!
Anyway, when we first got in, went straight to the phones and called the Branch President and the Branch Mission leader who was just set apart yesterday.
The Branch is actually amazing!!! They are a young branch and are constanly hanging out together during the week, having weekly sports nights and weekly FHE's.  We were able to meet half the Branch before Sunday and the other half yesterday. We are making a hugh effort to remember names, writing them down in our planner to build trust.  I'm so excited to work with the members, they're great!  There is an average of 50 at church each week including Isacc Bloy and his wife... Small world! We're actually off to his home for tea tonight, then FHE.
On Saturday the YM had a service project already organsied at our house.  So not only were we able to meet them all, but they have planted a huge veggie garden in our backyard! Loving life!!!
We have seen so many miracles already up here.  We have truly had to start fresh because there was nothing at all happening here, it was like opening a new area.  On our first proselyting day, we hit the streets and went Downtown.  I was praying so hard to see miracles in finding, to get a nervous Elder Lambe stoked for finding.  We went out and literally talked to every single person, even getting people to wind down their windows at traffic lights!  The first person we talked to, we got a return appointment and then 10 other return appointments followed that day!!!!  We have found all these new people to teach and aleady have a fairly full week with teaching this coming week.  We were even able to have a really spiritual lesson yesterday and set solid date with an aborigonal mother of four.  She was nearly bashed to death two years ago by her ex and has to learn how to walk and talk again. She thanks God for her life and has been praying the past few weeks for God to come back into her life.  She is really excited about the work and it was a great experience for Elder Lambe. We are both sooo excieted for Wagga Wagga, miracles are happening daily here!
When we first got here we fasted to be able to find those families and people that can give leadership to the Branch.  I'm so greatful to be all the way out here in NSW in Wagga.  There is so much potential here, it is rediculous...  North Wagga is starting to get sorted after those floods, so it's all good!
I love this work and am truly on top of the world right now!!!
Elder T Bennallack xx

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