Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April 2012 - Wagga Wagga NSW

2 April 2012
This week has been probably one of my favourite weeks of my whole mission! i am seriously the happiest I have ever been!
In reply to Dad's question, we have an older Statesmen Camery. It's done 70 000 km so hopfully it will get traded in soon but it's ok.. We meet in a really nice new chapel and the ward is amazing!!!!
My week has been a ripper!!
A bit domesticated!  Homemade pasta!!

I'm getting along so well with Elder Lambe! He is seriously the man! We are laughing all day long! I may have put a ball through a window this week (I now know why mum always says not to kick balls inside) but at the same time because we have to pay to fix it we were thinking let's do it ourselves... hahah!  So we practiced by taking another window out. haha! but at least we know how to fix it now... so we're just going to go get a piece of glass and fix it ourselves.. way cheaper!
We have been working really hard this past week and have seen the belssings of our fast and effort.
This week we found 30 new contacts which is unheard of... other zones collectivly are averaging 40 per week so we were stoked!  We are truely talking to everyone. We have got 12 new investigators
this week which has really got the area pumping!
We are teaching soo much and still have so many people to see!! It's on fire!  We have 3 baptismal dates now and our golden family, Rosa and her 4 children all came to church yesterday and they loved
it!! The branch is soo great and made them feel so welcome! Shout outs from
the pulpit and all!! so were really excited about them!
Another lady we set a date with, is a girl called Crystal who we tracted into.  It turns out, she saw
missionaries about 2 years ago. She knows the Book of Mormon is true, but never acted on it. We
have been bold with her and she is excited for her date :P
Elder Bennallack
10 April 2012 - I love My Life!

'Hangi' in Griffith
We travelled up to Griffith the other day to go on an exchange with Elder Howard and Elder Uliefu. We were really tying to help them 'find' in their area. We were able to find them 13 new contacts
which was golden! A new contact is the same as a new investigator, but it's just minus the prayer..
alot of the time it's not the right situation to pray with somone on the street, so that's the only
difference.. someone you teach doctrine to, and get a return appointment.
So hopefully the work starts to move up there, we gave them a fair boost. It was great to build unity in the District. When we were up in Griffith we got up extra early and went to some members home with less actives and cooked a 'hangi' with them.. it was awesome!!

In our area this week, the work continues to fire along! We are seeing some great miracles! We found
another 11 new investigators this week. The highlight of the week is the way some members are
progressing though! It's amazing! We're determined to baptise this transfer and we will! We're
I can honestly say that I have been working super hard and being 100% obedient my whole mission thus far, but we are stepping it up another level. Elder Lambe and I hardly eat. It is rare if we get both an hour for lunch and an hour for tea in the same day. Don't get me wrong, we're not starving ourselves or anything, but we take food with us in the car or just have one big meal in the middle of the day... Life is so busy and great! On the flip side, I literally don't have any time to write any letters!!! I have have a good 30+ letters to reply too... it's just not going to happen.. hahaha. And usually you have a spare 45 mins at the end of each day after planning and updating the area book, but I'm either on the phone to the District or to the Zone Leaders. hahah  It's so great to be asleep within a minute at night time.
Our mission president counsels us to get at least an hour of fresh 'finding' in per day, so that even though you have progressing investigators you always have new blood.  He calls it the 'escalator effect'. You always need people stepping on the escalator, so there will always be people progressing compared to the elevator effect, focusing on just one or two... then nothing.
We are truely struggling with time to 'find' each day though. As it is, we have people to go see but can't because there is no time.  We have a list of contacts we have found on the street that we can ony go see in spare time. I feel like we might be loosing a few through the cracks.. It's great problem to have though! I just wish there was another set of missionaries in the area.
As for the miracle of the week. Her name is Tiarny. We were working in the city one evening and it was 8:50pm and we were 5 mins away from the flat. (We have to be in at 9pm) Elder Lambe and I decided we would talk to one last person.. Next thing we know, Tiani is walking past. We were able to set a return appointment and we have been able to go back and teach her three times in the last week!!! She is 17 and at TAFE so we meet with her in the Park lands. We taught the best lesson I've ever taught, because we taught her, not the lesson!  Truely listening and having a written lesson plan. Putting into practice all of 'Preach My Gospel'. She is such a solid investigator who felt the Spirit so strong! She is on fire! She will be getting baptised on the 28th of this month...
This miracle goes hand in hand with our zone theme of Jacob 5:47 "What more can I do in my vineyard?"
Life is so great here in Wagga! Elder Lambe and I have become more and more unified. He has truely become one of my best friends! Such a champ!
Elder B2

16 April 2012

Beautiful country with remnants of floodwaters
This week has been crazy good! Not only super spiritual, but really fun too..
We went and saw this less active this week and had a big chat to him. He is a piliot and took us to his work where we got to tour all the planes! They're awesome! Such a neat experience being in the cockpit and having a feel for the controls...
Way better than that though, was the miracles we have been able to see this week!
I think one thing that I'm personally doing alot better here in Wagga over Ballarat, is working with members better.  In Ballarat, I now realise I was trying to do it all myself, strictly teaching or finding from 10am to 9pm. But over here I have realised that you can work with the members alot more! We have been spending quality time with them, going around to their homes, leaving spiritual thoughts and building trust so they will be able to trust us with their dearest friends. It has truely paid off.  Over the past two weeks we have recieved 9 refferals!!! This is amazing!
We had 3 investigators at church yesterday but they all had close fellowship from members, so they all truely enjoyed themselves. for eg. Tiarny, the girl I was telling you about last week. Through having members her age at the lessons, she has been able to become really good friends with them. Not only were we able to teach her twice last week but she has been with members nearly every day! The branch puts on a sports day every Saturday for investigators to come along to which they did, and tiarny stayed for hours at a members home loving life.  Tonight she will be with us again at a members FHE. This coming week we will try to meet her family :P   This is just one example, but we truely have some solid investigators at the moment.
Another is Ken.  He was also a refferal.  He has been at church the last few weeks and we were able to share the Restoration DVD with him on Saturday in Chinese.  He felt the spirit so strong and is now working towards baptism.  Not only that, but we play basketball with 20 of his Asian friends who love us! this is the opening we needed to baptise all of Wagga! haha..
There are many more also! The work is truely moving foward here. The members are so great! We had 8 members at lessons this week which is more then the expected amount for a whole branch!  I love it here!!
There was an even bigger miracle that occured yesterday though!  Here is a story for you!
Three weeks ago Elder Lambe and I started to teach 9 muslim investigators. Five from Afganistan and 4 from Iran.  They all had a huge desire to be baptised and were really excited, but we got word from the President to stop teaching them. This is because there are huge complications involved with muslims from these countries. If they were to get baptised they would not be allowed to return home otherwise they would be killed.  Not only that, but if word got back to their countries that they have joined, they would kill and torture their families too.  So it's understandable why we shouldn't teach them.  I was content with that answer from President and it seems logical.  At the present time families are more important. They will have their oppotunity later.
We were instructed to just leave them with a Book of Mormon and ask them to pray about it, but leave it at that. 
Ok,  so after that background information, yesterday were tracting and we saw this man on the street that we approched.  As soon as he realised who we were, his whole face lit up!!  It turns out that the Book of Mormon we left the Afgans in Arabic was lent to this man which was one of their friends. He continues to tell us that he has been reading it every night before bed and absolutly loves it and the feeling he receives when he reads it!!! He then went on saying that he has been trying to get in contact with us the past three weeks and wants to know everything and come to chruch!!! ... a full on 'How Rare a Possession' story...
Wagga Wagga NSW
So as crazy as this story is, we are now stuck in a sticky circumstance... I had a lengthy chat to President about a few things last night, but after talking it over with him we came to the conclusion that we will teach him a little and let him come to church, but help him realise that he won't be able to be baptised at the moment and that soon his time will come...
True miracles though! (D&C 130:20-21). I have a strong testiomny of this scripture!  We are truely being belssed so much every day! Elder Lambe and I were talking about it yesterday. The Lord is helping us with the work and we love it! For example, yesterday we decided to go tracting. The first door we knock on, we are invited in and end up teaching a family.  We were able to set a return appointment with their friends who come in at the end of the lesson...
I could go on and on but let it suffice to say that life is good... life is great!
Elder T. Bennallack

23 April 2012
It has been another great week in Wagga! We only had a total of 9 members at church yesterday though... hahaha it was crazy! That's beacuse we actually had our General Conference broadcast this week, and yeah there were 9 people total watching it at the chap.. haha 
Conference was awesome! The Branch didn't show the Saturday sessions so we were able to watch them in our own time at the chapel on the projector.. soo good! The Priesthood session we saw at a members home with four other priesthood holders and then the sessions yesterday.
Conference is so good as a missionary but also hard at the same time. It's awesome because I believe I'm more in tune than I have ever been, so alot sticks out, but also hard because as a missionary it's go, go, go. When I hit my pillow at night, I'm out in a few minutes. Actually we often go to bed early after all is done. So sitting to watch conference was the first down time I've had for ages so it was hard to stop yourself from constantly drifting. It was awesome though!!
This week we had a lesson with a less active and her partner. He had been taught alot in the past and has heard it all before. He's what we call a 'dry member'.  After alot of prayer we decided to teach him about the Temple.  It was such a spiritual lesson as we were actually able to show him HOW the gospel blesses your life.  You always hear that it does, but being able to show him how he can be sealed with his family forever and the end goal was what he needed to hear...
Another highlight for the week was Tiarny.  She is getting baptised this Saturday on the 28th.  This weeek she has been able to continue to progress so much! I have gained such a testimony of having the right members at lessons.  We have had a member at every single one of her lessons besides the very first.  As a result of this, she is getting baptised.  Before she even came to church she was very comfortable with alot of members. I truely feel that we could just walk out the back door tomorrow and she will be perfect and super strong in the gospel. This past weekend she was actually invited by her fellowship members to go with them on a road trip down to Melbs for a Stake YSA dance!!! This makes me so happy! We spoke to her last night and she thinks she has just had one of the best weekends of her life. She loved it! Yesterday, she went to church in a big Ward in Melbs which is great for her. Fellowship is key!
Elder Lambe is going to be baptising her which he is truely excited about. He has never baptised anyone so he is stoked!
We were also able to set another date with a guy called Ben this week. He is also golden! He has been to church three times now and his countenance is truely changing. He is also a YSA.
We are actually really targeting the YSA program at the moment. It is on fire! We have all these young investigators that love the gospel! We hold a sports day every Saturday and a FHE every Monday night which they all come to and keep busy! This branch is great!
Rosa and her children were at church again yesterday which was also great.
We actually have transfers this coming Sunday,  so I'm fairly sure neither of us will be moving. Well I hope not, but if there is no email next Monday you will know why. I truely want to stay here in Wagga with Elder Lambe. We get along so well and have really built some strong unity when it comes to teaching. We have been working very hard this past transfer. 
Elder Bennallack  B2

30 April 2012 - What a great baptism!!

This week has been an amazing week! For starters, Elder Lambe and I are both still here in Wagga for another transfer! We're so excited because there is going to be a lot that is going to happen this transfer... Loving life!

Elder Bennallack, Tiarny and Elder Lambe
Tiarny's baptism went really well! All week were focusing on getting her ready. She was interviewed on Thursday and she was really excited.
We were so pleased with the baptism! So many people from the ward came. Around 30 or 40! Some people drove an hour and a half in to come! We had 5 investigators there and they all said afterwards to me that they felt the spirit as Elder Lambe baptised her.
Elder lambe was so nervous but he did such a great job! Well I knew he would, seeing that he practised on me 100 times before hand! But I was so happy to see my 'son' have his first baptism! He was so excited! We both were.
I was asked to confirm her on Sunday which was another very spiritual experience.

Actually this whole week has been a huge missionary affair. The members must be sick of us!
We had the baptism on Saturday where Tiarny made us sing at.. (It actually went really well. Elder Lambe and I borrowed two guitars and we both sung a really nice version of 'Our Saviours Love'. Bought tears so we were happy:P)

Then on the Sunday, I was asked to pass the sacrament, then I conferred the Holy Ghost upon Tiarny, then Elder Lambe gave a 15 minute talk and I ended the meeting with a 20 minute talk.  I was actually happy with my talk. I spoke on the 'pride cycle' found in the Book of Mormon. I truely am grateful for the talent that the Lord has given me with public speaking. Being able to go up to the pulpit with half a page of dot points and being able to produce a talk.

We then taught the gospel principles class and then in the third hour, taught the combined Young Mens and Young Women’s which turned out to only be Young Women. It was a little weird  being invited to take the Young Women’s lesson but I think they got alot out of it as we discussed the new 'For Strength of Youth' and how that booklet is literally the modern 'armour of God' and how we need to always be wearing or living the armour of God. It went well...

Tiarny (centre) and the fellowship YSA's who have helped us.

I’m really happy with the relationship we have with the members in the Branch at the moment. We truely have their trust as we continue to receive their referrals of their closest friends.. We had dinner last night at a members home where we had four of their non member friends there.. It was so powerful! We were able to get return appt with all four of them.

Honestly if there is anything you can do back home, it's invite your non member friends over for dinner when the missionaries are there..  It’s always so powerful!

Last night we had our investigators at an YSA FHE at the Bloy's too... life is great!
The news gets even better! We received the monthly mission newsletter this morning and I was truely happy when I saw that my investigator  from Ballarat, Sean got baptised in Geelong on the 21st of April. He was the man! Elder McNeil and I taught him all the lessons and I actually set his date and then we palmed him off to the Geelong Elders.. It made me so happy to see that his baptism went through! He is another YSA.. hahah!

Another cool miracle before I head out..
We met this really cool girl called Jess (who is of YSA age) at Coles the other day when we were buying our food.. We were able to set an appoinment and go and teach her and her room mates this week. She is golden!
I know it’s nothing huge, but its moments like that that I really love! Just those tender mercies that the Lord gives us when we just open our mouth everywhere we are...

Well that about all for the week! Life is great here in Wagga and we are truly seeing the fruits of our labour. The field is white and we are harvesting.. I fell like the seeds have been planted long ago and we are just walking through with our sickle reaping with our might.

Love Elder T Bennallack

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