Wednesday, June 27, 2012

May 2012 - 'The Field is White'

7 May 2012
This week has been another great week in Wagga.
I try not to be super repetative in my emails. As missionaries we are constantly doing the same things, tracting, finding and baptising.  It makes me really happy but at the same time I do want this to be an interesting read so I'll just include a few miracles.
We were able to teach this lady Cara this week who was a referral from a member. She is probably the most golden investigator I have even seen.  She is about 35 and she has two children. She was so excited for the gospel and her friend has prepared her well. She was at church yesterday with her children and told us that she felt the craziest feelings as she was reading Alma 32 and how she has read it over and over.  She felt those same feelings all through church yesterday.  I felt like it was inspired because we prayerfully chose to teach about the Holy Ghost in our gospel class, second hour. She absolutely loved church and is so excited to learn more.  The only thing is, she,s not married to her partener of 15 years.  She tells us she has been waiting 15 years for that ring and how she says it just doesn't feel right not being married. So baptism will be a little while away, but thats ok, in the Lord's time.
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We have an investigator Ben who is really excited about hs baptism this coming Saturday at 12:30pm. He's super solid.   A recent convert in the ward Jono, will be baptising him.   He is amazing!
Another of our investigators is Ken from Tiawan who is loving the gospel!  He has been to church 5 times now and is really looking forward to his baptism the week after Ben's.  It's awesome seeing him light up when he talks about the gospel.  He had never learnt about God before we met, but now has such a strong testimony of the Holy Ghost and the power of prayer!
Life is just great here! we are indeed reaping the rewards of our efforts.  I love it up here in Wagga.
It is getting a little cold though, but that's good.  I like the cold as a missionary because you have more variety on what to wear!
We actually finally replaced our window this week so it will be a little nicer and warmer at night. (Plus we won't look like 'bogans' anymore).   We went shopping around getting quotes for glass and instead of it being 80 bucks, we got this backyard glazier to do it for us for $35... loving life :P
Life is good!
Elder T Bennallack

14 May 2012
As you know things are 'well good' up here in Wagga.  I know we spoke yesterday for Mother's Day, but Ben's baptism went so well.  A great experience!
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Ben's baptism by Jono

I didn’t really tell you about Ken though. He is the man being baptised this coming Saturday. He is from Taiwan and we were introduced to him through his friend Daniel. We actually met Daniel the same night we met Tiarny.  Daniel had just moved to Wagga from QLD and didn’t know where the church was.  As we be-friended him, he was able to introduce us to Ken.

Ken has been progressing nicely ever since we met him. He has been to church 5 or 6 times now and although he doesn’t understand a lot of the service he is addicted to the spirit that he feels at church. He has such a strong testimony but was still a little nervous about baptism.  Last Thursday we were able to go around and give Daniel a priesthood blessing as he has conjunctivitis.  We invited Ken to be in the room.  After the blessing,  Ken expressed how he felt.  He said that this is perfect.  He continued that he is now ready and is really excited for his baptism this coming week.   Miracle.

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Our District

This morning I was able to have a really strong spiritual study session.  All on Jacob 5. I know you are all familiar with this 'parable of the olive tree', but it really stuck out to me this morning.  The Lord loves us all so much and will try over and over again doing anything to help his lost sheep.  In vs. 61 we read that the Lord needs servants though to serve diligently with all their might.  It is such a blessing to have this short period in my life where we can truely consecrate our time and effort to this cause.  Helping the Saviour.  Being His hands.  In vs 74,  He has commanded us to do so and I'm so grateful that I am able to respond to his call.
D&C 4:3 is when we diligently thrust in our sickle with our might; the Lord blesses us with salvation.
The more we try to diligently serve  Him, he blesses us more and more, even to the point that we can have salvation.
I love my Lord and my Saviour. He plays a key role in our Heavenly Fathers plan.  I am grateful for the time that I have to be his hands here in Wagga.  I know that the field is white. Those seeds were planted long ago and I feel privileged to be able to harvest His crop.
Elder B2

21 May 2012
What a wonderful week!
First things first, thankyou soo soo much for the package. Such a wonderful surprise! They will definitely be rationed so I don’t get fat! Can you please thank the Howes for me?   I was too busy before church, I didn't even have the chance to really talk to them at all and then they were gone straight after the sacrament.. So please thank them for me!

So as I said, it was a really awesome week. A lot of time was spent with Ken teaching him all he needed to know before baptism.  And yes his baptism did go ahead.  In fact it was a super spiritual baptism! I think that was because he was so prepared!  He asked me to baptise him which was nice... I was  touched by his faith.  As we were talking in the 'mens' after he came up, he was on fire. He told me how he felt the presence of angels. And how once he came up out of the water he saw an angel above the baptismal font.  It was deeply spiritual experience. It was evident how prepared he was as he bore his testimony after his baptism. It made us so proud as missionaries as he talked about acting on faith.  How he was acting off the promptings of the spirit that he has continued to feel as he reads the book of Mormon, prays and attends church. He’s amazing!

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Ken's baptism

The whole baptismal service was in Mandarin as Ken also invited his friends.  We had 5 non-member Taiwanese friends there. They all felt the spirit. This coming week is going to be a good one as we start to teach them all.
It would  be very handy having some Chinese speaking missionaries up here from the city.
Such a great baptism.

Yesterday at church was one of the best meetings I have ever been in. We had 4 investigators at church which was great. The YSA program is really on fire up here. Out of an average attendance of 50 people we had 16 YSA's at church yesterday! So awesome how they all strengthen each other.

After church, we had our musical fireside.  It went really well.  I was asked to sing in three songs. Two group songs and a solo. It went ok. The spirit was very strong which was what’s most important. I’ll try and send the video of me singing in this email.. We’ll see if it works.

So as you have read in the email title.. We bought a trampoline!! It’s awesome! It’s a full size tramp! So Saturday morning while the font was filling we took our lunch break and popped into a garage sale looking for dumbbells. We ended up walking away from it with a trampoline that we bought for $15-. $7.50 each! hahah!
So how did we get it back to the flat? Oh I’m glad you asked.  Remember the couch that was in my room before America?  Do you remember how I got that home? haha the same way that we got this tramp home.  We turned it up side down and put it on top of the roof of the car.  With both our windows down we held it to the roof of the car with one hand as I drove with the other.. haha it was perfect!  It didn’t damage the car either because it was big enough that only the mat was resting on the car roof with the frame hanging of the sides... I think it’s safe to say that we are the only flat in the mission now with a trampoline.. Just to keep exercise interesting in the morning.. jump on the tramp for a half hour. Solid cardio!  Oh, and the Assistants know we have it, so it's ok!!

Well this coming week is going to be busy but rewarding. On Tuesday we will be driving up to Griffith for District meeting. Then we will stay in the area and exchange for the day. That night we will all drive back down to Wagga where we will have a back to back exchange spending the next day in our area of Wagga. Then Thursday morning we will be driving another 3 hours to Wangaratta where we will be having a Zone conference.  I’m really excited to see some other missionaries and even more excited to receive inspired instruction from my loving Mission President.
After Zone conference the Assistants will be travelling back to Wagga with us where they will have an exchange with us on Friday. On that Friday, I will be travelling with one of the Assistants back up to Griffith to interview a young man that will be getting baptised in Griffith this Saturday, then straight back to Wagga.

I’m so proud of Griffith, they are  doing great as they have started to consecrate themselves!

On Saturday there is a huge wedding taking place at the chapel..It will be great to see a wedding.  I’m so proud of the people getting married,  A recent convert and a less active who are both so happy in the gospel and are now getting married! It should be good!
Soo yes this week is going to be a busy but great week.

Loving life in Wagga.  This place really feels like home to me!
Elder T Bennallack.

28 May 2012
Happy birthday Nate! hope it was a good one...
So this week has been a busy but fulfilling week. I did a Zumba class last Monday night because a lady in the branch runs it. Iit was actual way fun. haha!  We're going again tonight with one of our investigators.  Honestly my life has been changed. haha!
So the back to back exchange with Griffith in their area and then ours was very, very beneficial. It went really well!!  We have built some great unity in the district and there is a lot of love there.  We were able to help find an awesome family up in Griffith for the boys there, so I'm happy for them. They had their baptism on Saturday, and they're on fire.
They also really liked the exchange over here.  We made sure we had some solid lessons for them to teach and to get them pumped.

One lesson I went to was with an investigator called Kara.  She is an awesome Aussie mum!  She's amazing! She was a referral from a member in the ward and is progressing really nicely.  When we got to the lesson she said 'I know the Book of Mormon is true! Because I have prayed about it and I have felt the Holy Ghost when I read it and pray about it. I have seen my own life improve and I know God loves me!'   It's moments like that, that make everything you do as a missionary worth it!
She still needs to get married though, so it's a longer process for her, but non-the-less, she has accepted Christ and it makes me so happy.
Another one of our investigators is Marjorie, a 50 year old lady.  The Branch loves her. We found her by going through the former investigators.  She investigated over a year ago and missionaries just stopped visiting?   She is very interested in the Temple and she is working towards her baptismal date on the 9th of June! (Happy Birthday mum! haha)
Zone Conference in was really uplifting. I was asked to give a training there.  Form the feedback I got I think it went well. It was also great to have a interview with President as well.  He is a really loving man! I love him!

I remember the first day I got in the field, President told me that on average you baptise one out of every 20 investigators...
I have such a strong testimony of that. I was adding up our stats for the District over the past 10 weeks that we have been in Wagga.  As a District we have taught 83 new investigators. Out of those 82 we have baptised 4 in the District. 1 baptism to 21 investigators... The District is doing really well. We have baptised 4 in 5 weeks now.
The key is WORK and OBEDIENCE.  It's what we got drummed into us in the MTC, but it is so true. If you find the new investigators, you get the baptisms.  My focus at the moment is also trying to work smart.  To discern between quality and not.
This will help bring down the ratio of investigators to baptisms.
I heard a quote from our Zone Leader the other day, I really liked it.  He said "The master of the mission is the master of the phone."
I have found this to be wise counsel.  Alot of missionaries under use their phones.  We should be on them all day everyday, organising appointments, organising members for lessons, confirming the night before our appointments so they dont fall through, etc etc. Great counsel.
Well my time is up but know that all is well. 
Elder T Bennallack

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