Saturday, August 25, 2012

August 2012 - Croydon!

6 August 2012

Today we are putting on a Zone P-day in which we are doing an Olympics.. it should be really fun! We have roped in heaps of missionaries from outside the zone to join. It's going to be a great day. 


Rachelle's baptism with my new companion Elder Guymon
The baptism did go through on Saturday. That also went really, really well. Rachelle, who got baptised, is amazing! So solid..

We have spent all week on exchanges and planning and organising the mini mission for all day Saturday that was really beneficial to the youth in our Stake. We have such great visions for our Zone and I think that our ideas are working as we are becoming more and more unified. Unlike the other Elder Bennallack our Zone only has 2 Districts in it.  All up there are 8 companionships. It's really good though because that enables us to focus on the individuals. It's also a blessing that our Zone is close together so we can get together oft (unlike my past 9 months).


Rachelles's baptism

It's quite a learning curve learning how to lead, inspire, unite and correct. I love D&C 121. It was really good reading my Patriarcal blessing this week too. So much stuck out to me.

We have made a zone goal to beat all personal bests in the areas for the past 3 months... This week we broke 5 of the records! True miracles!


We also spent alot of time planning this week. We gave a training to the other Zone Leaders this past week in a Zone Leader Council, we also gave a 4 hour training over two days to all the mini missionaries. It went much better than I was expecting, as the youth had really spiritual experiences during the training as we were got them to role play, and taught them to listen to the Spirit. Many of the youth were quite teary.  It was very rewarding. President was at the training as well, fortunately he really liked it.

All the Zone Leaders in the Mission
I am learning the art of delagation and follow up. This is going to be the key to our Zone's sucsess. This past week two of the areas in our Zone baptised. It's all going really well! Our next baptism is scheduled for the 25th August. It should be good.
Elder T. Bennallack
13 August 2012

Elder Bennallack & Elder Guymon
It has been a really, really good week on my side. Statistic wise is was slow but in reality it was far from. We went on two exchanges this week which was great. It helps me stretch as a missionary as you are constantly trying to better yourself as a missionary, as you are an example to your zone. I remember when I was first out, I always looked at my zone leaders as missionary giants... so I love exchanges because you are constantly on your toes following the Spirit trying to be that example. An example of this is just going that extra mile, going completely out of your way not to let one soul pass without testifying to. Of course because of this, miracles occur and fire is intensified within the zone.
On Tuesday we had a zone meeting  and Elder Guymon and I were able to give two and a half hours of training. At first I though that’s a fair while, but once we prepared and actually gave the training it went really quick. I felt like it was maybe the best training I have given thus far, which is how it should be, constantly improving. I truly felt illuminated by the Spirit as I spoke. We had great compliments from our zone telling us how much they got out of the training which was quite rewarding. The stats for the zone this week was evidence of them listening to our training.
On Saturday we organized to have a zone activity. After getting special permission from President we put on a free car wash at wWantirna chapel. We got all the missionaries within their wards to announce it at church and we had all the missionaries from the zone, and youth and YSA come to Wantirna on Saturday morning to help out. As part of weekly planning during the week, we assigned  different Elders to make signs.  It all came together on Saturday.  We had huge signs out on the main roads which lead to Cathies Lane (the road the  Temple's on).  We had lots of signs directing traffic and even a bunch of Elders and YSA's out on the street waving signs (just like in America). We had lots of cars coming into the bunch of missionaries and youth washing the cars for free. We organized and had all different car washing materials, even a high pressure hose... Then as people's cars were being washed, we has missionaries such as myself  were general questioning (GQ'ing) the people and taking them on a chapel tour while they were waiting for their car. Chapel tours are so powerful as you show such rooms as the chapel, recreation hall, baptismal font and family history centre while teaching doctrine from all the paintings on the wall. We even had the  Temple to teach about. It was sooo successful! We had so many people come through, people that have lived right next to the chapel but never been inside. We truly found some quality investigators!! One man who has a family that I took through was so impressed he was asking questions like "what do I need to do to be baptised? When can I be baptised?"
It was great! Our job as missionaries is to ensure that every area within our zone baptises once a transfer. This activity really jump started a struggling area.
We are now planning to do two more within the coming month. We are going to move to an ever bigger level and have all the axillaries set up within the chapel in different rooms, so as we bring groups into different rooms there is someone there to give a two minute presentation on that particular room or program for example: the Primary President in the Primary room etc etc...
I love being here in the city, we are actually able to put into practice ideas that we couldn’t do in the bush.
As for my own area we are seeing miracles! We have three baptismal dates coming up who are progressing well. The biggest miracle this week was a man named Kent. Kent is truly a Genius! It's crazy just being in his presence. He is a single man in his 50's. Just to get an idea of him you walk into his mansion and he has a baby grand which he is crazy on.. I mean crazy! He has all these expensive paintings on the wall etc... Anyways words don’t do it justice.
So we tracted into him and told him about the Book of Mormon. He said "ok give me a week..."  We thought , 'yeah right...'  Anyways, we went back and not only was the Book of Mormon flogged, but he had a whole A4 exercise book of notes on the book! He was asking questions about things like the Urim and Thummin... he is crazy! Then we gave him the book 'Our Search for Happiness' which teaches all the doctrine we teach and he smashed that in two days. HE absolutely loves the Book of Mormon but is such a prideful man he wants nothing to do with organised religion.  He is a very independent man who believes he can do everything by himself.  Hence why he is against churches etc. Anyway we  prayed for the Spirit as we went into his home on Saturday. Leaving the lesson afterwards, Elder Guymon and I both agreed it was for the both of us, the best lesson we have ever taught on our missions. We listened carefully to his concerns, taught doctrine and recalled scripture in the most articulate way it was far beyond both of our capacities. We were using words that made us sound so sophisticated. Words that I have never even used. We taught with such power and unity it was so incredible to see the Spirit work through us. It’s incredible to see the Spirit qualify you! We kept asking the most heaven inspired question which led to him  to completely open up to us. We  helped him realise that if he believes the Book of Mormon is the word of God (which he has no doubt about) then he then must agree that baptism is necessary. Even though baptism, organised religion and all symbolism associated with the gospel is completely against every fiber of his being, the Spirit touched his heart as we set a baptismal date with him.
Our lesson went for two and a half hours. It was so intense. We have seen a complete 360 with this educated man. I am in awe thinking of the great power the Spirit can have on people, making weaknesses strengths and truly changing hearts.
Well these are but a few of the miracles we have witnessed this past week but time is up. We have such a glorious week planned ahead. I’m excited!
Know that I am sooo happy and full of joy as I'm on the Lords' errand. 
Elder T Bennallack  
Sunday 19 August 2012
My cousin Brad's family is in my ward.  On Sunday, Aunty Julie & Uncle Russell visited for the Primary Sacrament presentation.

'...they are awesome!  It was really cool to see them"
20 August 2012
At the moment we have three baptismal dates coming up which are looking really promising. Because only one of them was at church, the others will have to be moved, but they are still golden. A man named Matt will be getting baptised on the 1st of September which we are really excited about. We were able to set the date with him last week. He is really keen!

The biggest miracle for the week was this Burmese man named Van. As you know, I taught quite a few Burmese families up in Wagga. Sadly, none of them got baptised. I am aware that there is no Book of Mormon in Burmese, so when we met this man Van on my first day here in Croydon, we didn’t muck around and waste our time. We left him with the only Burmese literature we have, which is a lengthy pamphlet on Joseph Smith and the Restoration, left our number on the back and wished him the best of luck. Anyways, he gave us a call this past week and in his broken English invited us back. Turns out he read the pamphlet over and over had a bunch of crazy notes on it all and really felt the Spirit as he read it. This was all really exciting and added to my testimony, but learning from past experiences with the limited English he has, it would be hard to teach him. So I was able to talk to his friend on the phone that he called his translator. It is this Burmese man who’s English is perfect! He even has an Aussie accent. This coming week we have organised to go see them on Thursday and not only is Van and his translator going to be there, but Van is so excited, he is inviting all his friends and family to be taught too. So we are expecting to have a really spiritual lesson with 20 or so Burmese this coming Thursday. Miracle! I’ll keep you posted how it goes. We will be fasting before our lesson.

On other news I was able to go on an exchange with one of the Assistants this week. As a Zone Leader we get to exchange with the Assistants once a transfer. It was such a great exchange! Miracles were flowing, but even better, I was able to learn so much form my leaders. What a great opportunity I have, I am honestly learning so much about leadership, organisation and life in general. Not only that, but I am being blessed with daily miracles!

I’m really looking forward to this coming week; we have another car wash planned which should be bigger and better...
Know that you are all in my prayers; thanks for all that you do which enable me to lose myself in the work.
Elder T Bennallack

27 August 2012
So this week has been quite full on like usual, but I feel like I’m managing it all a lot better. We had a zone conference on Thursday which was great. We trained for an hour on having success in finding. The whole training was so uplifting though. It went for 6 hours. 6 hours of council.
There is a little bit of disobedience going on within the zone which has zapped quite a bit of our time this week sorting it all out.
However, our area is getting to where we want it to be. The ward was completely cold when it came to missionary work when I first got here. There was no trust with the ward council and missionaries. Because this is the zone leader's area, there was hard work happening but I think a lot of it was just the 'gun' missionaries working on their own. Anyway, the ward is slowly getting there... we have been visiting active families every night spending quite a bit of time leaving spiritual messages and building trust. It seems to be working. The ward is a lot warmer now which is good. There is still a lot of work to do though.
As for our investigators, Matt is progressing really well! He will be getting baptised this coming Saturday at 10am which is really exciting. He is really prepared. His wife was lsess active, so this is really good for the whole family.  They have a young daughter together. I’m excited for the future for them. The temple is the goal.
Speaking of the temple, the Blake’s back form Ballarat are doing so well! They are right on track to going through the temple early next year. John Blake now has the Melchizedek Priesthood. He is a giant. I heard from Elder Lambe the other day. Work in wagga is still on fire. There was this Indian family we found before I left, that came to church my last Sunday. Anyways, I’m so excited because they know the gospel is true. They received an answer so baptism is on the menu for them... blessings all around.
As for our other investigators with a baptismal date: There is a 15 year old called Jade who we have been teaching at a member’s home the past few weeks. She has been topchurch a few times now and loves it. She is so sincere. She is such an example to me. She is going to be baptised at the end of next month. It gives us a little time to get her whole family on board. Another date is a lady called Venetia. She is solid also. She knows the gospel is true after feeling the spirit. She has made great friends with a lady in the ward, so it’s all green lights for her too.
It’s a little sad when it comes to Kent. He received his answer, we have taught him the most powerful lessons but yet everyone has agency and he has chosen to ignore those feelings. Pride... it makes me so sad...
On a more positive note the lesson with Van went really well this past week. There wasn’t as many as I was hoping would be there but this coming week there should be. He felt the spirit so strong though. You could see it in his eyes. Then we asked him to pray about the message. He already said he did. He said he has been praying for something like this to come into his life and he recognises this message as his answer. We now have our foot in the door to the Burmese community. Exciting stuff!
Everyone have a great week, because I know I will!
Elder Bennallack

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