Wednesday, April 17, 2013

December 2012 This is His Kingdom!

3 December 2012
Time is flying by!!
Transfers were this week and like you already know, I am staying. My new companion was Elder Glover from Orem, Utah which I was really excited about because I love, love, love, Americans and he seemed like a really good guy but.... a few hours after the transfer meeting, President and the assistants realised that there was another zone leader companionship who couldn't drive because they both didn't have their license. President asked me if we could switch companions which I was happy to do. So now my new companion is Elder Strake from Perth. I'll be showing him the ropes as a zone leader too. It is quite funny his eyes have been opened big time this past week. It's good and he is a good man.
I'm not going to lie, it was really sad saying goodbye to Elder Guymon and the other assistants. I got really close to that guy, nearly 5 months together every day. He is going to be a lifelong friend. We had a choice experience together in the Temple on Tuesday.
The two new assistants living with us are Elder Keenan from Perth also and Elder Rawnsley from England.
So this week has been a really busy on, a lot of finding and a lot of planning.  We really wanted to re-establish a zone goal and theme, trying to move away from transfer goals and moving to quarterly goals.  We have had a look back at the statistical reports for our zone for the last year. Knowing where the zone is, gives us an opportunity to set goals to help them stretch.  Therefore, the next quarter we are going to shoot for 11 baptisms within the zone.  We wanted to have a catchy theme so they can remember the goal and focus on it, therefore our motto for the next three months is: 'Bringing Souls unto Heaven, We'll Baptise Eleven'.
We held a zone meeting on Wednesday to introduce the new goal and talk about how we are going to achieve it and the zone seemed quite excited. 
It's going to be exciting to see Elder JB on Thursday.
Elder TB

10 December 2012
It was such a choice experience seeing Elder J Bennallack at the airport!  It did take a while for him to come out so we did only get to see each other for a few minutes, but it was great! I was hoping we had a little more time because I would have loved to go GQ people at the airport with him.  Nontheless it was great to see him. He truly did have a different countenance about him. Just like Michael did when he returned home, he had the image of Jesus Christ in his countenance (Alma 5).


Missionary brothers: Elder T Bennallack with Elder Jonathon Bennallack
transitioning through Melbourne, coming home from the France Lyon Mission
In answer to your question dad it was completely fine seeing Elder JB, I’m so use to seeing people I know, it doesn’t bother me at all,  and the day went on with an exchange in Doncaster which was highly beneficial. I was hoping it would be, the two missionaries there have been white washed in, they needed some help and we were able to help. I mainly needed to have a deep chat with one missionary on a sensitive matter.  He was suppose to have been sent home the week earlier and it was good to help him set his own goals to improve and help him build a desire to be better. I was praying quite hard before I began the conversation to ensure I went about it the right way with love. It was good. I feel like my leadership skills have improved so much, still so much I can learn though.
As for the rest of the week, we have been busy finding and teaching in our own area. Our Ward Mission Leader really wants us to tract instead of GQ so on Saturday (the 37C degree day) we were out tracting for 5 hours… in 5 hours we didn’t find anyone… haha! it was ok though ,it was building my character.
Thursday, the zone was booked into the Temple to do a session. I woke up to the news that a missionary had ran away the night before though, with all his bags.  So I went on splits with one of the assistants on a man hunt. We headed straight down to the airport which was an hour away. Long story short, the missionary was found but I ended up missing the session that Elder Strake was in.  It was a blessing though because I was able to go in and do initiatory work instead, which I haven’t done my whole mission. I left the Temple on a spiritual high.
Miracle for the week, was a lesson I had with a couple we have been teaching for the past three months. They are great and I have so much love for them but they have stopped progressing.  The reason being they haven’t prayed about the Book of Mormon yet.  The spirit was so strong in the lesson and the words just came out but I left a very specific blessing that I know was form God that if he reads 2 Nephi 31-33 and then gets on his knees and prays to know if the book is true, that he will have a spiritual experience right then and there that he will recognise.  It was such an intense promised blessing.  I have complete faith though, that God will keep his side of the deal because I felt the sprit so strong when extending the promise.  We will see what happens this week with them.
We continue to find some great new people. We are having dinner with some new investigators this Thursday which I’m looking forward to.
Life is great. We have a very busy week this coming up with teaching.  Saturday we are going to hold another car wash, Sunday there is a Christmas Music Fireside which will be great for investigators. Life is good.
Elder Bennallack

17 December 2012
This week has been a ripper for me. I feel like I have a vision of my zone which is great. It’s all about working with individuals on a personal level.
On Tuesday we held another zone meeting which meant another opportunity to influence the zone.  We focused on the importance of planning and setting baptismal dates in every lesson. It went really well.
For months we have been working closely with the ward council and we had organised another ‘Missionary Car Wash’ activity for the Saturday just passed.  We really targeted it at the YSA’s to help out and I know the YSA reps had facebook pages and all the rest. We had the supplies organised, the high pressure hoses, the hands, all the signs but then we realise that the weather forecast was thunderstorms and rain all day.
We decided the night before to continue with it and to have faith.  We woke up to rain Saturday morning. It made me reflect on a faith building miracle a few years earlier at ‘Trek’ when we prayed as a company for the rain to cease and it did.  We knelt down in our flat with the two assistants and sincerely prayed that rain would not fall from the sky between 10:30am and 2pm.  We then acted and continued to set up reassuring all the hesitant calls that the Car Wash was still on.  Associated with the time of 10:30am were blue skies.  It was incredible!  Despite all the weather forecasts by the professionals, not one drop of rain fell from the sky.  The roads dried out, the YSA’s went out onto the roads with signs and the cars came flooding in.  It was a huge success. We were able to take so many non-members through the chapel.
 The missionaries in the zone were struggling because of a lack of investigators and teaching opportunities they were able to teach.  The members felt the spirit of service as they donated possessions and time.  Trust was built, focuses shifted as all saw the success and felt the excitement of missionary work.
Last night was a huge Christmas production put on by the stake. It was very professional. A lot of time and money from the stake was invested into this activity and it paid off.
In short, miracles are happening, I am growing, investigators are growing and the ward is growing.
As the Christmas excitement increases this coming week we are planning to utilise it.  With the help of many different families in the ward we have organised to go Christmas carolling five nights this week.  The objective being, to increase the love of those we are teaching; less actives, progressing investigators, potential and new investigators and recent converts.  I feel it is a great opportunity to build our relationships with these people.  We have quite a few people that are right on the edge.
It's an exciting time of the year! A time to reflect on our families. I am so very grateful for the wonderful family that I have. Thanks again for all the support I receive each week. This is His Kingdom and I feel privileged to be involved in the building of it.

Elder T Bennallack
24 December 2012
I have run out of time, so I'm just going to forward my email that I sent to President this week so you can have some idea of my week. I will speak to you tomorrow though at 10:30am your time.

31 December 2012
This week I'm emailing from the office computer because the library is closed due to new years eve...
This week has been a great week for me. We have been able to teach over 20 lessons which is always a great week. We have found this golden family.  The 16 year old daughter came to church yesterday, she loved it!  She has a baptismal date for the 9th of February.
Yesterday was a little nerve racking.  I was asked just before sacrament to teach Gospel Doctrine class while my companion took the Gospel Principle class in another room.  I was handed a talk and told to teach on it.  President and Sister Lifferth were in my class alongside with the Stake Patriarch and Temple Presidency... I was praying quite hard for the spirit.  I think it went quite well though, I was grateful for the opportunity, because it really helped me stretch.
Transfers are coming up this week, to be honest with you I would love to stay one more in this ward, but we will see what President has in store for me.
Elder Bennallack


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