Wednesday, April 17, 2013

January 2013 The Lord is Hastening His Work

7 January 2013
I’m really excited because I’m staying another transfer here in Wantirna South!  That will be six months for me in this area and seven and a half for the zone.  The zone is truly lifting and we are seeing success, so I’m so glad to be staying.  Our area is on fire too, we are teaching amazing families and are looking forward to some baptisms in the coming weeks. Suzanna has asked me to baptise her.  It has been such a long road for her and I love her so much!  I’m so excited for her!
As for everyone else, Elder Stracke and both the assistants are staying, so our flat is staying exactly the same.  This means I will be 'killing off' another two assistants because they both go home at the end of this transfer.  I’m really excited to be staying though, I love this area, I love the people, I love my room-flat-mates, I am just loving life.
Our ward is really struggling though.  We only have about 80 in attendance now at church.   I’m looking forward to ward council this coming Wednesday. Obviously a lot of things are going to be discussed; we have a lot to share as well.
I haven’t really focused too much on less actives my whole mission although we do a little. (One family came to church for the first time in years this week.) I have always left it to other missionaries because there are plenty of missionaries in the mission that are scared to find, therefore they always tend to do a lot of less active work. But this coming transfer we are really going to have to shift our focus a bit and really try and help some of these families. Its good being missionaries because you can be bolder with less actives because a) you don’t know them and b) you don’t live there permanently.
I have no idea why, but on Sunday I rock up to church and everyone kept coming up to me saying ‘Elder Bennallack, you’re a party animal are you?’ I was so confused until I found out that someone in the Waverly ward has put a bunch of the ‘I’m a Mormon’ profiles up on their notice board alongside with their picture. For some strange reason they have chosen mine and so on the Waverley notice board is a print out of my ‘I’m a Mormon’ profile that I wrote before my mission that says ‘Hi I’m Tom Bennallack and ..... I like to socialise ... ‘With a silly picture of me at Disneyland when I was with Sarah. It’s pretty funny when you think about it. I just laughed. So much for being dignified and people not knowing your first name... haha.
Anyway that’s about all for the week for me. I felt prompted to teach an investigator about our Heavenly Mother this week. That was definitely a first for me on the mission, but the spirit was so strong and it was really beneficial.
Elder Bennallack
 14 January 2013
That is very exciting news about Jill (cousin) coming to Melbourne, in Feb too!  Maybe I might serve around her.  At the moment I have just as many Sisters in my zone as Elders. I have 7 in my zone at the moment. My mission has changed so much lately. At the start of my mission there was a lot of drama with sister missionaries.  But of late we have has some strong sisters come in and step up. They are leading the mission now. They can touch the hearts of people that we can't. I am fairly sure we have nine 19 year old sisters coming in next month too all from Utah. It's going crazy!
Anyways, I'm really excited because Elder Pearson is in town due to the creation of the new stake yesterday. Tomorrow we will be having a big conference with him which is scheduled to go for five hours. Then on Wednesday he has called a special ZLC meeting in which we will be spending another 3 hours with him. It's going to be a great week!
Well it is the first week of the transfer and it is all happening. We have been knocking a lot of doors this past week trying to build our teaching pool.  We found a few good people. One family that we are teaching tomorrow, I am quite excited about.
A few of our golden investigators have been on holidays the past few weeks, they all get back this week which will be great. I'm quite hopeful of quite a few investigators. We just need to continue doing all we can as we act in faith.
I started the Book of Mormon again this week. I'm now in second Nephi and loving it. Nephi is such a great example to all of us. Regardless of his challenges, he acts, I love it!
The zone is going really well. I can look back over the past six months in the zone and realise where I have gone wrong. Although I'm still making mistakes, we have a great vision within the zone as each companionship is working. There was a baptism in the zone yesterday and there are baptisms scheduled every week for the next six weeks.  Exciting times, the Lord is hastening his work!
This past week we have been working with lots of less-actives.  It was rewarding to see many of them at church yesterday.
It has been a great week, I feel so blessed. I'm just enjoying the spirit that I feel in my life and the clarity of the promptings I have been receiving of late.
Elder Bennallack

 21 January 2013
It sounds like it was a very choice week, especially with the sealing of Nana & Grandad that took place on Friday. 
Well this week has been full on for us!  It has been one of the best weeks I have had on my mission.
Statistically we found 8 new investigators, 21 new contacts, taught 26 lessons, have 8 people lined up for baptism in February, and we had so many of the less-active families that we have been working with come to church!  And we had two baptisms in the zone this week. Half the baptisms for the whole mission this week came from our zone, I'm proud of them.
We have a great family lined up for baptism.  It was quite a miracle how it all happened.  Elder Stracke and I were out tracting this one night and we knocked on this door.  Derrick answered the door and with attitude went on to tell us how he was atheist.  I was fairly relaxed at this time but I felt this really clear prompting to rebuke him so I did.  I told him about him not having a purpose in life and for never even attempting to reach out to God, I could see the spirit working in him as he was hanging onto every word. We were then able to teach a bit about our purpose.
On the follow up visit we had a great lesson just on who God is and how we can communicate with him. He offered the kneeling prayer at the end.  We are now teaching three out of 5 in the family and they three have dates for the 9th of Feb. Bit of a miracle I thought.
Tuesday and Wednesday were some of the best days of my mission as we had the privilege of listening to Elder Pearson. He is such a powerful speaker as he is filled with the spirit. On Tuesday we had a 9 hour meeting with him from 8am till 5pm. Although drained by the end, I left with so much faith! What a man of God! The next day he addressed us as zone and district leaders for a further 3 hours. I have a great love for that man!
It has been a great week; there is so much happening in our area. The mission is lifting. The Lord is indeed hastening his work.
Elder Bennallack
 29 January 2013
This past week was good. We were still able to teach over 20 lessons but had a few struggles with some of our investigators.  It’s expected though, we all have to go through the trial of our faith, if we endure well then the Lord will bless us.  A little disappointing we had six at church but quite a few of our key investigators were missing.
Well I have just left a ZLC meeting at President's home.  The mission just hit an all time low of 12 baptisms for this month of January after baptisms in the 40’s in November and December. The assistants have their work cut out for them as they try to turn this around.  Elder Pearson set the goal for us to reach 75 baptisms as a mission in March.  It will happen; we just need to have faith.
Hopefully we should be baptising this coming weekend.  Cheyenne who is 16 is on date.  She comes from a part member family who are supportive of her.  She has fit into the church so well!  We have been able to bring some YW out teaching with us to be-friend her and they have done such a great job. She went to a YW sleep over the other night, alongside with weekly mutual on Tuesdays and our sports nights on Wednesday.  Tonight we are teaching her the law of chastity, should be good.
Suzanna is set for re-baptism and has asked me to baptise her, so hopefully that should happen within the next week or two.
It’s just exciting times here in Wantirna South; it’s exciting to be serving a mission at this critical time in the world’s history. I’m grateful for the relationship I continue to develop and deepen with my Heavenly Father. Gratitude fills my heart. Elder Bennallack 

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