Elder T Bennallack: Exerpts from his Letters & Emails..
"And now I say unto you that this is the order after which I am called, yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren, yea, and everyone that dwelleth in the land; yea, to preach unto all, both old and young, both bond and free; yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and the rising generation; yea, to cry unto them that they must repent and be born again." - Alma 5:49
Monday, April 8, 2013
October 2012 The work moves forward..
1 October 2012
Another great week in the mission. I must admit, because of the Grand Final, it was killing me a little on Saturday though. We just stayed at the flat and did some planning for our upcoming zone meeting this week instead of tracting. It would have done more damage than good.
So first off we have some great investigators progressing. Two of them should be getting baptised this coming weekend. One on Friday and one on Saturday... hopefully.
The one on Friday night is an 18 year old named Gabriela. She is from Peru. She is part of a part member family that we have been able to teach. She is really awesome! She loves the Book of Mormon. Her family is really excited. It will be a great day.
The other baptism will be another YSA who is named Jennifer. She is 19. Her boyfriend introduced her to us and we have been teaching her these past five weeks. She has a really strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. She prayed about it and received her answer. She loves church and fits in really well with the strong YSA program here. The only problem is that her date is a little shaky. Her parents and family is strict SDA’s. She spoke to them last night about her desires and it all blew up. We are really praying about what to do with the situation. We really want the approval of the whole family so it will be vital to get them to the baptismal service... The problem though is that if we don’t do it this weekend we won’t be able to do it till the 27th weekend.. And we have another baptism scheduled for that date... Next week is General Conference and the week after is Stake Conference. I guess it’s a good problem to have so we will see how it all goes this coming week?
We were looking at our area map and we saw that within our area there is the ‘Caribbean Markets’ We went there on Wednesday to see if we can somehow use it to our advantage. It is exactly the same as the Queen Victorian Markets. We spoke to the people in charge and we can rent a table there for only $5- We called President with our findings and it turns out that he was looking into getting a stall at the Queen Victoria Markets a year or so ago. He thinks it’s a great idea. So this coming week we are going to rent a table at these markets and have all sorts on there. Try and interest people with Family History and also have some Mormonism 101 questions presented and what not. I think it has great potential to find a lot of new people but we will see how it goes this coming week.
10 October 2012
Wow it has been one heck of a week! Colourful would be the right word to use. So we gave a zone training this past week which went for three hours. We truly felt inspired to train on Christlike attributes. We focused on our levels of motive. I read a talk that talked about this. To be honest with you, our zone has not been working the hardest, so we have been super busy trying to keep them accountable and keep them working. Disobedience is also a huge problem, also Elders and Sisters having relationships on the mission... It’s just silly. So we have been taking cars away and all the rest.
Anyways back to the levels of motive. We felt that we needed to go back to step one by asking everyone a few personal questions like why they are really out here, and what they want to achieve on their missions. We then trained on the 4 levels of motive. Fear, Reward, Social and Love or Agent.
It is so true in life that different people do different things for different reasons. ie. I would have to come home on time on the weekend and meet my curfew, not because I wanted to but because of that fear level. Fear of having my car taken away or being grounded or what not. This level of motive works but is not lasting. It is the same as the Reward motive. ie. getting money for getting a 20/20 in year 12. Or doing chores for pocket money... This motive also works but is not lasting.
Then we have the social level. We just do something because it is what’s expected of us. ie. going to church each week as a young teenager. It’s not that we have a burning desire to, but that it’s just socially accepted. Another example would be going on a mission because that’s what’s expected and all your friends are.
That last Level is where we have the ability to choose. The Agent level or The Love level, where we actually do something because we what to. ie. Doing a Service project for someone else. We do it out of Love.
We compared this to our missions. Sadly some come out for one of the first three reasons. Some fear, some are promised rewards like cars and what not, some come out because everyone is doing it, but regardless of our original motive we need to reach that motive of Love. Serving the Lord not just for the ‘RM” title when you get home or because you're making your family proud, but because you sincerely want to Serve the Lord. You want to assist in this important gathering of Israel. You want to work with all your heart, might, mind and strength and you want to be obedient.
We have really challenged everyone in our zone to really self evaluate themselves and see how Christlike they truly are. Missions are not only for our investigators bust for us. We need to become more converted to the gospel. We have this unique chance to devote our time and attention to becoming more like our Saviour. As we do this, the success naturally comes, but we need to reach that level of Love. The Saviour’s earthly ministry including the agony he suffered, was all out of Love.
We really felt like there are missionaries in our zone that are truly missing the mark. I’m praying that the training we gave will really sink deep and help change people’s natures not just their behaviours.
Well that was on Tuesday. Wednesday we had interviews with President which I always look forward to. He is truly such a high role model for me in my life. A man of such wisdom, a man of God.
Thursday we were visiting all of our companionships in our zone, personally following up on what we talked about at zone meeting. It was really great to have some really personal chats with some missionaries.
Despite the lack of time in our own area this week, the Lord has blessed us immensely. As you heard form Stevie Barr, we did have a baptism on Friday night. The baptism of Gabriela. We dropped off programs individually to members in the ward because we wanted a really big turnout. It was great! We had over 100 people there including the mission President and his wife. It was such a spiritual baptism! We had 8 investigators there too :P Elder Guymon did the Baptism and I was asked to do the confirmation yesterday. It all went really well. I will send you a photo.
We have bumped Jennifer’s baptismal date back a few weeks with he attempts to get the whole family to come. We will see. She is so solid though.
Yesterday we had 5 investigators at church which was good. I was glad they were able to be there for the confirmation ordinance. I know this is a big call, but I might go as far as saying that yesterdays testimony meeting was the best I’ve ever been in. I need to thank Elder JB for that one. He sent me a case study a while back that had this idea that we used. We called a few families we have been working with and a few individuals who have invited their friends to church, to bear their testimony on missionary work and their experiences. They did. This gave the whole meeting a missionary focus. Members bearing testimony about how we taught their friends in their homes and all the rest. It went really well. The whole ward is so excited about missionary work now. We have so many members wanting to come out.
On a side note Evan got up and bore his testimony yesterday. Even was a man who was baptised 4 years ago in Perth by Elder Phil Bennallack. He bore his testimony on his conversion and how good a missionary Elder Phil Bennallack was. He then went on to talk about how that missionary is related to the Elder Bennallack we have in our ward now and was comparing us. It was honestly a huge compliment for me because I look up to Phil with the highest regard. Spending time with him in America and going through the temple with him, I can easily tell that he served the Lord with all his heart. I could tell when in America with him that he still has kept it too. He truly has the Saviour shining through him so that was a huge compliment. Don’t we have an awesome family!!
Anyways on a whole it has been an amazing week as a missionary. It’s so true that you have the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
Transfers are this weekend but pretty much already know that I’ll be staying with Elder Guymon. It will be his last transfer. If so I’m loving life!
Love Elder B1.
PS Ok now my thoughts on the crazy news about missionaries!! I’m really excited about it. I was having a lengthy chat to President about it last night. There are so many dudes that go less active in that one year after High School... I’m really glad they have moved the age up to 18yrs. I think the quality of missionaries may go down a little because of maturity levels and what not, but they will grow up fast and the vast increase of missionaries will make up for all of that. As for the Sisters I think that’s may be even better. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years there will be 50% males and 50% female missionaries. I know there are so many sisters that would love to go but 21 was a little ruthless. The church is truly getting ready to send missionaries to China :P
15 October 2012
Wow! What a great conference!
The past few days we were able to watch all of the sessions and had some great investigators with us also! I have really received some guidance on how I can better myself as a missionary and as a person! I love Jeffery R Holland’s talk; he is such a powerful speaker! I could say so much about conference but there is just no time.
So we found out transfer news the other night. As I was expecting Elder Guymon and I are staying together. I’ll be 'killing' him off... I will be 'killing' off all three missionaries in my flat! hahah. Meaning, I'll be sending them home! It’s good though, they are all rocks!
This week we were able to see some great miracles also. We had dinner at a member’s home and they invited their friends around. We were able to have a great chat and a lesson after dinner. They both felt the spirit and we ended up giving them both blessings as they asked for them. It was a choice experience! Another miracle was at Conference. We asked our investigators to take a question to conference. One of our investigators Suzanna received her answer to her question "is this really true?" as she listened to Russell M Nelsons talk 'ask the missionaries'. We are truly being blessed in this area. We still need to find more investigators but the one's we have are so solid!
We really feel like we are making progress with our zone which is great. During this past week there was a great opportunity to really give guidance in love as one of our Sister missionaries really opened up to us after running away from her companion. It was such a privilege to see and learn from Elder Guymon’s experience as he handled the situation.
Yesterday we were invited to attend a 'doctrinal discussion' at the local Hill Songs Church 'City Life'. Their congregation is huge. They have 9000 attend each week. We were able to have a great chat with the minister and we are going around to his home this coming week to have a lesson with him. I’m excited!
Well I think that is about it for the week. To be honest with you it all just blurred into a few hours. This past week went by way too quick. It is a little scary when I think about it.
22 October 2012
Another week flies by. This week was good, but to be honest I have been feeling so tired and lethargic. I really feel like I have been pushing against the pricks all week. I have just been praying a lot for strength and energy. It has been a great opportunity for me to learn and grow in my Christlike attributes though. This week I felt like I was really learning long suffering. I have such a desire to be 100% obedient so just making sure I’m still out there working with all my heart and might has been good. The Lord continues to bless us. I am looking forward to sleeping for a few hours today though!
So we did have stake conference this weekend. We had Jeffery D Cummings with us from the Blue Mountains. He is a great man. I ended up going to the Saturday night and Sunday morning sessions. We had investigators coming to both so we went to both. It was a powerful weekend!
So our investigators are coming along really well! We taught the Word of wisdom to Suzanna this past week which was received with faith. We should still be having a baptism on the third of November of a lady named Jennifer which we are excited about. Others are in the works.
This area is great. A lot of missionaries love tracting the commission homes throughout Melbourne because they are generally more willing to listen due to their humble circumstances, but I have never liked it. I have always loved really searching out the elect. In all my areas I have love tracting the more affluent areas. Although you might not find the quantity you find the quality. Quality investigators that progress and stay active after baptism.
Anyways what I am getting at, is that this is why I love this area. It’s known as the hardest area in the mission because of the hardness of people’s hearts but I think it’s the best. This past week we were knocking on 3 and 4 story homes worth millions. It was great! We continue to find those that are prepared. Over the past year I think I have become a lot bolder in my finding. Mission time is too precious to be wasting it on those that won't progress. We are here to find the elect.
As Dad reminded me, this week marks my year mark. That is such a scary thought... I have been thinking back on the past year and all that has been achieved. I’m just so grateful to my Father in Heaven for the circumstances he has put in front of me which have helped me learn and grow, to become more like him. I think it’s easy for missionaries to settle in after a while and become comfortable. It’s the last thing I want to do. I still want to keep that attitude over the next year that I have no idea what I am doing. It’s true though we are honestly nothing without the tender mercies of the Lord.
Love Elder T Bennallack.
29 October 2012
Well I have had a really amazing week. I don’t really know what’s going on with my energy, for some reason I had the most energy I have had my while mission this past week. I have a sneaky suspicion that a few loving family members were praying for me?? If so thank you for your prayers, I truly felt them!
So we have had a miracle packed week. Any week where you teach over 20 lessons is a good week! We saw miracles!
So we now have 5 baptismal dates on track, 5 at church and 6 investigators that are so golden and progressing, it’s great!
So all the work we have been doing with our members continues to pay off. Last week a member bought her friend to church. I was able to sit with her and get to know her. She is amazing! Her name is Renee; she is 63 but looks 40... This past week she has already finished 1st Nephi. She felt the spirit so strong in our lesson the other day and committed to baptism. She was at church yesterday.
Yesterday was full on but amazing! We went to 5 hours of church because we had two of our investigators at the morning ward. It was great though. Elder Guymon and I were both asked on Saturday night to give a 10 minute talk each. I was very excited; speaking in Sacrament meeting is such a great opportunity to influence the ward. I spoke on the need to be truly converted, going off Elder Bednar's talk. The need to become converted every day. We live in a world where we can’t afford to just be Sunday LDS’s we need to be Disciples of Christ everyday because that is the covenant we made at baptism. I related this into the quote by Elder Uchtdorf, “don’t dip your toe in the water and claim you went swimming.” I concluded by relating being disciples to sharing the gospel. I felt I spoke well; there were many compliments which were nice. I truly felt the spirit!
Speaking of talking, this week we have ZLC which I know Elder B1 has talked a little about. A meeting with all the zone leaders and President. Well we have been asked to give a 30 minute training on finding. We have been spending a bit of time preparing our training. We both feel good about it.
On a whole it has been a fantastic week though filled with tender mercies! Missionaries honestly live the dream!