Companions Elder Bellon & Elder Bennallack
Saturday, May 18, 2013
May 2013 The work is moving forward
6 May 2013
This past week we have been making a big effort to get to know more of the members in our ward. Our ward is so huge it’s crazy. The sacrament isn’t even finished until quarter to.
One day this week I had a big breakfast in the morning after a workout, them at our first appointment of the day I’m fed this massive Sri Lankan feed, then we had a big late lunch which was a huge mistake, because that was followed by Cook Island investigators cooking us a big feed at our appointment followed by another huge Samoan feed at night for dinner. Way too much food! I threw it all up!
On a related topic, Sri Lankans eat the spiciest food, they eat straight chilli! I love spicy food though so it’s ok, but over the last few weeks I have built such a tolerance to spice. I can down chilli like nothing else these days. I am also a pro at eating my food with my right hand on the floor too.
Yesterday at church there was over 20 Sir Lankan investigators alone, it’s so exciting. (Our teaching pool is only half Sri Lankan). I feel like we’re really making an impact in this area which is such a good feeling, what a pleasure.
Well our mission continues to grow, forget the cap of 250, in a few months we are going to have 270 missionaries! We have another 40 coming in a few weeks.
We have Zone Conferences every day this week across the mission which is going to be great fun! We have prepared training on 'the importance of planning' so we’ll see how it goes.
Well it’s going to be great to talk to everyone next Sunday on Mother’s day.
13 May 2013
It was really good to speak to you all yesterday; we truly do have an amazing family!
Well last night was such a miracle night; we were able to teach so many beneficial lessons! We have in our sights the next Tamil’s were going to baptise. We meet so many Tamils that are really nice up front, but dodge appointments and what not. But amongst those you find sincere seekers of truth, they are those who get baptised. We went back to a Tamil household last night to find that in less than a week one of our investigators has read first and second Nephi! He is on cloud nine. He has four referrals for us too including a Tamil family that all want to come to church, we're really excited for him!
Week six in the transfer cycle is my favourite week because it is the week where we discuss transfers. I feel like this transfer coming will be a big one. No doubt we will be discussing transfers as we are in Tasmania with President.
I have been reading through the New Testament lately, this past week I received a really nice insight from the book of John. In the early chapters of John you read where the Saviour introduces the idea of the sacrament to his followers.
The concept of eating his flesh and drinking his blood isn’t understood and taken very well; even his apostles say that this is a very hard thing to do. You read how many of his disciples pack up and leave from the presence of the Saviour, they couldn’t handle the idea. As the Saviour looks around and sees his sheep leaving him, He turns to his apostle Peter and asks ‘are you going to leave too?’ Peter’s response is inspiring. He says ‘No Lord, I’m not going to leave, where would I go if I left? Although I don’t quite understand the concept of the sacrament, I do know that you are the Son of God, I’m not going anywhere!’ (paraphrased, of course!)
This account echoes clear in situations you hear of today. Some members when they hear certain doctrines that they don’t quite understand or comprehend, are very quick to leave the church. Although there are some things that I’m sure lots of us don’t quite comprehend or understand, we need to follow Simon Peter’s attitude. We focus on the testimony we do have. From the words of our modern day apostles lips ‘You might not know everything, but you know enough.’ I know that there will be times in our lives when we might not comprehend or understand, maybe we're going through rocky times, but as we cling onto our testimonies that we have developed we can have the same attitude of Peter ‘I’m not going anywhere’. 'Be steadfast and immovable always abounding in good works'. It is those good works that will strengthen and deepen our testimonies.
I’m grateful for the testimony that I have personally sought after and found of this restored Gospel, I love it!
20 May 2013
Well it has been a busy week! We only taught a hand full of lessons in our own area because we only had a few hours in our area all week.
It all started with Tasmania on Monday and Tuesday. President spoilt us so much ,we flew in and went with them in the rental car to the hotel. They put us up in the nicest hotel in all of Launie (Launceston), 4.5 star. Everything marble in the lobby with the waterfall, it was beautiful. After dropping our stuff off, we got dinner together then we had a meeting with President in the lobby in a ‘business area’, and discussed transfers. We spent the night in 4000 thread cotton sheets spread over a queen size bed and woke up to room service, our hot breakfast, fresh fruit, yogurt, fresh juice, hot chocolate, raisin toast etc being delivered to our room. Living the dream! Our whole trip I felt like such a business man walking around in my suit with, I could really get use to that idea!
The meeting in Tasmania went really well though; I also found out that President Lifferth is the one responsible for the creation of the best chocolate milk in the world! The BYU Chocolate milk... He was the one working on it with a chef and got the approval by the church and welfare who produced! What a good man!
Wednesday we had our meeting with the Polynesians. It went well, the spirit was strong. I think those that wanted to change will and those that don’t won’t.
Thursday we had zone meeting and exchanges. Friday and Saturday were spent with transfers. It’s been a busy week.
We are setting ourselves up to baptise every week in June which will be great. Hopefully we can start by having one this weekend, it’s a 50% chance just because the family is in the middle of moving and what not, but we will see.
That's about it for the week, transfers are all organised for tomorrow and there are 24 missionaries coming in on Wednesday which is also organised. Have a great week, we're off to play a huge touch AFL game now which I’m really excited about. Looking forward to having a week in our area.
27 May 2013
It’s been another great week here in Melbourne.
Transfers were at the start of the week and which took a little organising but it wasn’t too bad, I’m becoming more and more efficient at the whole process.
Wednesday morning we were out at the airport to greet the 24 new missionaries. After spending a day with them I am very impressed, very well prepared excited missionaries. It was definitely a win for the mission, saying goodbye to 4 or 5 missionaries and picking up 24 full of fire.
We drove up to Shepparton on Saturday morning for a zone conference and back later that evening, which basically took the whole day. In answer to Dad’s question, yes we do train at all the Zone conferences, us alongside President and the Zone Leaders.
We were supposed to have had a baptism this weekend; there was a nine year old boy that we were going to baptise who was very excited. Bishop pushed our baptismal date back though because he wants the father to baptise his son. That’s no dramas. The father has come to church once during this whole process but all he needs to be doing is ‘striving’ to be able to baptise his son so that sound be happening in a few weeks which will be good.
On a positive note, one of our investigators got married this weekend in preparation for her baptism next weekend. Her name is Uri; she is the partner of a less-active named John who we have re-activated. She is due in a few months so it was so nice to get them married this weekend. They are awesome and Temple sealing is their goal.
There actually will be one more transfer cycle before President Maxwell comes in. This transfer is only a 4 week transfer with the following after that being an 8 week transfer to balance the cycle out. The reason being, that President Maxwell arrives right at transfer time and the last thing he needs is to deal with transfers right off the plane. We will be spending a lot of time with him when he arrives to help that transition as much as possible.
Within our own area we are really changing the focus. Our ward is a little dysfunctional at the moment and so we really just want to assist the ward council in finding their strides. We have the biggest ward list I have ever seen in our ward, yet sacrament meeting can vary from 300 one week to 150 the next. There are a lot of members that need to have deeper roots. On that note, over the past year there has been around 30 recent converts. Out of those 30 there is only a few that are strong with the majority being semi active with only a few being fully less active. Of those 30 only two or three have callings, only a few have home teachers and there are many men still without the Aaronic Priesthood. We really don’t want to baptise too many people into the ward until we can get a grasp on the recent converts we have, we are losing way too many of them.
We had a great discussion in yesterdays ward council which we are hopeful will kick start this rescue. On our end, we are really going to focus on teaching the recent converts. All haven’t had the ‘new member lessons’ so we are going to just really work on strengthening testimonies and assisting this bridging process with weekly splits. Elder Oaks just finished touring the pacific area and although his schedule didn’t involve Melbourne, the echoing message that he shared was that we need to become ‘Full Purpose Missionaries’. Meaning that we are dynamic and ready and willing to assist in whatever is needed not just tracting. There is a work to do!
Jess C. spoke in our ward yesterday. She was one amazing missionary; she spoke with such confidence and conviction. I was very grateful to receive some personal revelation during her talk.
I’m really looking forward to our temple visit we will have in a few weeks, I have such a desire to work in the temple after my mission. What an amazing place!