Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 2013 - My Cup Runneth Over

2 September 2013

This week has been full of miracles!
Monday night we were able to have a great lesson with our baptismal date, Mercedies. She is all set for this coming weekend and the ward is really supportive and behind it now. It will be a great baptismal service.

Tuesday, we held our Mission Leader Council, which went perfectly to plan. The Leaders are all so excited and supportive of leading and training.

I was able to go on some miracle-filled-exchanges this week. I exchanges with Elder Nicholson which was great. He is a fantastic missionary full of faith. We just saw tender mercies, the first three people we contacted on the street all turned into return appointments. It is so key to find in faith. I know it may not seem like such a big deal but I have just really been noticing the hand of the Lord in the work lately.

Thursday morning I was able to go to the temple. I cannot express how much I love the temple. I was just in a euphoric state overcome by the spirit as I was worshiping in His holy house. I’m looking forward to going to the temple as a family in Adelaide.

I have been in meetings every day this week finishing up zone conferences, MLC, firesides and a 'Golden' review meeting.

Friday morning we woke up to find that our car had been broken into. It was a bit of a shame. Both Elder Bellon’s and my bags were stolen. I lost my camera, Preach my Gospel and my Scriptures. It was a little up setting to have lost my scriptures. I feel the same way that Mum does about her scriptures. I have had them since 2006 and they were so personalised and marked, easily my most valued earthly possession. Regardless I really did feel at peace though. All of these things are just temporal things "where moth and rust doth corrupt and thieves break through and steal". I really feel like I of late have been laying up heavenly treasures, things that really matter. It will be a great opportunity to start marking the scriptures from scratch. I just need to get another set now.

We were to finish up our zone conferences in Tasmania on the weekend. Because It was Father's Day, flights were so expensive and limited. After a bit of research we found out it would be cheaper for us to travel via boat. So Friday night we boarded the huge ‘Spirit of Tasmania’ and sailed in style throughout the night to Tasmania. We had such a neat experience being on the ship. We were spoilt so much…

Bass Strait crossing on the 'Spirit of Tasmania'

 Saturday night, President was hungry so he took us out to 'Maccas' at 10:30pm after which we all retired to our suites on full stomaches. It was actually only the 2nd or third time I have had fast food in the past 15 months…
Sunday was Stake Conference. We were actually called up to join the choir and then to bare our testimonies. It was an honour.  We flew back last night in time for the Mission President Fireside.

A busy week, I felt really good about everything we were able to accomplish though!
September is going to be really rewarding for us. We are going to be able to spend a lot more time out under the glorious sun on exchanges as it’s the Temple month which means minimal meetings. Its going to be really nice to knock down some doors and set some baptisimal dates.

Elder Bennallack

9 September 2013         
This week has been much like the previous weeks; we went on some miracle exchanges, picked up a new missionary from the airport and gave some training's in meetings.

We brought in all of the district leaders and zone leaders for a training his week.  A lot of our district leaders are quite young and we hadn’t had a leadership meeting with then in nearly a year so it was time. It went well, we just discussed the basics of being a leader, exchanges and training in meetings.

Mission Leader Conference: Sister Foster is centre front and Elder Bennallack is centre middle.

Another Mission Leader Conference

I was able to do some tracting in the rain this week while on
an exchange in Melton, oh how I loved it. I really appreciate knocking down doors now! Being able to help others feel the spirit as we testify of restored truths, its great! 

We found this amazing man tracting this week who has been searching for a faith led by his burning desire to change his life and come closer to God.  Although it was a simple moment in missionary work, it meant everything to me as I could just feel the spirit speaking through me, I really love this work.

Life as an assistant is a lot different to regular missionary
work, I’m grateful for that though because I feel that it will be a lot easier for me to transition into regular life and still stay missionary focused. Regular members of the church don’t have the opportunity to bang down doors twenty-four seven, neither do I.  But when you are able to do missionary work you just really appreciate the spirit associated with the
work. Missions are not just two years, I am excited to stay missionary minded throughout my life.

We were able to baptise Mercedies on Saturday, what a
privilege! It has been a long time in the running but all worked out perfectly in the end. The ward was very supportive which we felt was important. She shared her testimony with the congregation immediately after
her baptism. She spoke so well all about how she felt like she has been re-born, and the feeling she was feeling. It was a really tender moment for me to be able to see her bear such a sincere testimony. I truly know that
as we turn to the Saviour and become yoked with Him, that our burdens can be made light.

Baptism of Mercedies - What a privilege!

Elder Pearson of the seventy is coming to the mission this
week. He is coming to help orientate the Maxwell's and to see how they are doing.  Although it is not an official mission tour, he has opted that he would love to hold a meeting while here. So this week we will actually be having a mission conference on Thursday and another MLC on Friday, that
will be very uplifting and inspiring.

Elder Bennallack

16 September 2013
 It has been such an uplifting week filled with miracles.

First off: I was travelling in the car with President on the way to the airport on Wednesday when a call came through the Bluetooth in the car asking for Dennis Lifferth. It was the Springvale Police Station. My bag was returned and they had President Lifferth's contact number from a business card I had in my folder. I was so excited! We went down to the police station to find that my bag had been returned but it was evident that the burglar had emptied the content of both back packs and chucked bits in pieces back into mine.

Unfortunately my folder, files and 'PMG' was there alongside with Elder Bellon's scriptures, but mine were still missing. It was bitter sweet. I was very glad that Elder Bellon got his scriptures back. The burglar must have felt guilty. Obviously the cameras and Elder Bellon's wallet were still gone but they returned his scriptures. As Elder Bellon flipped through his scriptures it was evident that they had been handled with care, loose card and even his ministerial certificate were placed carefully in a different slip to where they were originally. It was a huge miracle. I’m still hopeful that my scriptures might turn up somewhere? I have been wearying the Lord in prayer but we will see.

        So in answer to your offer father and mother. That is very kind that you are willing to get me a new set, but as for now I think I'll be ok here on the mission. I have just started a focused study of the Book of Mormon going through a soft cover copy and marking any scripture that could have been of use to any investigator I have met throughout the course of my mission. So many new things are popping out at me, it will keep me busy with studies until I get back.

It has been a huge blessing to be able to spend some time with Elder and Sister Pearson this past week. He is great friends with Uncle Paul, so I was a little spoilt by him which was very nice. He is such a great speaker, I was really able to receive some great personal revelation as he was speaking, my cup runneth over. My batteries feel completely full going into the last six weeks of my mission, I feel like I am sprinting, making a conscience effort to stay focused. I feel like I'm doing really well.

      On that note my release date is confirmed, I had a chat with President yesterday, where we discussed a few of his concerns. In the end we decided that it would be best for me to be released on the 30th of October. Instead of staying back a few week to help the transition of assistants, the last few weeks of my mission President is going to call a third assistant so I can help them both go through the transfer process before I go home, instead of just spending time with them exchanging. 

Things in our area are going really well. We have been a little spoiled this past week as a few members wanted to take Elder Bellon out for ‘farewell dinner’s’.  I have been able to see some great miracles on exchanges of late. One of the most rewarding feeling that lays side by side to helping investigators come unto Christ is really feeling like you have changed and improved a missionaries mission. With the 18 year old's coming in, there has been a lot of Elders coming out that are just not mentally prepared for the task.  Helping them see success and to get over the hurdle of home sickness is so rewarding!

A huge focus of the coming week will e going through the transfer process with President.  This will be the sixth time I have been through this now!  It's always a fun week!

My heart is full of gratitude as I look back over my mission thus far.  Thanks for all of your continued support

Elder Bennallack

PS: Also, Sister Maxwell had her birthday last week. She threw a party and asked us to come. I felt a little guilty because we weren't doing missionary work, but I guess you need to follow your Mission President's counsel.  Anyways, it was a fun night.  Lorin Nicholson was there. Here are a few
photos from the 'penny flour' game.. You know the one right? You have to cut away flour, whoever makes the penny drop has to get it with their mouth...Well as you can see, I lost! 

30 September 2013
 Well, it has been an amazing week for so many different reasons. Transfer meeting on Tuesday and the picking up the new missionaries on Wednesday was crazy just as anticipated. I love those few days though, they really make you stretch as a missionary. The missionaries that have come, sure are young but it is quite evident that they are a marked generation, they are prepared for this!

Thursday and Friday we spent a lot of time with President. We had a long list of things we needed to talk to him about as the interview mission tour starts this coming week. I think he was appreciative of the initiative we took to call the meetings with him. We all feel very settled in our hearts as we are well prepared for the coming month.  We will be travelling with President across the mission for the next three weeks with interviews, then the 4th week is transfer preparation again.  We will be off to Tasmania again this week on the 'Spirit of Tasmania' as we need to take a car down there. We have put Sisters in Tasmania for the first time in over two years this week, all the Sisters were so excited!

Elder Lambe is settling in really well, I knew he would. He is picking up everything very quickly which I’m sure comes as an answer to President Maxwell’s prayers.

It’s a huge advantage that he has been serving in Dandenong for the past six months too, we don’t need to put too much thought into our own area yet, as we are seeing miracles flow.

One thing that was really rewarding has been a less active family we have been working with.  An amazing Peruvian mother of three children ranging from 18 to 6 came to church on Sunday. The ward was so welcoming to them. Its exciting to see real growth take place in the Dandenong ward,  We need to be full purpose missionaries as Elder Oaks puts it and not just focus on who we are going to baptise next.

Shifting gears, to namely football, I was really excited when Sister Maxwell indicated to me she wanted to go to the Grand Final. I guess I have been a subtle bug in their ear when it comes to the AFL. They really wanted to learn the game as it is so embedded into the culture here in Melbourne. President told Elder Lambe and I that we should take our P-day on Saturday and watch the game with them, which we did!  At first they wanted to go to the actual game with us, but we all know how hard tickets are to come by. The next best thing, we rock up to President’s house on Saturday in time for the pre-game commentary. Elder Lambe is actually a passionate Hawks supporter with Hawks merchandise coming out his ears, so he arrives at President’s door step with his Hawks scarf, tie, sock and flag. He then pulled out his Hawks musical birthday card to play the Hawks song as we enter the door, he’s a funny guy, the Maxwell’s were in hysterics! 

Well, as mentioned I did take my P-day on Saturday so I just had permission to email today and then I’m busy, so I must be off. 

Elder Bennallack

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