HALLO! OK! so... this is going to be a crazy as email that I'm going to send to you, and it will be followed up by pictures next time. I left my camera cord at home and so I won't be able to email you pictures or anything. But next week, I'm going to have to send you a few things.
OK, first of all, I got transfered from the city and the heart of brisbane to the most southern area. Known as: the Gold Coast. Cool eh? well. it gets better than that. The area is known as Isle of Capri, and the most southern area in our district is actually outside of Queensland. It's in a state known as New South Wales. Sydney mission territory. SO there are some of the elders in my district that are outside our mission boundaries! crazy eh?! and since we're chinese missionaries, we have no boundaries. hehehe. Don't worry, I don't abuse that power. Most of the time, we just go to the chinese-dense areas, and go and talk to people there. THOUGH if we do have an investigator down south, we have to go down there and teach them.... outside of our mission. YEH! hahaha. SO if I ever leave mission boundaries, I will let you know. and you will think it's really cool. just kidding. It's not that cool... though we expect to send a lot of referrals down to the Sydney mission.
NEXT. My new companion is! *drumroll* ELDERCHEN!!!!!!! HAHAHAHA. SO... Isle of Capri (the name of my area) is ELderChen, and ElderChen. HAHAHA> ElderChen (you don't know which one I'm talking about now bahaha) is from China, guangzhou. So he speaks Cantonese (why do I keep geting these FOB as companions? I don't know) ANyway, he's the man and is really funny. He lived in Sydney before his mission, and went to school in my last area at a university known as Queensland university of technology, or: QUT. It's a pretty good school in australia. One of hte best. He was studying maths, so he'll have to teach me that later. ANyway, I kinda expected to serve with him down here and so... here I am. In the gold coast. Takin names.
Next fun fact. I am in the Australian National Newspaper Today. HAHAHA. SO... if you look up: The Australian (that's the name of the newspaper) there's a really big picture of me on there. :) President Langeland called me and Elder Lam to go to the temple and take some photos, and then yeah. We're in the newspaper! They interviewed us, I'm not sure what the article was about, but the paper mainly interviewed President Langeland. He told us that we should be happy and stuff, and so... we were. :) It was a lot of fun. We contacted the photographer, got his number and told him that we'd call him and share more about the gospel of Jesus Christ with him. hahaha. It's pretty funny. Most of the time, he was asking us about what we did. MISSIONARY MOMENT! hah. It's too easy. :) He had interviewed a person from BYU's museum who is now the director of the museum in the University of Queensland. It left an impresion on him, and now, we're in the newspaper, and he's interested in learning more. Too bad, I got transfered out of hte city :( oh well. SO look up "The Australian" newspaper, and Yeah! for Monday July 3. hahah. I'm going to go out and buy a few and send some home. Maybe trefyn can bring them back for you to see. I'll have to give the elders there a call and let them know. :)
SO yeah, that was basically my week. haha. OH YEAH! I forgot to tell you. The area I used to serve in. River Terrace 2. Is now closed :( It made me really sad. It was my favorite area. We had a lot of success there and baptized a lot of people, but we don't have enough chinese speaking missionaries to maintain all the areas tha we have, so we had to close it. :( But the funny thing is: When it was closed, we gave the other area more baptismal dates than they had, as well as investigators. :P hahaha. And a few of the baptisms were coming up for them. I told them to give me a call when it went through :) THey were really excited.
One of hte coolest stories that we had was this: We had an investigator who had been taught everything. He was ready for baptism and really wanted to be baptized, BUT he wasn't able to because he was smoking a pack of cigarettes a day! that's so many. WHen we started teaching him, he started cutting back, because he told us that he felt like it was the right thing to do. ANyway. Now, he's down to smoking one cigarette per month! Isn't that incredible. I think a lot of the time, we don't understand or expect the spirit to be so strong with all of the investigators that we have, but it really is the most powerful thing I've ever seen. It's pretty crazy. Now, he's ready for baptism, but we had to give him to the other elders there :(. It's ok, they hadn't baptized for a bit, and so they were getting a little depressed. BUT NOW!!! they get to teach all of the investigators we left for htem. TIME TO WORK HARDER!!!!!!!!! :D
getting trasnfered to a new area, I realized that there are a lot of things that I needed to change about myself in order to become a more successful missionary. SO I updated my "Process of Purification". Writing down things tha I would stop doing or thinking about. It's going to be much harder now because I've written down a lot of diuffernt things, but I know that it'll be a really good blessing in the missionary work. I hope that moving to this area will be very good in helping be become a better missionary! Clean slate. Here we go!!!!!!!!!!
Elder Lam (my last companion) moved up to Gold Coast with me as well, but he's in a different area, but I think he's still in my district. Yeh! he's really funny. I realized that I've served with a lot of fobs in my mission. Elder Shi: A chinese man that couldn't speak that much english, ELder Tsai, a taiwanese boy who hadn't had much exposure to english (we spent most all of language study helping him learn english), Elder Lam (Fob from Hong Kong), and now another CHinese man who is not as fob as the others, but his english is still a little bit difficult to understand.
WHICH REMINDS ME! the flat I'm staying at has four people in it: Elder Lee(Korean), ElderTobe(Japanese), ELderCHen(China), and ELderCHen (AMERICA). hahaha. I think president is trying to teach me some kind of lesson. I'm not sure what it is, but It'll defijnitely help me out a lot. I think. haha. I haven't had a chance to meet anybody from my district, but I think I'll like it. ElderChen told me that we have zone meetings on thursday. It'll be interesting.
Oh yeah, I just remembered that one of the missionaries going home: Elder Higham, is the man. He goes home tomorrow and goes to BYU soon! YEH! so if a really tall white guy walks up to verina at BYU, do not get scared. he's the man... I think his first name is Tommy.... I'm not sure though... jokes. I'm sure. Tommy... right now he's elder though... by the time he gets to byu, he'll be tommy... confusing. WHICH reminds me. In the Newspaper. President Langeland told them our full names and so.... my name is published in the newspaper. great. no more secret first names :P
Today, I just realize tjhat I'm really old. I am 20. Old man. Very Old man. They asked me how old I was, and i told them 19 at first, and kept talking, then I remembered, and told ethem, and then they were like, oh, so you're pretty well along your mission! NO. I'm not even a year out. but I"m 20! hahahaha. I don't know what to think........... I"M OLD!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jeff's going to be married, VIcky is on her mission, Verina's killing BYU, and Jon is the man at timpview. I don't know what else could make me feel so old. ah.
Well, I didn't have a chance to do personal study this morning because of Transfers, so I'll have to do that later during P-day, but I read something the other day that make me really happy. When I was reading D&C, I read that God would take care of all the things that we would worry about. Many of the missionaries here have so many problems that happen while they're out here. One of the missionaries had his father die of Leukemia while he was a missionary, another missionary's brother passed away. I had thought about it and didn't know why all those things happened to missionaries when they had devoted so much time to the Lord. One of the returning missionaries bore his testimony, and helped me understand why things happen. He told us that when President told him that his brother had passed away, President didn't give him the option of going home. He didn't even think that it was an option. Then, he called our attention to the Gospel Standard. I think that's what it is called. Even though mobs may fight and disasters strike, the work will not finish until the Lord says the work is done! remember I talked about it before in one of my emails? well that statement came more alive to me when this elder told me how it applied to him. The greatest thing about this work is that no matter how big the oposition, The work is the lord's work. It cannot be stopped. It cannot be deterred. We're out here for a reason ,and that reason in wisdom in God. Not us.
I drew from that a greater motivation to focus on the work, and to work harder than ever before. I never thought that being lazy would make me sad. Whenever I see missionaries slack of or back down, I get a little bit sad. THe work that we're doing now doesn't have space or time to stay home for an extra few minutes. In that time, there could be someone prepared, following the spirit, and going to where you SHOULD have been. That gives us many regrets. I do not want to have any regrets on my mission. I don't want anybody to have the weight of regrets on their mission either, so I'm going to work hard and encourage everybody to work hard. Even the ward members :P hahaha. Sounds crazy, but members do have regrets sometimes.. :P hahaha
Anyway. That's the update for this week. I don't know if you'll be able to read the article online, but I'll try to get trefyn to bring you a copy or two of the newspaper itself. I wish I could get it to you faster, but the mail system here is pretty weird. hahaha.
I love you all and hope you have a WONDERFUL week!
hopefully I have more news for you next week, From... the GOLD COAST. and I'm driving again.. :) In a really nice car this time. much nicer than the last car that we had hahaha.