Sunday, December 29, 2013

We had a great visit with Elder Weiss via Skype on Christmas Day.
Here is pic of the Parramatta Zone.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Part of something big-learning to be more dignified

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: December 16, 2013 at 8:28:10 PM MST
To: Cyndy Weiss <>, Bishop Weiss <>

This week as I prepared a district meeting I noticed something again in PMG about teaching clear concise summaries of restored truth. It gives a very good example of the restoration but I wondered how it could apply to the other lessons. So for district meeting we prepared short summaries that we could share with someone about the first three lessons at a bus stop or wherever you might be. I want to make many of these quick summaries and practice them so that teach and testifying become a second nature thing.

Dad's mission prep class is right on! I took a look at the binder that I made full of DRS' and noticed a page that said, "6 Missionary Skills". Man, Those things are golden. They are the real deal. I hope that by the end of my mission I have mastered those skills.

This week a miracle that I saw was that we had an amazing ward Christmas party with heaps of non-members. We brought our investigators and it was a good time. However, the members did not reach out to the non-members as well as they should have. However the next day in priesthood meeting, the elders Quorum President got up and called the ward out. He invited one of our investigators and brought his wife's grand kids so that the investigators kids would have someone their age. He sat with them and took good care of them and was a perfect example of fellow-shipping. It felt good to hear someone else say it and to feel like someone else understands as well.

Also we went to an appointment with our progressing investigator yesterday and he wasn't there. His phone doesn't work so in an effort to find him we called his sister that came to the Christmas party to see if he was with her and she said no but we did set up and appointment with her! Sometimes the Lord works in mysterious ways. Hopefully we'll have a new investigator!

Today we went to the temple and before got to go to the distribution center. I got the Christmas CD by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with Bryan Stokes Mitchell! So excited to listen to it. Last sunday a RM from the stake spoke in our ward. Something that he said struck me. He said that what we celebrate at Christmas is that Jesus Chris was born. And what that means is that he kept the promise that he made to us that he would put himself on the line as a sacrifice to save us from our short comings. And his birth was the start of it all. The sign of hope.

I love my savior so much for what he did for me. Christmas is a happy time, but also a quiet time of reflections. That's one thing I'm learning is to be more dignified. I can be pretty spontaneous and quick with words but it's easy to do or say things that don't accurately represent the Savior. I'm trying to act in a more dignified manner because only have 18 months left of being missionary and I'm not getting any younger.

I love the mission so much. I feel so lucky to be here. I don't ever want to go home. I miss my family members but I love the life of a missionary I don't ever want to stop. As a missionary you are somebody. Part of something big. I'm so glad God trust me to help him out.

Love you all so much!

Elder Weiss VI

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Miracle in the Spanish Ward

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: December 8, 2013 at 5:20:04 PM MST

This week I realized that there are specific requirements to meet in order or an action to qualify as a key indicator. Sometimes when you make a contact and teach a small lesson but contact isn't sure when you can come by and so you give up and say "we'll call" then it doesn't add to the New Investigator’s indicator. Afterwards you think, “Man, all we had to do is ask him to think for a little longer and we would've had a return appointment.”

It's kind of silly sometimes when we think that a specific date is such a big deal when all it is, is a date. But when we realize that setting dates a teaching lessons is fulfilling our purpose and is what Jesus Christ would do as a missionary, it makes us happy when we do them. That's what key indicators are. Key Indicators help us indicate whether we are doing the Lord's work in His way. Far from just a check list.

This past Sunday our new investigator came to church. We had a date set for the 28th of December but our bishop interviewed him and together they set the goal to be ready by the 22nd. So we should have a Christmas Miracle in the Spanish ward. David is great! He has such pure desires. On Friday we had a Family Home Evening with him and members of our ward. They embraced him. I've seen the closest investigators I've had to baptism have been the ones that the ward has been the most involved in.

It sounds like we are just trying to manipulate him into joining the church sometimes with trying to get members involved but I thought about it and I realized that Christ's love is showed through us. The way David can feel Jesus Christ love the strongest is by feeling the love from members of Christ's Church. That is way working with members is effective. Not because we manipulate them but because they can feel Christ's love from them which is a fruit of the spirit. And the spirit teaches them all things that they should do.

I know this church is true. The evidence I have seen is undeniable. God loves His children and He wants them back. I have seen His hand reaching out so clearly I cannot mistake it.

This morning during companion study kind of as a joke we took video of ourselves doing role plays and then when back and got the super slow motion replay! haha We are revolutionizing the Mission! Just wait till we get iPad mini's!!! Member presents in the car!!!

Por favor, pick when you want to do the phone call so I can set up where I'm going to go to Skype yous! Mom the questions you sent me are really good!

(Mom note:  Here are the questions I found in a Deseret News article.
What is the grossest thing you have eaten?
What do you make for lunch every day?
Tell us about a family you are working with?
What is your favorite p-day you have had?
What do you love most about your companion?
What is the best advice you have received from your Mission President?)

If you could maybe submit some questions to me and I can think about them and make a plan for what I'm going to say. President asked us to plan it out before time so we utilize the hour we have. So send some questions my way because I'm not sure what to talk about.

Love You all very very much! I hope you can recognize me on the camera. About two months ago I hit my peak weight at like 87kgs which is PHAT! (191 lbs).  I've dropped down to 82ish (181 lbs.) so that's really good but I'm still fatter than when I left. I looked at a picture from two months ago… Whoa, I was CHUBBY!!! But now I eat less and save time!!

Today in studies I learned that the principles in the addiction recovery part of the Word of Wisdom pamphlet and also the Law Chastity pamphlet apply to losing weight as well. Haha, I'm going to become very disciplined. Well that's the plan!

Talk to you later,

Elder Weiss VI

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Roller Coaster

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: December 2, 2013 at 6:29:31 PM MST

Will is freaking me out. I hate watching missionaries leave. That is probably the worst thing about the mission. When I think of going home I just see myself sitting on the couch doing nothing because I have no clue what you do in real life.

So we need to start arranging for a time to make a call. Do you want to do it Christmas day or Christmas eve? I can do it any day during December and because there is a day difference it won't be Christmas for one of us. To get to Sydney time change the clock forward three hours and switch the AM to PM or visa versa. If I called at 9 am here it'd be like 6PM there. I'm thinking that's probably best but just let me know your thoughts.

On Sunday we were leaving a less active member's house when a man called out to us in English. We went over and talked to him and found out he is from Chile. He told us he recognized us by our dress and our plaques. He told us his brother worked for two years to earn money to serve a mission for our church. His brother always tried to teach him but he didn't listen.

Two years back his wife died and he very sad and his friend told him if he drank the problems disappear. So he started drinking and smoking. But after two years he is tired of it and he wants to become clean. We taught him the plan of salvation and gave him a book of Mormon and committed him to read. And we committed him to be baptised on the 29th of December and he accepted. This man is so prepared. This is just like German from the District DVDs.

We went back the next day with a member that had to give up alcohol himself when he joined the church. When we arrived he told us he quit smoking. That he went to by more cigarettes and decided he didn't want that anymore. And he said he's not going to buy anymore alcohol. All he had left was one cup left that he was going to drink because it was expensive. That cup was at his side during the lesson and I really wanted him to get rid of it.

We taught the restoration and Word of Wisdom. He told us he doesn't want to drink anymore. He said he would commit to live the word of wisdom after this last cup. But after we closed with a prayer, our member asked if he would like a blessing to help him overcome his desire to drink and he accepted. I was able to give him that blessing and after we closed I asked him, "Can you pour that cup out?" With a little hesitation he said yes and poured it into the bushes.

This man is golden. He has been prepared. From the first lesson he told us he believed our church is true. And in the second he lamented how he wished he would have listened to his brother earlier. He told us he would talk to his sister to see if we could teach her as well.

It is humbling to see how God is working in this ward. My first companion worked in this area for 7 months and got one baptismal date. And he is a very good missionary. Now between the two companionships we could likely have four baptisms in the coming months. The Lord has something to teach us and this ward. The Spanish isn't gone yet. The Lord still has plenty of plans for the people there.

I am so happy to be here another transfer! I love this ward. I love my companion. Everything is so good right now. Man! Such a roller coaster.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

He lets imperfect people do something so special!

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: November 24, 2013 at 7:46:04 PM MST
To: Cyndy Weiss <>

This week I studied the section in PMG (Preach My Gospel) called "How to Begin Teaching". "How to begin teaching" helps us establish expectations so that they know exactly what to expect. When people feel like they understand what's going on they are put at ease and can feel peace. When they feel peace they can feel the spirit. So if you can make "How To Begin Teaching" a spiritual experience it bodes well for the rest of your lesson and future lessons as well.

Also through teaching I have learned how valuable listening is. People won't listen until you listen first. And by listening we know what to say and by not talking all the time, our words become more powerful to the investigator. I also learned that teaching with the spirit is also determined by the effort and focus you put in to preparations in study each morning. Good studies make a good day! I wonder how my studies will adapt in the real world but man studying the gospel every day is such a gift. Especially that my Spanish is sufficient to read in Spanish. I'm determined that I'm flippin' gonna speak this language even if I'm in Australia!

This week our investigator texted us and asked "How do people know when they want to get baptized?" We told him it would be easier to explain if we came over and talked in person. The next day we went to their house and tried to answer his question with Mosiah 18 the story of the Alma baptizing at the Waters of Mormon, but it didn't seem real enough. He wanted to know what the next step would be. So we told him about the baptismal interview and went over the questions with him.

When we got to repentance we asked him if he felt he had repented. He told us that since we've been teaching him he has started to stop and think before he talks. Before he would poke fun at people and say the first thing that came to his head, but know he stops and thinks to see if what he says will offend someone. His kids have noticed and asked him about it. It's awesome to see someone changing and becoming more like Jesus Christ. The only catch is he stayed up late watching rugby with his daughter on Saturday so he didn't come to church. So it upward climb continues and he has had a pretty insane past in the war in El Salvador.

Just no rest with this work. Next minute you think someone's ready to be baptized and the next you find out all these concerns they have and you're just like, "Gah I thought things were going so well!”

All in all though I think it's hilarious when people are like, "Wow you make such a big sacrifice!" and I'm like, "What?" Like I miss you family but I could probably do this forever. There are hard times but these last five months have been the best experience of my life.

Each day the Lord is pushing me to grow in ways I can't do without him. I'm not perfect and I make heaps of mistakes. But I'm so grateful that God lets me have a part in his work. That he lets imperfect people do something so special. I know when I care about something I want it done right. God feels the same way, but he loves us enough to let us make mistakes so that one day we can become like him.  Far too blessed. It’s unreal. 

By the way my companion tells me I'm Vizinni from Princess Bride. I thought you might get a kick out of that, seeing it's a family classic. They say it's my laugh.

Man,  I wish I had time to tell you about the Bolivian peppers we ate. Holy Hannah, those things were hot as !!!  I chopped some up and got the juice all over my hands and then at some point touched my face because my face felt like it was against an iron for literally two hours! Haha it almost killed one of the other Elders haha.

Ok Love you all-Goodbye!

Elder Weiss VI

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"I was the only one on my page"

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: November 17, 2013 at 9:22:36 PM MST

Hello family. Gee, Louise!! Jimmany Cricket! I must learn patience. I love you all and stuff but it doesn't take me an hour to email yous and president. In this genre I guess I'm really weird and it kind of bugs me. I don't understand why people want to take so much flipping time to email! I'd rather get 'er done and go outside to play touch rugby in the rain.

I'm learning that I am very hard on other people. haha I thought I was the chill guy that everyone liked. Nope! I'm learning that I voice my opinions and call people out expecting them to do the same back but they don't and then it comes off as domineering... So that's gotta change.

Also, I am very bad at communicating plans with people. Haha, like today I thought it was set in stone what we were going to do and then an hour ago I find out I was the only one on my page. So always room for improvement.

I just wish I could feel like a good missionary. Like the Zone Leaders. When I go on trade offs with them, I see them and think, "WOW! I want to be like that." So I step my game up and they rub off on me. And then with my companion it starts disappearing. Sometimes I just feel like I'm no good at this. But I know that it's because how few people we have to teach. It's so stupid though. We have two progressing investigators and I should be content. I feel like grateful only when things are good and I need to learn to be grateful all of the time. It truly is a key to being happy.

This weekend was pretty nerve racking. Our progressing investigators told us they weren't sure they wanted to keep learning so we committed them to read and pray and then prayed and worried our heads off. The next day we realized we didn't leave them a specific section so we called back and gave them the section and she told us they decided they would stay. It's a man and his daughter and he seems like he doesn't want to do this unless his daughter does. He loves everything about our church but I doesn't want this to be something he has to drag her to.

Then we answered some of her questions about the plan of salvation and then hung up and started high fiving and yelling! haha it's such a roller coaster! You never know whats gonna come next. We talked to the man yesterday to see if he was reading and he told us he really appreciated that we answered his daughters questions and was excited to see us. So here we come tonight. I hope that the Lord Guides us so we can help these wonderful people!

Love you heaps!
Elder Weiss VI

Monday, November 11, 2013


From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: November 10, 2013 at 10:55:02 PM MST

Patience. Man I've got to learn heaps of it. Patience with myself, my comp, Gods timing, pretty much everything. Sometimes it's hard to see what's next but you just have to get used to walking in the dark.

We taught a total of two lessons this week but we got two of our investigators to church which is pretty hectic! He is already telling his friends that he is "becoming a mormon." He is so amazing. He was in the war back in El Salvador and has seen things I can't even imagine seeing. I have already seen how the gospel is changing his life. He is much happier and at peace.

The other Elders had their investigator at church as well so we had three investigators in sacrament meeting in the Spanish ward and three less active families that we've been working with came as well. It was the biggest number in Sacrament mtg that I've seen since I got here. So although we only have three investigators it's not about quantity it's about quality. They are ready to follow Jesus Christ's example.

One thing I do miss about the states is clothes... specifically on women. Cats, it's bad here. People dress just like the posters and that's not good. It's all good though I'll be stronger mentally for having to control my thoughts all day long.

Not sure what else to say.. Oh yeah. District meeting on Friday I trained the district on using the members. I didn't have much time to prepare but I put a few thoughts down and pulled a play out of Dads play book! North Pacific Rail Road. We just had a big discussion and received heaps of revelation one from another. It's so fun to guide a discussion and just wait and watch what they think of next. It's really interesting.

Love you all! Stay safe stay strong!

Elder Weiss VI

Monday, November 4, 2013

WOW-the answer is "UNLIMITED"!

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: November 3, 2013 11:52:01 PM MST

"Wow!"   That's how I feel every time I reflect on my mission. Man!

So we split our teaching pool which is like cutting peas and now we have three investigators and one is dodgy. Finding is hard as! But if I can figure it out in this area the others will be a piece of cake!

I have felt very lost in the last few weeks. Like I was in limbo... but the Lord is slowly pulling us out and I'm excited for things to come. There have been times when I'm just like, "What am I doing???" We watched an section from the district 2 about our missionary purpose with the Robles family. It made me think to myself, "How much rejection is worth one of those families?" The answer is unlimited. So it makes me want to be more brave and do more street contacting and just put myself out there and let the Lord take care of me.

Scary that it's already November! Things are just heating up down here.

We moved to a city called Parramatta. Its the second biggest city in NSW. Second only to Sydney itself. It's soo pretty! It reminds me of Portland! So many trees! The problem is that it's heaps away from our main proselyting area. It's kind of a commute every day but there are some members of other wards that speak Spanish so I think it's not a coincidence that we are living there. There is a reason we are in Parramatta. We met one of these said members and he is setting up a Noche De Hogar with us on Friday so things are looking up!

Love you heaps! Watch rugby league! Go EELS!! (They are from Parramatta!)

Elder Weiss VI
Info below from editor of this blog:
Parramatta, founded in the same year as Sydney by the British in 1788, is the oldest inland European settlement in Australia, the economic capital of Greater Western Sydney and the sixth largest central business district in Australia.[12]

According to the 2011 census conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Parramatta had a population of 19,745 with the average age 30, compared to a national average of 37. Place of birth of 57.6% of residents was overseas, including 14.1% from India and 12.8% from China. Apart from English, the most common languages spoken were Mandarin (11%), Cantonese (6.5%), Arabic (5.5%), Hindi (5.1%) and Gujarati (3.2%). The religious affiliation responses were Catholic (21.3%), no religion (18.3%), Hinduism (13.3%), Anglican (7.4%) and Islam (6.8%).[1]

The majority of dwellings in Parramatta were apartments (72%), compared to a national average of 14%, and 58% of all dwellings were rented compared to a national average of 27%. The average rent in Parramatta was $230 per week, slightly higher than the national average of $190, but then the average weekly wage of $482 was also slightly higher than average ($466).[1]

Sunday, October 27, 2013

All Sorts of Miracles

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: October 27, 2013 8:45:01 PM MDT

Buenas Dias! Man yous are gonna call me and want to hear some Spanish and I won't be able to speak English or Spanish! My Spanish has improved so much and it continues to improve. I really hope that I get another transfer or two here in the Spanish ward. Things are happening. We had 9 members do visits on our Missionary Trade off/ Rescue night. The ward is coming along really well.

On Saturday we did a training with the Elders Quorum on how to work with the missionaries. We role played them inviting their friends to come to an FHE. Then missionaries coordinating with the member what role they want the member to have in the lesson and then teaching together. We did the same role play in District meeting and I think it will really help us.  Tonight we have an FHE with two investigators and hopefully we can commit them to baptism.

Our teaching pools got cut in half when Elder Jones got his new companion Elder Fitzner from Canada. Right now our teaching pool is mostly gone. We have to find new investigators. We had to resort to tracting on Sunday because we need investigators so bad. Being district leader is so fun! You get to hear all sorts of miracles and collecting numbers I get so excited to see how the other missionaries are just smashing it!

Maybe the numbers wouldn't suggest it, but I love this area. It's very challenging and at the end of the day, being a missionary is such a good life style. You know for sure what your purpose is each day that you wake up. Find, Teach, Baptize. I hope soon our members will do most of the first part and we'll do the last two together.

WILL! You're dying! It's so sad to see missionaries go home. Two of the AP's are going home after this transfer and it's super sad. They were the first missionaries I met in australia. Mission life is too short. Some days you just wish there were like six more hours in a day. There is no time. The weeks go too fast and we only have 5 more guaranteed to make a difference in this area so we've got to make or break it right now.

Now that we have four missionaries we can play 2v2 touch every morning. Hopefully it helps me lose some weight. Cats! That is the only downside of mission life is there isn't enough time to exercise. Wednesday we are going to go play tennis with a potential that a member is bringing. I'm ready to throw down! The other day we went to pick up Elder Fitzner from the mission office and he had missed his flight. So we did weekly planning and played ping pong while Elder Jones had meetings and my double handed backhand is really coming along at least in ping pong.

I'm learning a lot about working with the spirit. One of the fruits of the spirit is peace. And something that allows someone to have peace is trust. When someone you are teaching doesn't trust you it is very hard to reach them. Especially with Spanish people that don't trust "Gringos" too much. On Thursday we had 7 people turn up to the chapel for ward splits which was a great sign of that things are moving in our ward. But when I went on my trade off I took a Nicaraguan man. Earlier that day we taught a women from Nicaragua and she said she didn't have time for us anymore. So that same night I took this member to go drop in and talk with her and try to establish a connection. It worked!

They talked about their home country and he asked her about her life. He testified so powerfully that she is not alone in her busy life and that she has our whole ward to help her. She said at the end that the missionaries can come back once a month. I'm not too sure she'll be baptized but the experience taught me that members can connect in ways 19 year old boys cannot. I asked the member if he would offer a prayer before we left. He prayed so lovingly and I felt the spirit. Without the trust, the spirit couldn't be there. Sometimes the spirit builds the trust and sometimes the trust invites the spirit.

Things are still slowly progressing in our ward. Our ward is changing! HAh! It's improving! I love seeing it happen! 
Love you all!

Elder Weiss VI

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Last Stand...New DL

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: October 21, 2013 10:29:18 PM MDT

Dear Family,

It's been another hectic week. Saturday morning we were temple cleaning our flat in preparation for transfers. You have to clean first and then after you ask the Zone Leaders to find out if you are staying or getting transferred. We found out we all would be staying. President Lew told us that Elder Jones will be training and that I will be Distric Leader. Pretty Hectic. I felt super overwhelmed at first but then with the guidance of our Zone leaders I have calmed down a little bit.

It's actually not gonna be too bad. The district is four sisters and four elders. All of us Elders will be living in the same flat. So trade offs will be pretty easy. We'll just switch beds for the night! I'm so excited to get a bed! I've been sleeping on this small foam mattress on the floor for a transfer! #australiaproblems. I know others have it worse. I shouldn't complain but nevertheless I'm excited for the luxury.

Sunday we got a new Ward mission leader. He's so fired up. He was the ward mission leader back in the day when the Spanish ward was baptizing heaps. The bishop has assembled the best of the best to be ward missionaries and our ward mission leader. This is the last stand.

This is the barricade scene from Les Miserables! This is Bob all tied up with emotional knots. This is the Statue of Liberty play. This is Landon Donovan following the play in 90th minute vs Algeria. Iniesta Against Chelsea in the UCL semi finale. Messi against Man Utd. Logan vs East with 12 sec on the clock. This is Mottel talking to Tevia. This is Seabiscut coming around the last stretch. This is Kobe with the ball with 10 sec left. This is "True Grit". This is Rocky vs Ivan Draco. This is Jack Sparrow chasing the black pearl. This is Sam carrying Frodo. This is Aragorn at the gate of Mordor.

When I look in the eyes of the Spanish members I see the same fear that would take the heart of me. There may be a day when men fall. When the relm of men comes crashing down! But it is not THIS DAY! THIS DAY! WE FIGHT!!!! For lack of better words, this is CHUCK NORRIS.
This is also Elder Weiss not sure what to tell you. I think Charles says everything.

Well I hope you understand something of what I wrote. Maybe Jon will get most of it. Between all of you I think you'll be able to figure it out.

Ok well. Love you heaps! Ofatu!

Elder Weiss VI... One minute on the clock... SEND

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ward Involvement-Excited for next 20 months!

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: October 15, 2013 12:47:27 AM MDT

Man, life is good. We are so blessed. This week we had our third ward splits night in a row. The ward is getting more involved and it bodes well for the Spanish ward's desire to grow. Elder Edmondson went on splits with a man from our ward to contact a referral that he gave us. He taught the restoration and he said it went pretty well. Teaching a good lesson with a member present was a good step forward by itself but then yesterday we all went to teach him. He has a sincere desire to change. He was sent here from prison in El Salvador and has done some really bad things but he is sincere about wanting to change. I won't lie I was having a hard time focusing in as much as I could on the work but as I walked out of that lesson I was reminded of why I want to be out here.

Today in the temple I reflected on all the miracles I've seen on my mission and the things I've learned in the last four months. We are blessed to be a part of this work for sure. I've realized that I'm really, really good at being rude too... jk (just kidding), but (I do) like joking around and stuff.  For some reason my sense of humor is at the slight expense of something. I need to have a more uplifting sense of humor.

Transfers are coming up this week. The only thing constant is change, so we'll see how things shake out with 45 new missionaries to train. I think Elder Jones is going to train and I'll keep Elder Edmondson but they are both just as ready as I was to train if not more so.

I've learned so much in the last four months I'm so excited for the next 20!

I'm working on my aussie accent. I just need a specific person to imitate and I can do alright. What I thought an aussie accent was, is actually a Kiwi accent. Ali taught me good! I love New Zealanders! They are sweet as! Straight Nephites if you hadn't heard! Pretty hectic. Not sure what else to write about...

Hope yous are good!

Love, Elder Weiss VI

PS Mom knows so many scriptures it's unreal. I wish I had her scripture bank of memory! Someday I will know the scriptures like her!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pictures from Elder Weiss, October 8, 2013

If we don't repent, we will be sad...

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: October 7, 2013 11:28:58 PM MDT

Wow heaps of letters this week! Thank you all for your love and support!

This week we found a new investigator from New Zealand who lives a few houses down from us! We were doing a role play walking around our yard (I was trying to be a difficult contact for my comp) and I saw these two guys and I thought in my head, "Elder, why'd you walk into the front yard!? Now we have to talk to these guys!" So we stopped the role plays and walked up to them and talked. We had a hard time finally catching him at home but he gave us 15 minutes and we got him to pray and he really wants to learn more! SO HECTIC!

We also found out our eternal investigator Juan is a drunk. Elder Jones went with Bishop and they had a heart to heart with Elsa, his wife, and she told them he's literally always drunk. 1 Liter a day before noon. He hides it really well but he's a drunk! HECTIC!! That's been the problem for the last ten years he's been investigating. Hopefully we he will have a desire to change and he can finally commit to be baptized and follow Jesus Christ. It's good to know what we are dealing with.

Man, being a trainer can be a joke sometimes. There are so many questions I don't have the answer to. We are struggling each day but we are continually becoming more and more effective. Next week we get to go the temple again! So excited.

My revelation for this week is that as long as we are repenting and seeing the atonement in our lives we will be happy. If we don't repent we will be sad. I do things I need to repent enough that there isn't a prayer I say that I shouldn't ask for forgiveness and help.

This Spanish Ward can be overwhelming at times. We should be getting 2 companionships soon an I'm not sure what another companionship is going to do. We need to build up our teaching pool but I know that with the Lord's help our ward can start baptizing again. We had 5 "Less actives" at church this past Sunday! That was a miracle. Our bishop is so motivated and he would give anything to help the Lord help this ward. I'm praying all three of us stay here after transfers. I don't want to leave. I want to get to the top of this mountain so bad but it's "His will not mine". I really can't do anything about it.

I love you all! Ofatu! Fa!

Elder Weiss VI

I pray for your safety and success every day!

Monday, September 30, 2013

What We Freely Give Away, We Keep

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: September 29, 2013 11:46:21 PM MDT

This week was pretty hectic, but all of them are, I've come to realize. As far as Australia lingo goes, I figured out why they say "Sweet as" or "That's nice as!". Because normally you would say "that's sweet as can be" or "that's nice as can be" but they just shorten it. I hear the Chileans and the Aussies do the same thing to their language. Shorten everything or take off the endings. My Spanish is still getting better. I'm so glad I got to spend six weeks studying Spanish because I know all of the fundamentals really well and I help my companions out a lot when they have questions because they got shipped out after two weeks because they were in the advanced class but now they don't remember how to conjugate certain things.

So we had a trade of with the zone leaders and we spent most of the day working on the area book. It hasn't been used in a while and I didn't get completely trained on how it works. This past Sunday we all gave talks to the ward for sacrament meeting. It was a fifth week Sunday and the Stake Presidency came and told the ward that they are not closing the ward because rumors have been going around but they told them they have get their act together as ward members and get behind the Bishop in his vision for rescue work and missionary work. It was awesome.

There are going to be some mad (major) changes happening in the next few weeks within our ward. This is the barricade scene from Les Mis. This is our last big push for the Spanish ward and if it doesn't work the ward's fate is pretty much sealed. The Stake Presidency spoke for the first block and almost a half and then sacrament meeting was last. During Sunday School we went into a room to finish our talks. In sacrament meeting we tried to "smash" the ward.

First the Bishop's daughter told an experience she had this past week sharing the gospel with her friends, then we spoke about crying repentance which is to Teach, Testify, and Invite. Elder Jones did teach, I did testify, and Elder Edmondson took invite. I poured my soul into that talk. I don't want this ward to stay how it is. People aren't motivated to help of the missionaries or reactivate their friends that have lost their way. It's like President Monson says, "What we selfishly keep we lose. And what we freely give away, we keep."

We've got three weeks to make a difference. Man it's exciting and nerve racking at the same time because we are in a threesome we know someone will get moved so we just want to smash these last three weeks so bad! When I stood up on that stand a feeling of love came over me. I was able to feel for a moment how the Savior feels about these people. That is one thing I struggle with is loving people. That sounds horrible but I can be obedient, that comes easy. I can work hard, that's normal. But loving the people is a gift that you can't develop alone. Still trying to figure that out! I love you all so much!

Ofatu! (Tongan for love ya! I hope I learn Samoan or Tongan before I come home! That'd be so hectic! But for now Spanish is enough!)

Elder Weiss VI

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Teach-Testify-Invite and Feed the Missionaries!

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: September 23, 2013 1:23:30 AM MDT

Man! What a week. Went and picked up my new companion on Wednesday. His name is Elder Edmondsen from Payson. He reminds me of Ben and Elder Jones Reminds me of William.

BTW, Ben, congrats on the baby. (Ben Weiss had a new daughter born Sunday night.)  May she grow up and play for the US Women's soccer team.

Anyhow it's been a real trial of my faith this past week. Things have been hectic. We were contacting on the street in downtown Fairfield talking to this guy from Spain when I saw a guy across the street yelling and swearing and I just figured he was drunk. Then I saw him kicking something and I saw feet go up in the air. I turned and sprinted accross the street to stop him as he was hitting this lady in the face. I and two other guys got there and one of the others yelled at him and told him to stop. He backed off when he saw we were all there and then she walked away but he kept following her. We followed them until we came past the police station and got some police to go after them. They are slow as!!! and always go in threes! That's only for weaklings and lesser whimps and the guy got away!

I was pretty upset. Later that night I couldn't think about missionary work. I've never been up close with something like that. I was a little traumatized and I just got down on my knees and pleaded with the Lord to give me a desire to continue. He blessed me with a feeling of confidence and peace and a desire to continue. They say that there is no strength in numbers, that it's a myth. That when somebody is in peril they say everyone will stand by and wait for someone else to do something. I've always been afraid I would be the one waiting around. I'm glad I wasn't and I'm glad that two others were right there with me. People are good. Society is rough. People are still good.

I've grown so much in these last three months. I hope you can't even recognize who I am when I get home. I hope I'm not the same person I was when I left. I'm grateful for the oportunity to turn outwards and serve and how the Lord is changing me and strengthening me.

TEACH-TESTIFY-INVITE! Everyone can do it! Mom and Dad! FEED THE MISSIONARIES! And give them a referral. A bad referral is better than none at all! You will always miss the shots you don't take! This is the work of salvation. You can't sit around to be saved. You need to do missionary work. If you don't want to, you need to revaluate your life because you are either coming closer to Christ or you're not becoming converted!

I love all of you!

Elder Weiss VI

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: September 9, 2013 10:47:14 PM MDT
To: Cyndy Weiss <>
Subject: HECTIC!!

SOO HECTIC!! I don't mean the warmer temperature neither! There is nothing as cool as missionary work! As our drunk friend from Zimbabwe likes to say, "Check dis out!"

So not this last Friday but the one before we got "smashed" by Elder Hamula about preaching by the way! SOO "SMASHED"! After the meeting we started applying what we learned while we were waiting on some other missionaries. We talked to a man who was from Peru! Spoke Spanish and he wasn't interested but then we talked to the next guy we saw and he was from Chile and we got a return appointment. I think I've told you all up to this point! This is where it turns hectic!

We met with him on Tuesday and also met his wife. There names are Hector and Paulina! Elder Urbina and I taught in unity and there was a different spirit than we'd ever had together! The spirit "smashed" them and we committed both of them to be baptized! AHHHH SO CRAZY!! I had never gotten this far before!

Flashback to Friday evening after the rebuking! We are at the train station just talking to people. We talk to these two girls and testify of the restoration and get a return appointment! Bang! PBTW! (preach by the way).

Now fast forward to our lesson this past Friday. We taught them at this park and again Elder Urbina and I taught in unity and the spirit "smashed" them! We taught so clearly saying things we'd never said before that were so much clearer than before! We committed them to baptism as well! We confirmed that one of them read before going to bed that night! HA! We can't meet with them because they are in their last week of high school and I guess it's pretty hectic so we won't see them till next Friday but we are texting them like crazy so they don't forget what they felt!

This is what I've learned. God asked the ALL the Elders in D&C 52:21-27 to "preach by the way". And in 34 he promises we will be fruitful if we do what he says. When we do HIS work HIS way we get to see HIS miracles! We are entitled to have his miracles as we strive to become like Jesus Christ the Missionary. That's what becoming Preach my Gospel (missionary) means! Become a Missionary like Jesus Christ.

It's sooo cool seeing miracles. When you see a miracle thats all you can think about. How can I see more of that? Just gotta do HIS work HIS way and then have your mind blown!

So then if the week wasn't hectic enough, last Saturday morning I'm getting swoll/ripped/workingout/tryingtonotbecomefat and Elder Urbina tells me we have to go to mission offices so I can get trained to drive! ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD! But it all went good. I passed and I just pray I'll never get a ticket or crash or anything. TICKETS ARE TRICKY HERE! They have speed cameras everywhere!

But after the test President said we wanted to talk to me. He took me into his office and asked me if I could be a trainer. So I'm going to pick up my greeny tomorrow and Elder Urbina got called as a District Leader in Canberra! Right as things were getting good too!! But me and this greeny are gonna "smash it"! However my Spanish crutch is gone and now I have to learn to stand on my own!

So it feels like the first day of my mission all over again. I have to figure things out all over again. I'm training myself for the remaining six weeks of the 12 week program. Hectic. I'm so humbled and hope I can be a good trainer for this new missionary. I know once he sees miracles he will forget about home altogether!

Love you!

Elder Weiss VI

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Happy Father's Day and "Preach by the way!"

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: September 2, 2013 12:53:18 AM MDT
To: Cyndy Weiss <>
Subject: Happy Fathers day!

So I got to have two Fathers Days this year! Down under they do fathers day on the first week of September. No clue why because I'm pretty sure the rest of the world it's the same day minus Australia. But I was thinking about you, Dad! And ALL the giant letters I get from you! ;) So I decided to write part of this letter to you.

We had a training this past Friday by a member of the 70, Elder Hamula. Apparently it wasn't that bad of a "rebuking" but as it was my first, it cut pretty deep. He showed us what we need to do to get one baptism in the Sydney Australia Mission. The numbers basically break down like this. If you want a baptism here, you need 22 New Investigators, 7.6 Investigators at Sacrament meeting, and 2 Baptismal dates. By the numbers, that's what needs to take place to get a baptism here in Sydney.

Our standard of excellence here is 20 Lessons each week and 1 baptism each month. So to get a baptism each month we need 22 NI's, 7.6 SM's, and 2 BD's. As he laid all of this out I was just smashed! I thought to myself "DO YOU REALIZE HOW HARD IT IS TO BAPTIZE IN THE SPANISH WARD? THE LAST BAPTISM WAS TWO YEARS AGO!!" and many other thoughts like this were going through my head.

In the end I came to realization that I don't have enough faith. I didn't truly believe that God is preparing people for us. Later on he started talking about "talking with everyone". He said to us, "Opening your mouth is the price you pay to find the people the Lord has prepared. And that doesn't matter where you are!" He shared with us a scripture in the New Testament that said God told his apostles to go forth and preach by the way. Then he showed us D&C 52:9-33. God commands his servants to "take their journey and preach by the way" over and over. He made the point that this is the way God has done missionary work forever. We go forth and preach by the way. We need to stop and talk to everyone. We can't move too swiftly while God's children are perishing by the way.

Later that day on the way back from the training, because of how the ride situation worked out, we were waiting for an hour at another elders flat to wait for his companion to return. Because of the training we decided we would start opening our mouths and speaking to everybody. It's getting easier but I still freak out a little bit. The miracle was that two of the people we talked to spoke Spanish! And then yesterday we were going to visit a less active and we found another Spanish speaker as we "preached by the way". Super cool!

I am going to be praying very hard for the faith and love to preach by the way. It's way easier to just keep on walking, but what Elder Hamula said keeps coming back to my mind, "opening your mouth is the price every missionary must pay to find people that are prepared." I feel that's true, but I wish it wasn't so hard. I will pray for more strength so serve how God has asked me even when it's scary and tiring. As we take Christ's name upon us by doing missionary work His way, we are entitled to his miracles. The way Jesus Christ does missionary work is by Preaching by the Way. We are going to start smashing people like Jesus Christ! Just read a few verses in John and you can feel the power in his words. That's how we will be as we take on ourselves the attributes of Jesus Christ the missionary.

So it's been another great week. Got to play tennis today against a kid that was alright and we had a pretty good time. Last week I was $3 away from going broke! haha It was a close call. I had to spend $15 to buy groceries for last week! haha but now I've figured out where to shop and how much money I can use! And we were paying $15 to play tennis at this place each Pday until we went broke but now we've found this place that's free! So now we are rich!!

My Spanish is improving every day! Today at the tennis courts we spoke with this girl that was pretty much a female Nadal and her coach! HOLY CATS she was hitting her forehand so hard!! It made such a loud noise! Any how they were from Spain and I was talking to the coach and we talked in Spanish for a bit and even when I couldn't express myself completely in Spanish and switched to english for a sec he kept speaking in Spanish because he could see I understood what he was saying! Yay!  I'm getting more and more comfortable with Spanish. Each week I see a definite step forward! I love you all!

Dad, You need to teach that to your mission prep students that "Opening your mouth is the price you pay to find the people the Lord has prepared." And it doesn't matter where you are. Experience comes before faith. Somehow if they can experience that, they will have faith to open their mouths. Also page 7 in PMG has things that everyone must understand about our message. Each one of them needs to know how to quickly articulate that for a contact or door approach.

Love yous heaps!
Be safe!

Love, Elder Weiss VI

Monday, August 26, 2013

"Heaps" of Miracles!

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: August 25, 2013 8:08:38 PM MDT

Subject: Heaps of Miracles!

HOW TO SPEAK AUSSIE (AUZZIE): to say mate like a proper Aussie it's said, "might". And heaps means a lot. So I said there are "heaps of miracles". And hectic is like cool or good. So we had some pretty "hectic miracles". There is your how to be aussie lesson for the week.

This past Tuesday we were contacting in this food court where there are two Latin restaurants so there is usually a steady flow of Latinos in there. We talked to a guy from Spain. He didn't really want to listen. He just wanted to tell us about how he's a life time member to Real Madrid and how Raul has never gotten a red card ever. But for some reason he told us about one of the shops over yonder. It's name is *drum roll* SUPER MEGA BARGAINS! Everything is SUPER MEGA CHEAP! And everyone is SUPER MEGA COLOMBIAN! So we went and talked to one of the employees and got her number. Nothing extraordinary happened besides that.

Then the next day we decided we were going to contact 10 people in the train station/ food court. So we were doing work in English and Spanish. The trick was is we take turns initiating the contact so that we aren't waiting for the other to say something. So we did this for like six people and we were cruising, then people started coming up to us and asking us who we were and just random stuff. We had just finished talking to this black guy who spoke like a "black man". He learned to speak English by watching an American sitcom with two black dudes and prayed to God for an American accent. So he talks like, "Ay man, Check dis out! I praaayed! And God gave me dis accent. But it didn't come all at once. It's a PROcess mah a PROcess." It was super funny but we talked to him for like an hour it seemed.

Then we were going back to the food court we stopped and looked for someone to talk to. We saw this Aussie looking guy and said, "How are you?" And like many other Aussie's we've talked to, he shook his head and gave us the universal hand signal for, "talk to the hand". After he had walked by I said, "It's cold today isn't it?".
He stopped, turned around, and came back. And with humble, scared look in his eyes he held up a piece of paper and said in broken English, "I need these things. I've lived in Australia four months and don't speak English." We asked him "Where are you from?" He said, "I'm from Spain" I smiled and said, "Hablamos espanol! Podemos ayudarle". We took him to the store owned by the SUPER MEGA COLOMBIANS the next block over and show him the things on his list. We asked if we could get his number and teach him about our church sometime and he said sure. But, he didn't know what his phone number was so we put our number in his phone and called ours. We said we'd call him to set up a time and said "Ciao". As we were trying to leaving he grabbed my arm and said, "Thank you, thank you, thank you soo much!" His eyes watered with tears.

As we left somebody else came up to us. It was hectic. But I testify that there are miracles happening everyday. God is preparing you to be a miracle in the life of one of his kids. And he is preparing others to do the same for you. We don't usually get to see God's hand in our lives but I testify that it is there because I have seen it with my own eyes. As missionaries we get to see miracles happening all the time but for me this experience was so vivid it's almost as if I'd seen the literal hand of God stretched to help his children. It reminded me of the scripture in Matt 25:40. "When you have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me." Ironically this man's name was Jesus.

Jesus Christ suffered endless pain for each off us. I show my gratitude for that sacrifice in the ways I serve others around me. I know God is aware of each one of us and he is preparing the way before us.

I love you all, this work is "hectic" (good)!

Elder Weiss

Monday, August 19, 2013

Time Flies on Wings of Lightning...

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: August 18, 2013 10:07:19 PM MDT
To: Cyndy Weiss <>
Subject: Time flies on the wings of lightning and we scarce can hold it back.

Today is the two month mark from when I entered the MTC. As I'm settling in here in the land down under, the seconds seem to cut in half weekly. It's weird because I feel as though I've been out forever, like this has always been my life, but at the same time I feel like I just left.

This past week was good. As the Poly Elders would say, "Ees goot". I got to trade off with another missionary two weeks ago and I found out that not all missionaries are obedient... haha it hadn't ever hit me before. I thought my companion was just normal but turns out he's pretty obedient and we work hard. I still think we can work harder but line upon line we'll improve. We can't change everything at once. Thank you mom for sending me all the pictures.

Thank you everyone for not emailing me so I only have to write one letter. It's very convenient ;) Thank you P-day, for showing me who my real friends are! ;) Thanks Mom and Dad.  Last Friday we talked to some Peruvians in the mall and they invited us to come play soccer with them the next day. We went and I found out that Americans are just at good at soccer as everyone else. As Goob said, "They're all a bunch of bumbs... that's good joe!" Yes I was! I was yelling at them, I was getting the ball and distributing, and they thought I was German. Appearently I look German. Do Germans and Poles look the same? I thought we were from Poland and England. Mom, Is that right?

So missionary work is real easy I've found... the hard part is what's in between. Finding people to teach is so hard. You don't need to ask me twice to teach someone. It's so exciting when we get to teach and do our best to help them the way God would. I love that. I could do that all day! But as the good book says, "Before you can teach, you must find someone to teach.". But we are finding better ways to find and now we can teach in English as well as Spanish so were gonna be big time now.

Our progressing investigator is the bomb. Her name is Ally and she is fantastic. Her husband is atheist and religion period is a really touchy subject between them. She loves religion. She's been investigating the Jehovah's Witnesses for seven years but she doesn't feel it's completely right. She says she just can't commit with all her heart or else she'd be lying to herself. We asked her to read 3 Nephi 11 and pray about it. She took 'pray about it' to mean understand so we explained that pretty poorly but She read 1 Nephi 2 Nephi and 3 Nephi! That's over 150 pages! We committed her to pray to know if the book is true and I think she already has faith that its true but hasn't received an answer. God's gonna provide a way for her to work things out with her husband and then BANG! BAPTIZED!

Yesterday I was sitting in church and hadn't a clue what was being said, I can converse but when people speak they just fly and it's so fast I hardly understand it, so I started thinking about what speaker prior had said (He was Poly and spoke in English). He said, "A testimony is to know and feel. Conversion is to do and become." Elder Bednar said something similar, "Conversion is consistently doing the things you know to be right." I was thinking how a less active man we taught said, "Your testimonies are great, you really feel what you say". I think the testimony we share is filled with power when there is conversion behind the words. But I thought to myself, "We always talk about sharing testimonies, but I've never heard someone talk the same way about sharing our conversion." I think sharing our conversion is just as important as sharing our testimonies. Sharing conversion is not what you do on fast sunday because it's called a "Fast and TESTIMONY Meeting", but when we are with our friends I think that's a very appropriate time to share our conversion that maybe they can start to be converted also. Elder Bednar also said, "If all you've got is a testimony, you're in pretty bad shape." We need to do and become if we want to be happy. So wake up and do something good!!

Last night our Distric leader called. My Comp was speaking and the phone was on speaker phone and our District Leader asked how things were going with us? Then he said, "You're comp is the man! He's an Islander!" *DING* Validation! I did trade offs with him and I managed to stay happy for a whole day when I had no clue what was going on because all the phone calls were in Samoan! Haha but I learned a lot and I respect how hard my comp works more AND I'm now an Islander!

Ok. Love you all,

Elder Weiss VI

PS Saw two small kangaroos yesterday. Some people never get to see them and I was in a bad mood and that cheered me right up. Small miracle. They were kind of ugly though and we were driving past on the freeway.
All proselyting equipment is in good condition. Shoes are fantastic. We have a cowboy hat at the flat and when I put it on and look in the mirror I turn into Jim Craig. I'll send you a picture if I ever remebmer to bring my camera.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

#lovethatgrind Aug 12, 2013

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: August 12, 2013 11:38:29 PM MDT
To: Cyndy Weiss <>

Crazy week! Man this missionary thing is an emotional roller coaster. Some days it's so hard. Some days it's so exciting.

Today we got to go to the temple and right before we walked inside my comp checked the phone and told me our investigator had read!!! This hasn't happened before! I was so stoked!

Will is training one of the Elders from my Room in the MTC. We joked that he would train one of my roomates! They are gonna kill it! I'm pretty sure Elder Knecht could be training right now! He's a stud! Our Spanish is about the same when we left but he's probably leaps and bounds better by now because he gets to speak it all the time. . He's SO bold! I hope he's doing well with the language because I'm at the point where I can understand a lot but the speed of thought isn't there. Once Elder Knecht gets there he'll be "straight killing it!"

What happened this week? Things were pretty tough and we'd get back to our flat and night and all I wanted to do was lay on mom's bed and be like, "Gee, what a day!" Nothing more theraputic than a heart-to-heart with your mama. But I've been praying for a stronger witness that this is where I need to be and this is what I need to be doing so I'm content and happy.

(Measuring by results is) so tricky. My comp has been in this Spanish branch his whole mission with zero baptisms and so the other day we were talking about "the grind". I decided that when you focus too much on the result, the process will suffer. But if you focus on the process the result comes automatically. "Come what may and love" it kind of thing. My goal for my mission is to learn to love the grind. When things get harder, I get stronger and I enjoy it all the while. #lovethatgrind #nodaysoff (That's for Deb).

We played tennis last week and it felt so weird. I felt so awkward at first. It felt like I'd never done it before but then it came back. I'm terrible so at least that won't be a distraction. haha. I'm getting fat. Not really but at this rate I will be by the end of the mission. I'm working on eating better and getting up and working out hard right away. Food here costs a dad gum arm and a leg! It's ridiculous!

Ok so none of that really mattered. Here's the small plates:
 This is kind of heavy but it's what was on my mind this morning. We got to go to the temple which was sweet. A thought that hit me is there is kind of a stare down between Lucifer and Jesus Christ. Satans enmity for Jesus Christ and God's children is real, It's as if he says to Christ "You win for now, but we'll see how hot you look when you are suffering for their sins. I will make God's children suffer. I will confuse them so they will not be able to distinguish the evil from the good. I will make them hate you and despise you and I will carefully lead their souls down to hell... So I hope you enjoy paying for their sins."

I just imagine how much Satan hates Jesus Christ. If he can get us to sin, that's more pain Christ would have to have felt in the Atonement. It just kind of helps me to picture how brave a faithful Christ was during his life knowing that Satan had prepared and was preparing a sort of "hell" for him that he would have to pass through. Jesus Christ is my hero and my Savior and Redeemer. I guess it's like dropping in a 6 foot half pipe on a skateboard for the first time. Kind of... not really. Something I can't explain...but it's like that moment of heart wrenching fear that Jesus Christ had to face. I guess it's just that moment when you have to stare fear in the face...when you have to fight with the opponent within yourself...that egotistical person inside each of us that is scared out of his mind deep down. I don't know exactly what I'm trying to say but I'm grateful that Jesus Christ overcame all and that he understands me and what I'm going through.

One last thought. I was thinking the other day how there is a reason that I came here to Australia and not to Concepcion with Elder Weiss V. I know there are people here that I can connect to. People that maybe only I can help, that I've been prepared to help. I don't know who these people are yet, but I can find out as I treat everybody as if I have been prepared specially for them and as I open my mouth and talk to everyone.

I love all of you! Sorry my letter was so disjointed but "it is what it is".

Love, Elder Weiss VI

Monday, August 5, 2013

First Letter from Australia August 4, 2013

So there I was, in the mission office, just sitting there.... haha yeah so got here last Wednesday. It's so pretty but I love 'Merica even more! I'm so grateful for wide roads, being able to turn right at a red light when nobody's coming, big trucks (because gas isn't so flippin expensive in the US), and driving the "RIGHT" side of the road.

So my comp is Colombian and we both are serving the Spanish branch. I was soo lucky. Some poeple come here Spanish speaking and only get one transfer in the Spanish branch and never get to actually learn Spanish. I'm guaranteed to at least get two! First day in the area we go and teach this lady that was so nice and is totally ready for the Gospel but her husband is atheist so she's super tentative about it all. But she's so great! We got to know her super well. She's from Spain but moved here when she was young. Her husband is from the MOTHERLAND! AKA Washington State! So we talked a bit about that!

This whole lesson was in English so I got to do a lot of teaching. I'm super awkward when we teach in Spanish because they speak so fast I just kind of stare and pretend like I know what's going on. Actually I get the gist of everything but I have to really focus to figure it out let alone try and tell them something. But it's the same for my comp when we have to teach in English but his English is way better than my Spanish. He's been here seven months and hasn't left the "area". That is. he hasn't left our branch because our area is the whole mission.

So first night I'm here we are driving to our area and guess what the first tennis court I see is! Not Hardcourt! Not Clay! But grass!!! They are all over here! I still haven't seen any clay but before I leave the area we'll go play on the grass! Today we are going to go play on some hardcourt and I'm so stoked!!!

Second day I was here we cleaned out the area book of one area with zero success! haha Yeah, kinda killed the mood from the day before when we taught this perfect person! But somebody's got to plant some seeds round here! Last night we went to a member's house for dinner and got trapped and were there for far too long and we were talking in English and my comp is super polite and didn't say anything so I was like were gonna share a message and leave! We got some referrels but no Spanish speakers and then we took off. I wasn't super happy that we stayed so long but the night was just getting started.

We visited another man from a different area in the book of life. He didn't want us to come back at first but my comp smoothed him over and we are gonna go back next Sunday to teach! BAM!!! Next we had a guy named Roberto. He's a Seventh-day Adventist and was like, "is your church on Saturday? No thanks. If you convince me that the sabbath is on sunday then I'll join your church." haha! So my comp kinda discussed doctrine with him and I just stood there like a deer in the headlights trying my best to follow the conversation. Then my comp finally testified of the Book of Mormon and then I asked him, "If your God revealed more of Jesus Christ's words, would you want to here it?" "Yes" "I know that this book contains the words of Jesus Christ and you can too if you read it and asked God." He said, "Alright". So my comp gave him a Book of Mormon and marked 3 Nephi Chapter 11 for him to read. So he's gonna read and were gonna go back sometime and see what became of it. He doesn't want us to come in a visit but he said we could stop by.

Then we went to a less active member's house. Her husband and kids were gone and my comp asked for some water and she was going to bring it to him at the door but then she asked if I wanted any and I said, "Actually could I go to the bathroom?" AND WE WERE IN! haha it's so hard to get into Latino's doors for some reason. My comp says it's rude if you ask to come in. So you just have to stay very, very hydrated if you know what I mean. ;) When I was done taking care of business I came out and she asked if I wanted some water and I said yes. So we followed her into her kitchen and I asked about her son's soccer trophies and we talked. Then we shared a message about prayer. The spirit came a testified and made her a little emotional. Then my companion asked if there was a time we could come back and she said, "Let me check my calender" and we set a time. If she hadn't have felt the spirit she would've just made an excuse like everybody else we talk to! Man, last night was a solid one!

Tonight we are talking to two inactives that asked us to come and teach. They are married and aren't sure if they want a divorce or not. So I'm not completely sure what they want from us but we are going to teach them about keeping covenants especially their baptismal covenant by attending church and partaking of the sacrament so they can "always have the Spirit to be with them". Man, the Gospel is what's up! It's the solution! So many people just blow us off so quickly and it's so sad because they need this message! But "the elect hear our voice and harden not their hearts" and that's who were after!

I love you all! I miss my nieces and nephews! The member's house where we ate has all their kids living close by so they all came over for Sunday dinner with their kids. Hectic. So cool though!

You's have a good one!

Love ya's heaps!

Elder Weiss VI

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Map of Fairfield, NSW, Australia

45 minutes from Sydney to Fairfield where Elder Weiss will be serving.

To view map, click on the link below or copy and paste it to your browser:

Can you find Elder Weiss?

Hint:  Light colored suit. 9th from left. Standing in front of stage. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Address for letters and parcels

Subject: Missionary Arrival for Parents

1 August 2013

Mr & Mrs D. Weiss
1657 E 1080 N
Logan, UT 84341 USA

Brother and Sister Weiss,

Elder Joseph Mark Weiss arrived in the Australia Sydney South Mission safely.  Thank you for entrusting him into our care for the time  of his mission.  Sister Lew and I are mindful of the great trust you have placed in us by sharing your son with us.  When he arrived, we met him at the airport and took him to the mission office, where he was introduced to the office staff and some of the other missionaries.   This was then followed by lunch and orientation.

Elder Weiss companion is  Elder Urbina from  Columbia. They will be serving in  Fairfield.

Please note that all mail is to be sent to the Australia Sydney South Mission Office:

Elder Weiss PO Box 456, Mortdale, NSW 2223, Australia.

All parcels are to be sent to 2 Breakwell St, Mortdale NSW 2223, Australia.

Our mission is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world. I am aware that the Lord blesses the families of missionaries in many special ways.  As your son serves, you will find that to be very true.  Your support is greatly appreciated.  You may contact the mission president, should the need arise, at at any time.  Missionaries are allowed to send and receive email.  They check it at the local library on preparation day, which is usually Monday but can change depending on weekly circumstances.

Warmest Regards,
President Larry J. Lew


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Big News-July 25, 2013

Why did you guys start doing fun stuff right after I left? YOU'RE SAILING!!! YOU'RE SAILLING!!! YOU SAILED, YOU'RE A SAILOR, ISN'T THIS A BREAK THROUGH? AHOY !!!haha. That looks like a ton of fun!

This week has been much better. My comp and I are getting along really well. I've learned a lot from him. Hind sight is ALWAYS 20/20! There are things that used to bug me but I just have gotten over them and they don't bother me anymore. I've been blessed with a change of heart. I'm growing so much here.

I still joke around too much. For study periods I make my comp and I leave the classroom to go study elsewhere because I don't focus when I'm with the other missionaries in a silent room. It's just a perfect scenario for too many jokes.

BIG NEWS OF THE WEEK! You didn't know this but last Friday everyone got their travel plans except for me. I got a white paper that said, "Sorry we don't have your visa. Expect a reassignment in the mail next Thursday or Friday. I was a little distraught but over the next days I was refocusing and getting ready to serve two missions. However, two days ago the front desk called our classroom. This voice came over the speakers and said, "Is there an Elder Weiss there?" "Yes..." "Will you please come to the travel office?" "YES!!!" They got my visa two days before I got reassigned! So in the end I'm Australia bound! Hurray! I know it's not so dramatic for you guys because you didn't know I was getting reassigned in the first place, but for me I was happier than Chuck Norris in a room full of lesser ninjas. I came up with a joke the other day that obviously I laughed at but maybe you will too. "Chuck Norris saved the day today...yesterday..." get it?..

Ok, well on a serious note, last night we were doing role plays and the "investigator" we were supposed to be was a character from the NY Times "One in a Million" thing. This investigator didn't believe in God like we do, He was Hindu. None of us really knew anything about being Hindu. We finished the first role play and the Elders all were saying, "How do you teach someone that doesn't believe in Jesus Christ!?"

I shared with the district an experience I had. I have a friend that once asked if we could talk about God. She is not a member and I knew nothing about her religious beliefs. Of course I wanted to talk about God so one day we talked... she talked. I listened for probably two hours just listening and asking questions. She didn't ask me a question but brought something up that I was able to teach her a little bit about the plan of salvation in like a minute or two and then that was it. We talked a few more times about it on the phone and I just listened and asked questions some more. Then she finally asked me, "Joe, how do you know its true?" I was able to tell her my experiences reading the scriptures and praying to be taught the truth. After she said, "Joe, that's so sweet, I can tell that you really care."

I didn't get to speak that much but because I listened to her talk for so long she knew I was sincere about what I was saying and that I cared about her. "NOBODY CARES HOW MUCH YOU KNOW UNTIL THEY KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CARE!" She knew I cared about her as a person and was willing to hear what I had to say. She was able to feel God's love for her through me and feel the spirit testify of what I had said.

So I told the district. "You should never begin teaching anyone without them first feeling something." If I were to start teaching someone that didn't believe in God period, I would begin by reading with them Mosiah 14 or D&C 19:15-18 and ask them. "If you knew that someone did this for you, If you watched someone do all of this for you, how would you feel?"  Then they would be able to feel the spirit testify of the love of Jesus Christ for them. They might not know who he is but they'd be able to feel his love.  Motivation is something you feel, not something you know. First they have to feel before they can know.

I'm so excited to go to Australia and share the Gospel with the people there. I might not be the best missionary, but they will know that God loves them and that I do too. If that's all people learn from me on my mission, that Elder Weiss sincerely loves them from the bottom of their heart, then my mission will be a sucess!

I love you all!

Elder Weiss VI

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"Large Plate" Info and wishlist from July 11-12, 2013

This is from a letter of Thursday and Friday, July 11-12, 2013 that was handwritten by Joseph.  Just getting around to typing it up. 

OK, so here are some fun facts about my MTC experience.
1.  I am not at the West campus.  I'm here on the main campus.  Sorry, Deb, if you broke your budget on Jamba, but I keep forgetting to tell people about the "Large Plate" information, if you will, in my emails.

(If you would like a personal letter, send your address to Joseph since he has a little time each night to write, but only one hour of time for email on Thursday Preparation day.)

2.  All three of my roommates are heading down to serve with Will in Concepcion Sur.  Unfortunately, I don't get to serve with Will, but Sydney is alright, I guess...(Ed. note...this is Joe's dry humor showing up.)

3.  I'm kinda sick.  sore throat, runny nose and such.  I'd appreciate your prayers. 

4.  I've been working out on my own besides our gym time because I could feel the pounds stacking up.  Today I weighed myself...10 pounds!  You sit around all day and get 3 big meals.  I hate seeing tithing being wasted, but you'll gain weight just by eating what's on your plate.  Gym is great though.  We mostly play soccer.  I'm starting to love it again.  I do miss tennis though.  Hopefully I'll get to play when I get down to Sydney.

5.  Jacob Scoville teaches Korean at the MTC.  Got to see him yesterday.

6.  This week a bunch of my friends from high school got here.  Namely, Russell Murphy and Braden Call.

7.  Lately we've been singing hymns and "Newsie" (the musical) songs as we walk.  I've realized that not everyone that thinks they can sing actually can.  I'm so sorry if I've ever just "gone for it" with you around.  I think I'm getting a taste of my own medicine.

Well, please pray for my health.  It's hard to think about others when you're struggling, but that's what Christ did his entire life.

Launna, thanks for the reply.  I agree, but I'm hoping someone will disagree so I can better understand.  The question is:


For Luanna:  Character of Christ is the the character Christ had to turn outwards in times of crisis when the natural man would turn invwards.  Elder Maxwell said, "Without the character of Christ...."  Google it...

So here's my wish list:
Listerine (it's helped me get better fast!)
Vitamin C / Calcium would be great.  Airborn or EmergenC would be nice, but not necessary.
Foam soccer ball...we have nothing to do on p-day except study and exercise as the Provo Temple is closed.
Some "Artisan bread" from Lee's.   (Not necessary.)

Friday, July 12, 2013
So I got your package today.  Thanks.  The photo album is fantastic.  I took a few glances at all the pictures by haven't read it yet.  I got to show my district my family!  I liked it a lot.

Last night I had my comp. give me a blessing.  He said exactly what I needed to hear.  It was his first ever.  About a week ago I gave him a blessing as well!

If you could have Deb get a little foam or Nerf soccer ball 6 inches diameter or bigger, that would be great!  But if not...we'll just make one out of socks.
Actually, I already did.  I sewed it and everything.  I'll send you pics soon.  I love you all. Thanks all of you who write!  I love getting letters. 

You all should read Elder Bednar's talk and answer my before stated question.  Love, Elder Weiss VI

(Then there is a hand drawn 1/3 page picture of TROGDOR for Deb.)

Mediocrity and Tender Mercies-Letter of July 18, 2013

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: July 18, 2013 8:02:28 AM MDT
To: Cyndy Weiss <>

Thank you family for all the letters and packages! Mom made me this scrapbook of pictures of all the family and Deb sent me the most thoughtful package I've ever received in my life! It was like Christmas day! She got me two high class ties from Florence, Italy and a Wimbledon tennis ball keychain! Absolutely made my day! It was an amazing example of gift giving. It was so dad gum thoughful I couldn't believe it! Probably the highlight of my week.

This week I've felt so perfectly mediocre. I absolutely hate it. My heart wants to a representative of Jesus Christ but the rest of me can't figure it out. I feel like I've plateaued at the MTC and I hate it. I know if I plateau here I'm gonna have the same problem in the field. I feel like a stumbly two year old trying to learn how to walk. For me in tennis I would always try to find something to focus on that would keep me from beating myself. Once I found something that got me so outside my myself I was playing out of my mind. But the next time I went to play it only worked partially and the next time after that it didn't help anything.

Trying to imitate past sucesses leads to mediocrity. Being spontaneous is what allows true creativity to flow. It's a constant battle to find the thing that will help you get to the place where you can play beyond your own capabillities. Once you've been there nothing compares. I feel like was learning at such a fast rate but then I tried to continue doing the samethings and the rate of learning went away.

There is no silver bullet! WHY IS THERE NO MAGIC BULLET?! Why does it have to be so hard? The hardest foe you will ever meet is person you see in the mirror each morning. I wish this was easy but it's not. I know that God's grace will come and save me... but I don't know when. The night is darkest just before the dawn. I know good things are coming. I know I can change. I've been saved and spared time and time again. The Lord is my light and why should I fear? All things are possible with God. This is just a bump in the road. And if you're going fast enough and the bump is big enough for a little while you can fly! One day I'll be able to fly whenever I want but for now it's gonna take hard times to get me up in the air. Just gotta Keep moving forward.

Yesterday I got to host the new missionaries. One of the four I picked up from the curb is from Herriman. His name is Elder Jones. His dad asked where I was going and I told him "Sydney, Australia." They all freaked out and said, "That's where he's going!! What language?" "Spanish" "Him too!" Pretty crazy! He's in the advanced class because his dad was a mission president in Chile and he learned Spanish there. So he'll only be here (MTC) two weeks which means we'll probably be flying down together!! Pretty crazy! His mom said, "There's your first teder mercy!" They were very emotional because this was their youngest son, so it was a pretty big deal! He's gonna be an amazing missionary!

So later today I should get my travel plans. I'm gonna save a little time for later so I can tell you whatever it is I find out!

I love you all! I'll be praying for all of you family and friends. I love my evening prayers when I get to ask God to bless those that I love! I love you all so very much! I love God most of all! He is my strength and my salvation!

Elder Weiss VI

Photos from July 18, 2013 letter