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