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]