Sunday, December 28, 2014

Go Walk on Water This Week

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: December 28, 2014 at 7:53:04 PM MST


It was great to Skype ya'll (Ed. note:  Joe call us on Christmas Day and spoke with family gathered in Logan.  It was the day after Christmas in Australia).  It was good to see yous. It put my mind at ease, so it's go time!

Elder Johnson and I are going to rock this area. He's a great missionary and wants to go hard!! We are knocking doors when we have extra time and working more diligently and it feels so good.

If you don't feel uncomfortable or scared at least twice a day you aren't living. Our zone is quite flat right now but we are going to do our best and watch God go to work.

Our district leader Elder Shelton told us "Don't be surprised when you get out of the boat
and you find yourself walking on water." That's what we're waiting for.

Go walk on water this week!

Love,
Elder Weiss

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

First Miracle in Canberra

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: December 22, 2014 at 6:26:49 PM MST


Let me tell you about Elder Weiss' first miracle in Canberra (as far
as I know it's the first but it's probably like the 204th) So due to
weird circumstances I got to my area Thursday morning. After studies
my companion and I went to this lake and sat at a picnic table to do
our weekly planning. As we were battling through our distractions we
saw this skinny tall tan dude with long poofy hair (Poofy as in
fluffy). He had just been swimming with his friends in the lake and
was walking back from the car to the shore again with a towel wrapped
around his waist. Because of his lack of clothing my companion said
"Ooo look at this tough guy" But before you know it Mr. Tough Guy
walks over to us and says, "Are you Mormons? This is going to sound
pretty crazy but I just felt like I should talk to you guys. What are
you doing?"

As we talked he said he was from up north in Newcastle and he was in
Canberra fundraising for the Red Cross. He said that previously he had
knocked into a Mormon couple with three young kids who let them in and
listened to them as well as fed them lunch. The man of the house and
him got talking about religion and he said that this man talked of
religion and logic and experience as if they were all the same thing.
Previous to them religion and science were two separate things. This
man opened his eyes and then two months later he saw us weekly
planning at the park. His name was Matt.

Matt was to be leaving on Saturday
in Arvo so we set up a lesson before he started working on friday. We
met him at the chapel at 8am and had a recently returned missionary
come with us also. We gave him a chapel tour and taught the
Restoration as we went. The spirit was so strong especially as we
enterred into the chapel there was a big hush that came over us. And
peace. We got his details and he will be meeting with the missionaries
up in newcastle as soon as they make contact! Miracles!!

We are having a zone council with all the District Leaders every
friday. We are running it like a ward council should opperate. We
discuss the needs of individuals and families (Companionships) and we
make the District Leaders make a plan of action and we will follow up
in each of the following meetings to track their progress and see what
they have done. I've wanted to run and ward council for a while now
just to see what it would be like if leaders followed the Red
Handbook. Belconnen Ward does it though! Man, Ward Council was intense!
It was so fast paced and leaders reported on their progress... BOOM!

Merry Christmas! See you later this week!

Love Elder Weiss

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Leaders are Givers

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: December 7, 2014 at 7:56:48 PM MST

This week was long and fast at the same time. So transfers are in one
week and living with the AP's and with a few games of 21 questions I'm
pretty sure I'm going to the best ward in the mission. It was Elder
Urbina's favorite area and they have the meanest ward mission leader
name Brother Baker. He's a legend in our mission. On Saturday Elder
Urbina went on a trade off with Elder Edmondson, my “son" here in
Mortdale. It was pretty special to have my “son" serve with my “father".
Brother Baker drove all the way up from Canberra to have lunch with
them and I got to see him at the chapel as we were going to our ward
christmas party.

We just started developing some relationships with members and BANG!!
We are both getting taken out!. Oh well, the other three companionships
will recieve the blessings of our area book. Another guy I taught in
Bathurst got baptized. Colin in Dubbo that Elder Janes and I baptized
is now 1st Counselor in the Dubbo Branch!! And he's on track to get
endowed in FEB!! I hope President lets me go to the temple that day!

Elder Urbina taught me something when we were together. He got it from
this talk about giving. He says that leaders are givers. That if a
person is unselfish that people automatically identify him as a leader
because they trust that he won't stab them in the back. So on Tuesday
I went on a trade-off with Elder Salter who is Elder Edmonson's
companion. They have a rubbish old flat and there were lots of dishes
in the sink. More in the sink than in the cupboards.

After lunch I started cleaning up the dishes and then kept going to the counters and
the oven. Then we left. Later that night we were supposed to go GQing
but the rain went insane and with a dirty flat in the back of my mind,
after dinner we continued cleaning. We organized and rearranged and
made the flat a beautiful place. We mopped the floors put things and
away and made it a house of order... at least the kitchen and living
room.

It was a night and day difference. The flat went from being the
legendary dirty flat to something quite nice. What I've learned on my
mission is that "if you don't do it, nobody will." At the end of the
night as we reviewed the trade-off Elder Salter said "You're a legend!
Your not even gonna live here and you took the time to do all this
cleaning!"

I reckon that's how the Savior feels. I can't really explain it but I
know that's how I should be more often if I want to be more happy...
which I do!

Don't expect me to be the same when I come home. I'm not the same
person that you remember. I hope you'll see me and you'll know that
the atonement is real.

Love yous heaps!

Elder Weiss

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ups and Downs but never Backwards

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: November 30, 2014 at 5:33:00 PM MST


Well there are ups and downs but never backwards. As my companion
Elder Macfarlane says, "There is nothing useless. You can always use
it as a bad example.”

This week I had two very special experiences. We
went to the train station on Tuesday to try and talk to people. While
my companion was in the bathroom I was sitting on a bench as a young
guy walked past. I said, "How ya going?" and he smiled really big and
kept on walking to the next bench about 20 feet away and sat down. I
sat there for a while and then decided I needed to go talk to him.

He was wearing a "newsies hat" so I walked over and began talking with him
about his hat. Then I asked him what we was doing. He told me he was
fundraising for his youth group for his church. Then he asked me what
I did and I told him I was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter Day Saints. "Is that Mormon?" He asked. "Yeah, do you know
many Mormons?". He paused and smiled and paused again and smiled again
and said, "There is this man who wrote a book I read. Do you know who
Stephen Covey is?" I laughed out loud! How would some random guy in
Australia know about Stephen Covey? He continued, "He wrote that book
'7 Habits for Highly Effective People'. I read that book when I was 15
years old and it kind of changed my life. I've always thought that
someone who wrote a book like that and who lives their life that way,
if they had a church it would be worthwhile to learn about it.”

Then we talked to this guy for over an hour and he asked us questions that
he had and we answered them. It ended up that he lives in downtown
Sydney which is in the North Mission, but we got his phone number and
referred him on to them. His name was Kenmai Kobayashi. He is actually
half Japanese and half French but is in Australia for a gap year. He's
part of the Unification Church.. haha interesting marriage ceremonies,
but it was an awesome experience.

On my mission I've learned what faith means. Faith means trying to do
what's right. Even if you get it wrong your desire to do right is
re-affirmed which is the important thing. So the next day we are in
the train station talking to people when I see this lady running
trying to catch the train. As she got to the train the doors had just
closed and the train began to roll away. Exhausted and out of breath,
she took a seat on the bench close by. I went over and said to her,
"You just missed your train didn't you?" She looked back breathing
heavily and nodded and turned away again. I asked if she was Persian
and she looked away.

She pulled her phone out to make a phone call.
While she spoke on the phone I felt a bit awkward sitting there on the
bench waiting for her to finish when it seemed she didn't want to talk
anyways. When she hung up, she hunched over and rested her chin on the
top of the backpack that was on her lap. She began to touch her eyes
with her fingers like they were itchy but eventually I saw the
complexion (expression) on her face turned to sadness and frustration. Little
tears started to make streakes on her cheeks. I said to her, "You are
a long way from home aren't you?". She ignored me and continued wiping
her eyes underneath her glasses. I didn't know what to do but I knew
that if I had faith that God would help me, I should keep trying.

“You love your family very much don't you? You probably came here to help
them. You are a very brave person." She continued ignoring me but I
couldn't just let her continue crying like she was. I asked if there
was anything that we could do. She shook her head side to side. After
several moments of silence I said to her, "God is our Heavenly Father and
that makes us brothers and sisters. I'm your brother and you are my
sister so if you need help we really will help you."

She started to breath a little easier and she said, "Nobody talks like
that anymore." "Like what?" I asked. "We should all treat each other
like brothers and sisters". "People are a lot nicer where you come from
hey?" I asked already knowing what they answer was. She said she was
from Nepal and that she was all alone here in Australia and that it
gets hard.

Her train started coming so I pulled out a "He is the Gift"
pass along card and said "this is Jesus Christ and He is our Big
Brother. He came to earth to experience what we feel so that He can
help us." She smiled and walked over to her train. As she left I said,
"See ya big sis!".

I'll never see her again but I'll never forget the opportunity to give
someone comfort in their moment of need in the name of Jesus Christ
our Savior. The Keeper of the Gate. Our Mediator. I know He is real. I
testify in His name.

Love, Elder Weiss

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Things always work out in the end. If it's not OK then it's not the end!

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: November 23, 2014 at 7:10:30 PM MST


Dear Family,
BATHURST OR BUST! Haha I would love to serve there again! I'm so keen
to walk around the streets of Bathurst for days building a teaching
pool! And it'd be a great place to train a new missionary! Whatever
the Lord's plan is I'm cool with it.

I think having four missionaries in Branches is a much more positive place to be than around
disobedient missionaries. I loved my time in the Orange Zone because I
learned to love the work more than members and more than missionaries.
I learned to put God in front of myself and just go to work.

This week we tried hard to find three new investigators but fell short again
with just two. Some new investigators are dodgey and to be honest just
a bit better than not ready at all but slowly we are gaining a (teaching) pool.

Sunday morning we frantically were looking for a member to come with
us to an appointment at 10am. We finally found a recent convert and
had a great lesson with a man named Cory. He doesn't believe in God
but he wanted to experience church and be around positive people
without us asking he said, "I don't think I can come today because I'm
watching the kids but next week I want to come to church." Next Sunday??
The one the area fasted for? The special Sunday? It's PERFECT!

We also had a less active that we found the first week of the transfer
come to church finally. And he came with his non-member partner who we
are teaching. She seemed really uneasy at the start of Sacrament Mtg.
but lucky for us it was the Primary Presentation that day so her frown
got turned upside down! The members smothered her in love! She made
some great friends and they said they are coming next week also.

Today we are going to have a turkey bowl with the less active and his
partner's brothers. Huzzah! Things always work out in the end. If it's
not ok then it's not the end!

Elder Weiss

PS Love you Heaps!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Go find the MIRACLES!

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: November 16, 2014 at 6:54:33 PM MST


Dear Family,

This cuban guy just came into the library and blasted me with Spanish... blasted is a nice way of putting it. More like obliterated. Gwiz I'm trying but it's difficult keeping up Spanish when there's no one to talk to. I'll have to play soccer with some Mexicans when I get home and learn all the bad words. Mexican lingo is very dirty, I found out from Elder Urbina. All those words I heard every day at soccer practice... turns out they are really bad.

This week we fell short of the standard of excellence. We have no baptisms lined up and we found 2 new investigators (not 3) but we are still moving forward. We have found 5 new investigators in the two weeks I've been here. I think this area really needs it. "As the good book says" "How long can rolling waters remain impure?”.  If we are finding new investigators all the time our teaching pool won't be filled up with investigators that aren't ready. As we find we harvest and plant seeds and BOTH are essential.

This week we went to follow up on a new investigator that dodged our first appointment. Nobody was home so as we walked back to the car we saw a man sitting outside with his kids watching them play while he was drinking a beer. For some reason I had this fear that he would be really nasty to us but I knew that I "should" talk to him. We decided to knock the neighbor who ended up rejecting us before we could even say a word. Then we went and talked to the man and he was nice as! We spoke for half an hour. He said that he's never really had that "BANG" experience when he knew God was true or which path to follow. So I said to him... "BANG!" He laughed and we set up a return appointment for the following Saturday.

Friday we stopped by Brother Berze's house to ask about a referral he gave to missionaries a long time ago that we found in our area book. He actually was very sick and so we gave him a blessing. We set up dinner for Sunday so we could come back and meet the whole family. As we were walking out we saw this young women across the street standing in her driveway waiting for someone. We went a spoke to her about her beliefs in God. We asked if she'd like to meet with us at her neighbors house sometime and she said she'd be open to that. So Saturday night we talk to sister Berze and ask her if she can invite the neighbor girl Melissa over for dinner and a lesson. Sister Berze pulled through and did it. DING! New investigator through a member!

Members have neighbors like this that are just waiting to be invited. Have you done what's necessary to save the souls of your neighbors? It is necessary that we live in the world so that we can help our neighbors hear the message of the Gospel. If that wasn't necessary we could just lock ourselves into isolation like The Brethren #nowindows #googleit. MEMBERS ARE FULL TIME FINDERS! What are you doing to find the elect? You first need to strengthen your faith that God is preparing people that you can help. Study the doctrines of missionary work regularly and then GO FIND THE MIRACLES!!

Love you heaps!

Elder Weiss

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The last door...DING! 3 New Investigators

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: November 9, 2014 at 6:41:22 PM MST
To: Cyndy Weiss <cyndyweiss@gmail.com>

BEST week! It started slow but ended with a bang. Coming into the area and seeing the area book, things looked pretty bleak. The New and Other Investigators section was filled with people that missionaries hadn't taken the time to move them to the Former Investigators sections. It was time to start over. I love our standard of excellence of "3 new investigators a week". I have gained a testimony that it is possible if we put our faith to the test.

At the begining of the week we went to the train station and had some good conversations with people and some contact details, but nothing really panned out. We did meet a maori lady named Elizea. She is looking for a church and she asked if we could meet with her every day for 2 hours. We told her one hour might be a bit better. She ended up not being in our area so we passed her to the sisters who have since started teaching her.

But things didn't happen until after the trial of our faith. Saturday morning we were looking up the address of an investigator we planned to go visit only to find the previous missionaries left no address. So we called this potential Investigator instead. His name is Steve and he knocked on the missionaries door about a month ago. Reverse Tracting is quite effective apparently. We called Steve and asked if he had time right that moment to see us and he did. We went and taught him and committed him to baptism. DING new investigator.

Later that day we were visiting more potential investigators from the area book when we knocked on a house where a Less-active member from Queensland had been staying for a couple of months and he wants to come back. He's living with his girlfriend and her family. We shared a message with both of them and invited her to learn. DING new investigator!

One left... Sunday after church we went to visit more potentials from the area book. The one we went to visit wasn't interested anymore but we knocked the neighbor's door... and the next neighbors door with no sucess. As we walked back to the car I saw house number 11. "My lucky number I thought." I asked my companion, “Can we do this one?" He agreed but as I got closer I felt we should do the neighbor. We did it and another "Sorry mate, we're right". So we tried 11 and nothing.  Then before we went back to the car I told my companion, "OK I promise this is the last one but can we do the neighbor?" He agreed again. DING! New Investigator!

We can't give up. This work is about showing our faith and perseveering. Nobody is perfect but it's about the desires of our hearts. Try try try!! That's all we can do and the rest is the Lord's work.

Love yous heaps!!

Elder Weiss

PS I'm learning Maori:
Naku Whakapapa tino pai
Naku aroha tino nui!
My family is very good
My love is very big

Monday, November 3, 2014

Transfer to Mortdale

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: November 3, 2014 at 7:24:06 PM MST
To: Cyndy Weiss <cyndyweiss@gmail.com>

Transfers this week! I was forced to leave my father and come to Mortdale. It was hard to leave my trainer. We worked so hard together. Sunday night before transfers he said he couldn't sleep because he was nervous about me going. We worked ourselves into being one person as it seemed. Now I'm with Elder MacFarlane from Minnesota. He is the most loving and non-judgemental person. Haha I can definitely learn on both fronts. My poor wife man haha. #single4ever just kidding "For I know that the Lord giveth no commandment... Save he shall prepare a way”.

Elder Urbina said I can come live with him in Colombia for a month. So at some point I'm gonna go do that and learn real Spanish. He goes home in six weeks. Once he's gone that means I'm old man! There is a new Spanish missionary coming in next transfer. Fingers crossed he's mine!!!

Yesterday Elder Macfarlane and I were on the train talking to people. The first lady we met was a friend of a member. There is no way God isn't real. I've seen to much. I know he is reaching out to his children because I've been his hand so many times. There are many atheist her in Australia, I wonder why they are like that. I think it's money. They are afraid of going without, so they try to go with all. They become slaves to work by their task masters cars and big homes.  It's like a spiritual tornado has come through and ripped out everyone's faith. It's a sad sight to see.

For Halloween we tried to go around with a bucket of candy and give it to people but I think we just freaked them out haha so we gave up and just ate it all ourselves. Being a missionary is the best. I literally LOVE talking to strangers. Some are rude but you just know that they are thinking, "Who is this guy? What does he want? Why is he always smiling?" Then later on the spirit starts to work on them and prepare them for the Gospel one day. Planting seeds brings happiness and conversion more often than harvesting. At the end of the day that's what I want.

Guess what? My son, Elder Edmondson is now my District Leader here in Mortdale! He lives just up the street! I haven't been around in since I left the Spanish ward at the beginning of the year so it's great to be here.

Love Yous HEAPS!!!

Elder Weiss

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bilbo Baggins found our flat.

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Subject: Bilbo found our flat.
Date: October 26, 2014 at 7:31:35 PM MDT

Well the most exciting news is that Bilbo Baggins came to our flat. What I mean by that is that the four of us missionaries form smog and he came to our cave and took our stuff. haha. He just took $120 cash and a bike. Dam.. Dang Hobbit! So this is a bad habit I've picked up on my mission. Don't judge me but let's just say I don't say "Dang" and "Heck" too often. Take that however you want to take that. It's the dam.. dang youth here. Because those aren't bad words in australia and so people are saying at church over the pulpit and everywhere else so it just started happening... Is it a sin? I think it'll be a sin when I get home.

Man I know how to say hello in like 10 plus different languages but I still can't speak Spanish haha. Width not depth haha. Funny Spanish story. I talked to this lady at the bus station two weeks ago. She was from uruguay and she said, "No religion!" "Ok entonces hablemos de otras coasas. Le gusta este tiempo?" We chatted and she was happy and got on the bus. I just saw her in the shops and I totally blanked who she was and plus my Spanish was nowhere to be found and she was really happy to see me and came up to me and was, "Se acuerda de mi?" "Errrmmm... como se llama?" Man, Spanish fails all day every day!  But I try.

We are teaching this guy names Steve. He is housemates with Louie the soccer player. Steve is the man. He was brought up never believing in God but he sincerely wants to know. He is the first investigator that has done everything that he has said he would! BEST! He has work off this Sunday so he's coming to church. It'll be stake conference. Hopefully it's a very spiritual meeting.

Pres Back is still marching away like a champ. We are trying to follow right behind him. Man our missions prepare us to smash our future callings. Especially making plans. Some people love set goals but don't make plans and then never do anything. We have such a good view, my companion and I, of how to make things happen and how to make nothing happen. We see both sides. Very enlightening.

Love yous heaps! Hundred percent we gonna smash it man!

Elder Weiss

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Obsolescent

On Oct 19, 2014, at 7:42 PM, Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net> wrote:

Hectic week! The highlight of this week was our investigators Louie and Pete coming to church. I fasted for them Sat to Sun and they came to church and had a good experience. Louie played for the West Ham reserve team. He's from London. We are going to play soccer with him today hopefully.

Pete has been with Ofa nearly every day this week. BEST fellowship. I love this quote mom sent to me. "My life is like the shoes on my feet. Meant to be worn out in the service of others." That is the happiest life. It may not be the flashest life, or the wealthiest, or the fanciest, but it is the happiest for sure.

Somehow we got out of the habit of going to the bus station and it ruined our contacting skills. We went back the other day and we felt rusty and awkward. We need to use our talents or we lose them.

One night after planning my companion and I made up these footy plays and then the next morning we played touch for exercises with some Elders and their Less actives. My companion and I smashed the other team! ahaha! Too fun!

My companion is the man. I love being with him. He also talks like a professor. He read Jesus The Christ for language study and looked up all the words in the dictionary. We were talking about the economy with our bishop and he used the word "obsolescent." I had no clue what that was. I told our bishop that my companion read and prayed about the dictionary and he knows it's true. haha

Love you heaps, Elder Weiss

P.S. Obsolescent means something became obsolete.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Buck Stops with President Back!

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: October 12, 2014 at 7:43:49 PM MDT


Hallelujah! President Back is cleaning us up! He understands the value of exact obedience and is setting a new way of life for this mission. He is the spark we need to get us on the right track as a mission. This week was hard but great! It started out great but then we had to do a lot of non-proselyting stuff for the zone. We had Zone Training Meeting on Friday. We coordinated with the Sister Training Leaders and made it really good. Sister Training Leaders are like Zone leaders for sisters. They go on exchanges and help them in a more personal way like we what we do with the Elders but can't do with the sisters.

We did a role play of talking to people at the bus station. We made a bus station with tables from the nursery and chairs. Then I drew a bus on the rolling chalk board and "drove" it around the station while they did their role play. It was almost too realistic that I stopped because I knew I didn't have the right license to drive a bus. Most of the missionaries are participated and it was good. Happy zone.

Yesterday we had our investigator Pete come to Conference. He is the one we found with Ofa last week. We taught him on Wednesday and he is keen! He is trying to put himself in the right place so that he can make a happy life for himself. His past hasn't been easy. Boy, what perfect place for him to be. Today we will play touch footy with him and Ofa's family. BEST!

When we heard the guy was going speak in Spanish at conference, us and the all the Spanish missionaries went to the Spanish room to watch his talk in Spanish without the voice over. I had a hard time at some parts but I love his theme, "Si senor, yo te seguire"

We attended Stake Council yesterday morning. It was EARLY!! We heard a guy present about Self-Reliance. He talked about how here in Australia they buy nice cars and houses and get two jobs to pay for it. He said in the Church this doesn't work. We want to serve God not the house or the car. He said this is a big push in the church right now, but interestingly enough they are pushing outside in. So the states are the last to hear about it... I wonder why? But it's so interesting to see how the Church operates.

I'm coming to realize that coming to Australia was the start of a mission that will never end. Each calling in the church is so vital but beside each calling there is always missionary work. Members struggle with missionary work because they "Don't know too many people outside the church." That happens to us missionaries too. We go to the bus station and talk to people. We get phone numbers and addresses and write them down on a piece of paper called the Potential Investigators list. Then we make plans to contact these people and share the gospel with them.

The break down in member missionary work is that our potentials lists are not filled out. We are not creating opportunities to meet new people. NOTHING happens in missionary work until we FIND someone. Members don't understand finding. They think that the Lord should just give it to them. A word of advice. See not what the Lord can do for you. See what you can do for the Lord. Lord is it I?  Let's smash this work! We still have 88,000 missionaries! The wave hasn't started to break yet. Keep riding!!

Love you heaps!

Elder Weiss (Ehlda Waice)

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Work of Salvation

Yesterday we spent most of the day with our High Counselor overseeing missionary work. Ofa Amone and his brother Tou Amone. They have dedicated their lives to the Lord.

My companion and I asked Ofa how his wife is with him being gone so much. He said, "She's an angel! She NEVER compains!". He told us of an experience they had there first prayer together as a married couple. They knelt down and she offered a prayer and said these words, "Father, we give our lives to you.". Wow... I'm gonna need someone like that because I love God and His work too much.

Family first is a lie that Satan tells us to try and build our foundation on things other than Jesus Christ. It is the LORD FIRST. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS.

Ofa was a bishop for 8 years according to my companion. 7 months ago he got released and was called to his current calling in the High Council. He said that a new happiness has come into his life. He spends less time with his kids now but he says they've never felt closer as a family. That is how I want to be. As much as you give to the Lord, He will always give more back. I dedicate my life to Him and hopefully there is some girl game to do the same.

Love you all heaps!!

Elder Weiss

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Just Do Your Part


From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: September 22, 2014 at 9:18:24 PM MDT


Ok family and friends, first item of business. Missionaries are representatives of Jesus Christ. You are not to counsel them how to do their job, you are only to help them. If it's an obedient missionary, you give him or her a referral. If they're disobedient missionaries, you STILL give them a referral. Obedient or not they are Christ's chosen servants who go in his place. It is your job as members to give referrals, not to judge, criticize, or correct missionaries. If you have concerns, put yourself in contact with their zone leaders but do not do it yourself. Respect the priesthood keys and have faith that God is smarter than we are. "We need more members actually doing missionary work and not just feeding the missionaries" said a member of our area presidency. Many people are really good at faking being member missionaries. I hope these words come back and haunt me to action one day!

Second item, there are too many miracles! Writing them all in my journal is impossible! As my mission has gone on I have become more sensitive to the spirit and in turn see so many more miracles.

Sunday we were driving home from church when I saw a man and his son walking down the street wearing Chilean soccer jerseys. I said to my companion, "Did you see that guy? He had a Chile jersey." My companion said "Oh" and kept driving thinking to himself, "Elder Weiss is too interested in talking to Spanish speakers" We kept driving for thirty more seconds and I said to him, "Elder I feel like we need to go back and talk to that guy!". A bit annoyed my companion turned the car around. We drove past them and got out of the car and went and talked to him. We talked to him about how he came to Australia. He said he misses Chile every single day. He told us that his little son was his "Tesorito" or his little treasure and how much he loved him. We asked him what his feelings were about God. He explained how he once believde but didn't know if he could still believe because his Dad was paralyzed in Chile and all his family lived there. He seemed so lonely except for his son's friendship. He stays here for his son because his ex-partner and him split up.

We taught him some simple truths of the Gospel and how he could know for himself that God is HIS loving Heavenly Father. He began to be very emotional at one point. We asked if some missionaries that speak Spanish could visit him. He said that was good and pulled out some ID with his address on it and then we got his number and passed him as a referral the Spanish elders. Maybe I'll get to teach him one day when I go back to the Spanish ward.

I love this work! Never underestimate the power the Lord gives you to reach out to others to do his work. GO and visit a less active. GO talk to your non-member neighbors. Get to know them and to love them and invite them to meet Jesus Christ, or in other words to meet the missionaries.

Where ere' thou art, JUST DO YOUR PART. Not even well. We don't need to be perfect we just need to try and the Lord does the rest!

Love you all,
Elder Weiss

Monday, September 15, 2014

Culture is a Powerful Thing

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: September 14, 2014 at 8:53:43 PM MDT


Dear Family,

This week we worked and we worked and we worked and nothing happened! We had FHE with Joan our progressing investigator at our Elder Quorum Presidents house on tuesday. We set a Baptismal date. The spirit was so strong. The best part is that THE MEMBER set up the appointment.

Then Saturday we had a chapel tour and it was very spiritual as well. Then Sunday morning comes around and she didn't come to church... DADGUMMIT! She is so prepared! And very courageous. She is soo close to changing her life forever!!

Saturday Morning we got to go see a family get sealed that Elder Urbina taught in his last ward. It was a less active family. It was amazing to see that.

We are still working with our zone to build an obedient culture. I used to think culture was something annoying that kept people complacent but now I realize that culture is a powerful thing that can help that would not otherwise help themselves. Sorry for the short letter. I wasn't as diligent today as I should've been.

You all need to being inviting people for dinners and activities. Give people a spiritual environment for a few hours!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Send Photos!

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: September 7, 2014 at 9:06:13 PM MDT


Dear Family,

This week was pretty great. The miracles keep on pouring down on us! By the numbers, in our mission you need 20 new investigators to have one baptism. We want to baptize every month so our goal is 5 new investigators each week. This past week we had zero up until Friday and then we visited a potential family and BOOM 6 new investigators!

Then Saturday we went to visit and referral of a less active member that was from an active member. We needed to start our fast but we needed to drink some water first or else we would die. So we planned to ask the LA (Less Active). The LA was in N-Zed (New Zealand) but we met her non-member niece. She wasn't too keen so we said talked for a bit and then went back to the car.

Somehow we forgot to ask for water. We decided instead of going back we'd ask the neighbors for water. The first one didn't answer but the second one was a Syrian family. They were the nicest! They gave us water and we gave them a Arabic Book of Mormon and set a return appointment. We have one Syrian sister in our ward we'll take when we go back. It's gonna be sweet!

As we left Elder Urbina asked if we should go visit this potential investigator named Jon from when we served in the Spanish ward a year ago. We went and he was gone but another lady in the house invited us in and said she respected our church so much. She was Catholic but isn't fussed by which church she attends. We invited her to our church and she said she'll come this coming Sunday. We'll teach her with a family in our ward that are Samoan like she is and the dad used to be Catholic also.

We went from 0-7 in two days. Heavenly Father is amazing. People I hope you are sharing the gospel. All you need to do is open your mouth and be friendly to strangers and it will have an impact. Always carry a pass-along card or missionary pamphlet! Do something to show your faith!! And the Lord will use you!

I'm still struggling to be a good motivator. So if anyone has any tips or tricks on motivating people, let me know please.
What happened to the picture thing. I want your pictures more than I want your letters. jk But pictures are my favorite. If you don't even write me, just send me a photo. All good? Too easy.

Love yous heaps,

Elder Weiss

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Goal: To shine so that people stop and wonder

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: August 31, 2014 at 10:20:16 PM MDT


Boy oh boy. Too many numbers! I am tired of collecting numbers!! There is never any time at night to write in my journal. I've missed over three weeks!! So this will be a very good letter.

Last P-day was on a Tuesday. Because we forgot it would be on Tuesday due to a mtg, we had already set a two appointments and we didn't want to cancel them. Then during our studies we got a call from a member of the bishopric to go give a member a blessing because he couldn't make it. The hospital was in the middle of Liverpool: "The place of no parking spots". We drove around for ages before deciding to go park at this mall and walk to the library. We felt guilty not opening our mouths so we spoke to everybody and planted heaps of great seeds. Finally we arrived and began the search.

This hospital was massive. We walked for like 10 min. We gave the guy a blessing and he was already pretty right but he still accepted the blessing. We walked back to the car drove to email and shop after that we went home and played chess for an hour because it was raining outside and all the other missionaries took their p-day on Monday. I won and then we went to our appointment. No rest for the weary. My companion said he always wanted to work on P-day but at the end of this week we were so dang tired we realized P-day is a good thing.

While we were emailing I saw these two Maori ladies. Libraries and Maori people seem to be my secret finding technique. I invited them to let us come visit them and they said no. Two days later we are contacting at the bus station and guess who works there? The two Maori ladies! We talked to them again and found out one of them almost got baptized years ago, but she was living with a partner and so she let the flame die. We told her that her time is now to meet with missionaries again. She said," Maybe if we're lucky you'll just knock on my door" I said "You know what would make us really lucky is if you gave us your address!" So we got it but we have to pass it on because it's not in our area.

During that same time at the bus station another lady sat down next to us and said this is going to sound crazy but I want to talk to you guys because I've been to heaven. She explained how she did hard drugs and for one reason or another was comatose for a time. While she was out she said she went up to heaven and "saw the pearly gates" I felt like she was telling the truth. As we were talking her unbearable boyfriend came up and said "C'mon lets go" and lots of other choice language. So she walked away but we chased her down and got her details.

Later while we were talking to the Maori lady she came back so my companion kept talking to her while I talked to the coma lady. She started asking questions about missionaries and telling me more about her experience. This lady was not the most stable but I felt she was sincere. As we were talk the fifth bullet point from "How to Begin Teaching" came to my mind and I told her, "We all make mistakes in life. These mistakes create feelings of guilt and shame. These feelings cannot be relieved without repentance and forgiveness. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ you can be fully healed.”

As I spoke each word the spirit began to touch her heart and tears came to her eyes. I began to say the word "when" and the spirit changed what I was about to say and I said, "When you come to know that the things I'm telling you are true, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" She shook her head back and forth and said "yes" with tears streaming from her eyes. Her bus pulled up and she said, "You've gotta love you guys. This is my bus I've got to go." And she was gone. We'll pass her details as well.

Thursday night our Stake President called and told us that he and his wife would have an investigator over for our visit. HUZZAH!! Our Stake President is 34 years old and has two kids. He's been in his call for just over a year and he and his wife are making it happen. We taught this 19 year old Samoan girl. It was a hard lesson because the spirit was up and down and in and out. It was a strange experience. But she accepted the invitation to be baptized on Oct 4 but her Mum is pretty strong in her own church and they go to church every Sunday at 8am. Her dad is a less active member who is more or less keeping the peace by not attending his own church from what we can tell. President Shum (our stake president) will take the Samoan ward bishop to visit him tomorrow night to see what the situation is like. PRESIDENT SHUM!!! He DOES WORK!!

Saturday we received a training from Elder O’Rirden of the Seventy. He taught us exactly what was missing in that lesson. He said, "When you feel the spirit, INVITE!". We felt the spirit but kept teaching and talking and saved the invitation for the end. The first time the spirit filled the room we should have invited her to do something. But now we know.

Last Month the Brisbane mission baptized 107 and we did 16. Together we made plans to reach the goal of each companionship baptizing every month. I've tried extremely hard on my mission but it just wasn't happening. Elder O'Rirden said that if we expect each companionship to baptize, we as Zone and Sister Training Leaders must be setting that example by one baptism each month. As soon as he said it I got excited and thought to myself, "Either we can do it, or he is a liar. And I know he isn't a liar! LET’S GO!"

Earlier that same day (Saturday) we went to teach a Catholic man whom we met a week or so ago. We felt like we should knock some doors on the way back to the car and his was one of them. He said we could come back and that he would convert us. A bold statement I'd never heard from a Catholic person before. We said alright we'll come back.

We rocked up and he invited us inside and sat us down. I asked if we could start with a prayer. I prayed humbly that the spirit would be there as we spoke. We began talking and he stopped us and said, "Why don't you allow others inside your temples?" Like I've done a hundred times over on my mission, I thought of a scripture that my mother taught me. I resolved his concern using Psalms 24:3-4. He was satisfied and back off a little bit.

We began to teach the restoration and when we got to Joseph Smith he said, "No because Jesus Christ was the last and he left us the Holy Spirit." I recalled a scripture from my bible bashing days in the book of Acts. My fingers shaking I flipped to it and asked him to read it. "And in those days there came up prophets to Jerusalem from Antioch." The scriptures goes on the show that Saul and Barnabas listened to these prophets and did what they said. He said, "But prophet could mean something like teacher or disciple." I said, "But..." as put the scripture in front of him. He read it  again and said, "That's probably and Greek translation of something else. Give me a minute." He got up to grab his massive old Bible off the shelf. This guy is a really well to do, highly intelligent man from Pakistan. I whispered to my companion, "I hope the translation is correct…"

I started praying with all my heart "Heavenly Father please let it be correct." He grabbed his Bible and we looked it up. His Bible had small historical explanations for each verse. He said, "Here, look!" I found the verse and the explanation and carefully began to read. The title read "Prophets visit Saul and Barnabas". I began to read out loud so he could hear. The translation WAS correct and then he really was puzzled. From that point forward he was all ears with what we had to say.

The spirit began to testify powerfully of the first vision. He said he believed that it could have occurred and admitted that it was powerful. As we talked about the restoration of the priesthood he said, "Hang on! It was never lost!” We said it was but he affirmed that the catholic church still had the authority. The only good argument he had...and we came to a stand still. He said he would study the scripture in Acts as well as a scripture on the apostasy that we left with him.

It reminded me of what D. Todd Christofferson said that "It is the Holy Ghost that will, in hostile venues, give you what you should speak."

Elder O'Rirden talked about how those who have the Holy Ghost shine. He said, "When you have the Holy Ghost people will stop and stare" That is my Goal: To shine so that people stop and wonder. He gave us a promise that as we are obedient, those that are prepared in our mission will start coming to us.

I love being a missionary. President Shafer's son (Stake Pres. from Vancouver, WA) goes home Wednesday. Scary stuff!

Love you all heaps and don't feel obligated to read this entire thing!

Elder Weiss

Monday, August 25, 2014

Look to the Man With the Keys

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: August 25, 2014 at 10:28:13 PM MDT


Dear Family Above,

It is great to be back with my trainer. He has helped me so much to open my mouth. He's also helping me with my Spanish and I help him with his English. He wants to do international business when he finishes. When he goes back to Columbia he'll try to get to the states asap to study at BYU provo. If he gets to Utah before me you'll have to have an FHE with him. He really wants to talk to Dad about business stuff and pick his brain.

Well, things have become very stressful lately. Being a leader in the city is a whole different ball game compared to the bush. The bush it's more about helping the missionaries find solutions to problems in missionary work. Here there is much more drama to deal with. I heard there would be problems but it all hit at once this weekend. We are working it out and I'm learning a lot from it.

Sometimes because of my natural man I get angry when missionaries are disobedient and show that they don't care. I pit myself mentally against them. I put them on the "other" side of the fence. But the Savior isn't angry, He cries for them. I want to learn to react with compassion and not frustration. God is the perfect leader. The most important thing we can know about God is that He loves us. I need to learn to copy that. Through working through things with missionaries we have grown closer for those who choose to be humble. It's an amazing bond.

On Sunday we did some rescue visits with the high council. As we were driving out the member we were with pulled up next to the Stake President and asked him where we should go. A lot like Nephi asking Lehi where to go. He gave us two names. The first one had just split up with her partner and made a goal to come back. The second is a prospective Elder who will hopefully come back also and receive the Priesthood. It was clear to see both were inspired visits. I learned to look to the man with the keys!!

I love you all! Stay happy and safe!

Elder Weiss

Leadership

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Subject: Re: Leadership
Date: August 17, 2014 at 9:17:26 PM MDT


Being and leader and being in a leadership position are two different things. Being the position takes no effort but being a leader is so complex. I've learned the leadership is about who you are. You have to be yourself and confident that what you are doing is right but also that your intentions are pure. You must be and not only do. Leadership is easy for those who ARE leaders but for the rest of us we are still learning where we stand and figuring out what is right and what is wrong. We are still trying to understand our own intentions and purifying them. A good leader does the right things for the right reasons.


On Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 11:03 AM, David Weiss <dmark.weiss@usu.edu> wrote:
16 Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation,

17 Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd.

18 ¶And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; (Numbers 27)
Shepherd

Mark Weiss
To reach a goal you have never before attained you must do things you have never before done"  Elder Scott

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Leaving the Bush (Bathhurst) and back to the busy city (Fairfield)


From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: August 11, 2014 at 10:34:29 PM MDT


HOLA!! Guess what!! I'm with Elder Urbina again!! I will probably end up killing my trainer. We are Zone leaders together in Fairfield. Back to the busy city. Our new zone has been known for being very casual about missionary work. I came into the flat yesterday and it was a mess. We spent a bit of time cleaning up. There is a culture that has developed that obedience is optional. Some missionaries go soft when things get hard and start losing the fire.

After all the experiences I've had on my mission it feels like they were all leading up to this. I've learned to be more bold and loving with missionaries. You've got to let people understand your expectations early on and make clear the good and bad so that they realize the choice they are making. Elder Duran taught me a lot about that on trade offs last transfer.

After being in tough situations my whole mission, an English ward seems like a piece of cake. Especially with Elder Urbina because we already understand one another and have a lot of respect for each other. We both bring different strengths to the companionship. He is a much better missionary. Yesterday we were back in Fairfield trying to get this cable for the GPS and he was talking to EVERYONE. It took us forever to get the cable because we talked to so many people, including LATINOS!! The gift of tongues is working. My spanish is coming back. I've been speaking about 50% Spanish to Elder Urbina. There is nothing like having a nativo around all the time! Hopefully I'll have three transfers with him speaking Spanish and then off to the Spanish ward to show off my newly found Spanish skills.

This past tuesday my companion and I were emailing at the library for P-day and I saw this lady that looked somewhat Hispanic. After circling the prey for a while I went up and talked to her. She was actually Maori and friends with our recent convert’s family. We talked and got her number and address.

Wednesday we were visiting old potential investigators from previous missionaries when Albi our RC's sister was walking past us as we were knocking this door. We asked where she was going. She said that she was meeting a friend at the Gym. We told her to bring him to Ping Pong that night and she did! AND HE CAME! I got to know him a little bit towards the end of the activity and invited him to come hear me speak on Sunday. AND HE CAME and stayed for all of church then drove with the youth an hour away to a fireside in Cowra. He did 7 hours of Church on Sunday!

Meanwhile Elder Williams and Elder Weiss pack up to get transferred out. But now there are sisters going in there so it'll all work out. I reckon Bathurst is about to BOOM!

It's good to be back in the city but I'm going to miss my friends in the bush so much. I used to think I'd never come back here. But now after leaving so many friends in the bush I've decided I will come back one day when I can. Once I'm filthy rich and stuff...

Love you heaps!

Elder Weiss

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The (English) Time is Far Spent...


From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: August 4, 2014 at 7:57:50 PM MDT


Dear Family,

This week has been good. Our Branch President got released and a new one called. As President Reiri said it was a change of the guard. Now it's Pres Su'a. He will be amazing. He is the most humble man and I love him and look up to him so much. Pres Reiri stuttered a few times when bearing his testimony. His son told me that was as emotional as he has ever seen him in his life... haha. He's got a good poker face.

We found three new investigators this week. The heavens are still open ;) Things come at the strangest times when you don't expect it. One walked to church from about 3 miles away. He's 68! First he went to Mass at his church and came to ours after because it is close by. Another man named Rohan was an office referral. I think the first one that I have had that was real. A lot of people prank us. Rohan built resorts in Fiji for 13 years and has heaps of stories. He has health problems and is "keen as mustard" to learn about our church.

Another man we tracted into a month ago and finally got in! He doesn't believe in God but really wants to know if he does exist or not. So things are looking up and I am heading out. I got asked by Elder Roberts if I'm ready for the Spanish ward yet??  I said maybe one more area and then the last six months back en el barrio. We'll see what happens but the time is far spent and there is little remaining. My English mission is drawing to a close and the second half of my Spanish one is about to start.

Love Elder Weiss

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wombat Chasing

Date: July 27, 2014 at 8:45:41 PM MDT


Dear Family,

It's been an interesting ride going from companion to companion. Last night I got a phone call from the Spanish missionaries saying that an investigator we found wanted me or my comp to baptize him. I told my companion he should do it because he's worked with him more but we decided that his current companion should do it! Elder Fitzner!!

It is crazy to hear about all the people that you worked with progressing after you leave. When you leave you take a picture of how things were and keep that in your head forever and when you hear it's changed it's really strange.

We found this new investigator Julian. He is crazy! He loves history and has done heaps of research. He believes our church but he doesn't know it yet! He's 5.7 and nearly played goalkeep for Stoke City in England but got into partying and lost his chance. He is tiny as but played keeper!! Nuts.

Not too much to tell this week but I'm learning and growing a lot.

I did chase a wombat last night with a video camera. I'll get that video to you soon. We were driving back and saw two wombats two seperate times and the second time I got out and chased it. They are really bad road kill because they are so thick and solid it destroys your car. HaHa i chased a wombat... once in a life time.

Love you all heaps, Elder Weiss VI

Sunday, July 20, 2014

With hesitation comes less inspiration...


From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: July 20, 2014 at 9:10:30 PM MDT


Sorry family. I lost track of time. I procrastinated writing this letter because Neal A Maxwell and The Lectures on Faith were too interesting... and over my head. But this week has been tough. I have a hard time adjusting to new companions. It's been three weeks but I'm still working at it. I think I'm getting better at dealing with change.
Three more weeks in this area and then I think I'm most likely gone.

Yesterday I gave a talk on planting seeds. It seems I'm pretty good at that. Last night I found out that the Spanish ward is baptizing another investigator I taught! I don't understand how they are doing it but they are baptizing heaps! I would put a bet on our little branch to baptize more but somehow they do it.

It's been kind of exhausting this past week. With a new companion comes a new approach to the work her in Bathurst. I've been here five weeks and I'm still beating my head against the wall it seems like. I guess things just don't happen as quickly as I would like them to. But good things are happening. It seems like we peaked three weeks ago and now we've dropped down again. Progress feels good. It doesn't matter where you are as long as you feel like there is progress you can stay positive. I feel like we've digressed but it's all a learning experience.

Deb shared this quote by Elder Maxwell with me. He said that, "With hesitation, comes less inspiration." I'm going to really try to live that this week. We'll see where it takes me. You all sound like you are doing well. Deb, you'll need to share your insights about finding a spouse with the rest of the family especially the single ones. ALL THE SINGLE LADIES all the single ladies ALL THE SINGLE LADIES all the single ladies. If you like him then he'd better makes some three pointers oh oh ohh!

Love yous heaps.

Elder Weiss VI

Monday, July 14, 2014

St. Bernard Buddy

The first dog was a puppy and this is a puppy a few months later. And that is sweet potato that we cooked in our new slow cooker with green beans and *drum roll* Kangaroo! You need to know how to cook it or else it's just nasty! Luckily my companion knows how!

The name of the game in eternal life is serving others

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: July 13, 2014 at 8:52:21 PM MDT

Hola mi familia!

Well this week seemed really normal. Which isn't normal. Nothing really exciting happened... actually I think it's probably because I didn't write in my journal that I can't remember what happened.

Last P-day we went to rugby training and it was soo fun! My legs were stuffed after but I recovered.

On Saturday our members son had a Rugby League game. We went and watch'd him. It looked like so much fun. On Wednesday we had another Movie night at Elder and Sister Hills house. They are our senior couple.We are soo lucky to have them. We had a good turn out and our investigators/ recent convert brought their friends! There is one in particular that we think would want to learn more. So we'll see how that goes.

Friday we trained our zone on finding new investigators. We learned that because finding is difficult in these country towns we need to be sharper. We always need to be looking for the Lord's referrals. In Dubbo we used to walk so much so that we could talk to more people. Here in Bathurst we use the car so much I've lost me edge a little bit. Every cashier is a potential investigator. Sometimes we switch off especially on P-day and stop finding. We get so caught up in us.

A less active members said told us we should be able to brake the rules on P-day because that's "our" day. We told her "it's the Lord's day". This is what I've realized. Any time is the Lords time, especially as a missionary. I'm not here to do my own will but the will of him that sent me. It's hard maintaining an eye single to his glory. I wish I could do a better job of it.

Yesterday we taught the Young men about missions. We read Moses 1:39 (Thanks mom) and we talked about how the name of the game for God is his children. And it's the same for us. The name of the game in eternal life is serving others. There's no time to waste because that's the best thing we can be doing. When we are so anxiously engaged in helping others, being mediocre in our obedience just slows us down.

Today I saw pictures of when I entered the MTC. That was over a year ago. There is no time for wasting. I hope I can capitalize on the time I have. Fun cannot bring joy. Although it can come to the party.

Love yous heaps,

Elder Weiss

PS Where are the pictures? I'm sitting here with nothing to do folks! Help me out!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Loving someone is like rotor tilling a garden...

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: July 7, 2014 at 7:47:59 PM MDT


Hola!! So things are great. It's so much fun serving with Elder Williams. We laugh a lot. I think we look at missionary work differently but our personalities mesh really good which makes things really fun. I feel like I can be myself with him. This past week we decided we would separately pick three streets and see if we came up with any that were the same. We both picked Napier street. So we went and it was freezing cold and windy.

We started knocking... got some Catholics... *opens door* "Yeah thank you!" *closes door*. After a while I said to my companion, "I trying to figure out the reason we both picked Napier. Why are we here?" We kept going until we reached a Part-member family's house that was on the opposite side of the road. We decided to knock it and start knocking our way back where we came. So we walked up and knocked on the door and we here voices, "No you go get it!". A voice says, "Who is it?" "The missionaries" my companion replies. "Oh um we aren't religious at all." Enter stupor of thought!! haha.

So we kept going with no success until we found this older gentleman that was keen to talk with us. I went to quote something that the savior said in the Bible and he stopped me and said, "This is the problem I have. The Bible has been changed and I believe parts are divine and parts are man made but we have no way to tell the difference. So the Bible by itself doesn't really help me." What in the world? How is my brain child so much older than me? We talked and testified of the Book of Mormon as another witness that helps us see the truth. He accepted a Book of Mormon and he said he was visiting from Victoria and would leave in a few days but that he was going to read this book. We gave him our card and said, “If you want missionaries to come and talk to you give us a ring". We promised him he would find the truth through the Book of Mormon. He said, "I hope so because I haven't got much more time to search!". I know that God has a purpose in everything. We shouldn't doubt because we don't always see it.

So our neighbor played international 7's rugby for Papa New Guinea and now he just plays for local clubs. He also coaches and said we could come to training sometime so today at 4:30 we get to go play footy! Yay I'm so excited I even bought some cheap cleats! I'll take some video to send next week.

Having Mission Leadership Council with our new Mission President (Back) yesterday was awesome. Him and his wife are just what we need. Something I learned yesterday is the to have faith you must first have a soft heart, and we can help people have soft hearts by loving them which hopefully will help them one day have faith. I honestly didn't really understand the role of love in missionary work but now it makes sense. Loving someone is like rotor tilling a garden. I prepares it for the seeds of faith. So now I'm working on loving people with a better idea of why. I fasted for love on Sunday and when I think of disobedient missionaries, instead of thinking, "He's so dumb. He's wasting his time and the Lords time" I now have at times thoughts pop into my head "I wish he understood that disobedience is making him unhappy." or "I just wish he could catch a vision of what God wants for him". Fasting is great.

I want to be so dadgum loving by the time I get home it's not even funny. You'll all be murdered with my kindness!

Love you all!

Elder Weiss VI

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Three Photos from June 29, 2014

A man named Brian ownes this house and most of the drug market in that neck of the neighborhood. He also lives across the street from the flat that I stayed at in Dubbo. I saw many a drug deal happen while I was there. This picture was taken when I got to go back on exchanges. It was a three hour drive and I didn't take many pictures but luckily I didn't get transferred so I get one more shot at it! #Dubbstomp

This was district meeting with the other district in our zone this past Friday. The middle missionary standing up is my new companion for the next transfer.

It all came together! Five more family members yet to go! This is Levi. She is the middle child. She's very brave for being baptized. Originally it was her and her sister but then her sister didn't feel ready yet so she still went for it! I accidentally made the font too hot and didn't know it. When she stepped in she said, "that's too hot." So I had to turn the cold water on and walk down in a few steps to stir it around. It was like a hot tub. I was really nervous right before I baptized her but then afterwards when I was changing I felt so calm and light. The Holy Spirit of Promise was there. Such an exciting day for Levi!

AP Switcharoo

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Subject: AP Switcharoo
Date: June 29, 2014 at 9:04:28 PM MDT


So apparently the assistants and President were planning on transferring me this transfer but the Lord said no way jose! Wednesday morning we were studying at the Senior couples house because our car was getting serviced when the phone started vibrating in my pocket. I pulled it out and it said President was calling. I answered the phone and he wanted to talk to Elder Roberts. From his facial expression I was pretty sure he was the new Assistant. A few minutes later he handed the phone back to me and President confirmed my suspicions. He said that Elder Williams the current Assistant would be my new companion for the next transfer! I was so stoked. He asked if we could be in mortdale at the mission office by 4pm. So we straightway left our studies and he packed. Elder and Sister Hill were really sad. Elder Hill even teared up a little bit when he first heard.

We got there at ten minutes early. +10! and president wanted to meet with both companionships involved in the switcharoo. Then he asked Elder Roberts and his new companion Elder Shafer (As in President Shafer's son from Vancouver) to leave so he could talk to Elder Williams and I. He kind of rebuked me by overemphasizing that there is no senior companion with Zone Leaders. I found it a bit strange. No explanation for why he was saying it but then he said he got a phone call from the mother in-law of the mother of a family of investigators. We had a really hard time trying to reset expectations because the Elders before were really good friends to them and we just wanted to be missionaries. It was really rough and many phone calls and texts later and President is the 6th person to talk to me about this situation without my initiating it.

He in a nutshell said I screwed up. It was a really hard pill to swallow but I did. I told him with tears in my eyes I guess the worst mistakes to make are honest ones sometimes. Ever since we had that negative experience with her it's like it has followed me a haunted me. President saying what he said cut pretty deep. I felt like I was trying to be who the Lord wanted me to be and was being questioned on every side for what I had done. I felt betrayed. On the drive back Elder Williams and I decided we were going to make things right with this investigator. But I didn't feel like I had done anything wrong. I'm sorry for the way she took it but I was trying to do what was right. And I'm going to apologize so she doesn't have to carry any burden but I don't get what this is all about.

The next day we go to invite a non-member family to the baptism. Next door is a member of our branch who's husband passed away my first transfer here. I wanted to introduce my new companion. She opened the door with the biggest smile on her face and said, "Come in!!" I told her that we couldn't because of our rules. She snapped. She chewed us out and slammed the door.. The next day she came to the baptism and my companion apologized and she accepted it and everything was peaches and cream again. Then sunday I shake her hand and say g'day and she's still good. But ten minutes later she stands up as I walk past a chews me out again and sits down before I can say anything. So I'm sitting on the stand to bless the sacrament trying to avoid some piercing death stares. When the sacrament is over I sit down in the congregation and think, "How am I gonna fix this?" When sacrament was over she was irate and chewed out the most loving person in our branch and walked towards the door. She looked at me and said in a disgusted tone, "Goodbye!" I said," Sister I'm sorry that was not my intention to hurt you!" Then she let me have it again. Wow. I started doubting my people skills for sure! Four times in two weeks that people have said something like this to me! I don't understand where all of this is coming from!

Well President Palmer called me a couple of days later and told me he didn't feel right about what he said to me. And he wanted me to know I was a great missionary and that he trusted me. Yesterday his first counselor went and visited the angry member and solved it as best as he could. He spoke to me on the phone with his wife and they reassured me that they took some abuse as well (It felt good to know I wasn't alone) and that she was off her rocker because of the grief from her husbands passing.

This morning I read 1 Nephi which says,
9 And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.

I realized that what I experienced was adversity incomparable with the atonement. That adversity was hard for me to deal with let alone thinking about feeling another persons. And then to think "he felt that for all of us?" It put my little pitty party into perspective. I know that Jesus Christ is real. Whenever I ponder on his sacrifice I feel the Holy Ghost touch me to let me know it's real.

I heard a good quote by Elder Holland which reminded me of Dad. He said, "The path salvation always ran through Gethsemane". And that is not for Christ alone but for us also. We must go there to feel a token of his pain so we can receive his grace. Our branch mission leader returned from his mission in February and on Sunday is told us how when he was released he lost his "super-powers". The priesthood blessings that sustained him daily were taken away. I dread that day. I shouldn't have fear but I do. I have a life-style right now that is too good to be true. I don't want to waste a second of it.

I love you all heaps!

Elder Weiss VI

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Goal: Find the Gold!

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: June 22, 2014 at 7:50:57 PM MDT


Dear People,

Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ… that ye may be filled with the Holy Ghost! (Acts 2:38)

Sincerely, Elder Weiss

OK, so we've got trouble right here in river city! One of our investigators preparing for baptism this Saturday missed church. Her sister said she was sick. But we are a bit apprehensive about the situation because she missed church the week before as well. It makes us wonder if she is ready yet. Tonight we are going to have a lesson guided by the spirit to assess where she's at and if we should go through with it. If we have to push the baptism back there is a chance I might get transfered!!! GAH the suspense is killing me!!

My companion and I are absolutely laying waste to everything in our path! Just kidding. But we are tracting heaps. I never wanted to be good at tracting because I thought it was ineffective… well, I think I was right but you've gotta start somewhere!!

We are doing heaps of finding! We need people to teach! Our teaching pool is becoming a teaching puddle. Satan did a cannon ball and splashed out heaps of water. I hope he's still sore from hitting the bottom of the pool.

Tonight we are going on trade-offs out to Dubbo (my older area). My presence will grace the Dub-stomp at least one last time!! Should be fun. The Peruvian lady we started teaching up there was still being taught by the missionaries but she just went to peru for 6 weeks on vacation but they sent where she's staying to the missionaries in Peru so maybe she'll come back a recent convert!!

Cant really think of too much that happened this week... Lot's of finding!! yay! Nothing happens 'till you find people. I've realized that my teaching doesn't really affect baptisms as does my finding. It doesn't matter how good of a teacher you are unless you can find them that will receive you. So that's our goal! FIND THE GOLD!!!

Ok, love you heaps!

Elder Weiss

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"Sometimes it's not all sunshine and rainbows..."

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: June 15, 2014 at 7:26:00 PM MDT


Family is good. I'm trying to get more info but I'm pretty sure all is well. Sounds like my dad has some sort of Job while he continues working on a PhD. I'm trying to figure what that job is.

The area is good. I've gotten a bit overwhelmed by our zone though. Mostly just one area. It's like President says that the missionaries that are the hardest to love are the ones that need love the most. It definitely can feel like trying to hug a cactus with one Elder in particular sometimes. I'm not a huge fan of that but I reckon it's for the best in the end. He tells us about how his other zone leaders didn't push him and they were his friends. He tells us to be more loving. I think we are. We try. But he just throws it back at us. It's funny how he will be the first to say we don't love him and the last to say he loves us. I know I need to develop Christ-like attributes but...

sometimes it's not all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward! How much you can TAKE! And KEEP MOVING FORWARD! THATS HOW WINNING IS DONE!! NOW IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR WORTH THAN GO OUT AND GET WHAT YOUR WORTH, BUT YOU'VE GOTTA BE WILLING TO TAKE THE HITS!!! AND NOT POINTING FINGERS SAYING YOU AREN'T WHERE YOU WANT TO BE BECAUSE OF HIM, OR HER, OR ANYBODY! COWARDS DO THAT AND THAT AIN'T YOU! YOU'RE BETTER THAN THAT!!!

But our area is good We pushed our baptism back one week because we want to interview a week before hand and let things solidify for them. But it's amazing how much I've stopped caring about numbers. I think total lessons is the dumbest key indicator there is. That's probably why it's not in PMG. About six months ago I thought success meant I was teaching. But now I realize that success is whatever gets me closer to finding and helping people to be baptised. And that isn't reflected in total lessons taught.

I love my branch so much and I love the people we teach so much. I am more focused on people than I ever have been and somehow the numbers are as good as they ever have been as well. It comes down to the cliche "Work Hard, Be Obedient, Love The People." I'm going to have a really hard time leaving this area. We had a less active come to church on sunday who hadn't come for ten years. I've worked with him since day one in the area and see him come a long ways. It will be hard to leave him. I hope that doesn't happen for a while.

I love my companion! We share more in common than we give ourselves credit. Trade-offs really put things in perspective sometimes. He is awesome and I've learned so much about communication with him. Communicating our differences used to be a highly contentious thing. Now we can do it and keep the spirit in the room.

I know that even though sometimes it feels like you've got the world on your back that it's not true. Christ has the world on his back and I just carry a small burden. A missionary used to always say to me, "Do you feel as bad as the Savior felt in the garden?” “Are you as tired as He was in the garden?" and it gives me strength to know He made it through and so can I.

I love all of you. And I don't need weekly letters. Just weekly photos. Ben's photo took the cake this week! And fill out mom's survey and I'll be the follow up nazi when I come home!!

Love ya's heaps!

Elder Weiss VI

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It Keeps Getting Better and Better


From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: June 9, 2014 at 8:18:49 PM MDT


It just keeps getting better and better. We had one of the best weeks last week of my mission. I can't really think of one to top it but just to play it safe I won't say THE best. We were so busy.

This week our miracle was the Book of Mormon. We wanted our investigators to gain a testimony of it. We emphasized it to them in our teaching. I guess the spirit grabbed them and shook them because when we came over next they were sitting reading it. The two oldest girls in the family are up to Jacob!! They had read a few pages here and there but they it was like an explosion! We asked them how they felt. They both noticed that when they read it, things go better in their day... sounds familiar! It was amazing to see their testimony grow.

Then yesterday they brought their friends along to our branch activity. Their mum came and really clicked well with the branch. Then when we taught them last night she was really surprised when we told her she had met everyone in our church. She thought we had this big massive church and was intimidated but now she feels a desire to go. Please oh please let the desire work in you!!

Writing letters is a good time of reflection... It makes me excited. Last night we were lying in our beds talking about how it felt like we had P-day the day before. #missiontimewarp So I'm supposed to report on my family to the mission president and I'm really at a loss for what to say because I don't really know what ya'll are doing. I don't need a lot but just a few lines so I know what your name is, your job, where you live, and your goals for before I see you again.

Last night we taught about the sabbath day. Our investigator brought up how it's a time for family. I shared about how much I loved sunday dinner when Sam and Ash would come over and the out-of-cachevalley-ites and we could spend time to together. I have the best family!

Yesterday we played "touch footy" (Rugby) in white shirts and ties for our branch activity. We planned the activity specifically for our P-day so we could play and then our P-day got moved. So I was stepping on everyone in my dress shoes. Touch Rugby is the best. I could've really gotten into competitive touch if I'd grown up with it. Each time you have the ball you get the same feeling you get in soccer as a center midfielder. You are the distributor. And when you don't have it you feel like a forward looking for the position, time and the gap to break through and score. What a great game!

I've seen some elders with this keyboard journal thing. It is a keybord with a small screen almost like a elongated calculator screen. That is what I would like. I feel like I would write a lot more because I usually pretty tired at night. But you write every day and then on P-day you take it to a computer and plug it into the USB and you can take all your journal entries and send them home. That's the only thing I can think of that I would like. Don't worry about candy. We are good on food unless you can send me a Large Hot'N'Ready pizza still warm or some freshly cooked mexican food from el toro viejo.

Love yous heaps!

Elder Weiss

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Get out of the way and be His instrument

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: June 2, 2014 at 8:59:55 PM MDT


Our area is the best it's ever been. We have two dates for the 21st (June) and they are keeping commitments. We hope it all becomes clear to them by then so they can be baptized. It's a single mum with four daughters and a son living with her. Their dad passed away in the last year and they have really been turning to God. We taught the plan of Salvation this week and committed them to be baptized on the 21st. The oldest daughters accepted and the rest aren't quite ready yet. We taught them about the spirit world and missionary work going on there. We told them that they are setting an example for their dad in the spirit world of accepting the gospel. They were listening very carefully and I believe they saw how the reality of the gospel can change everything for them. It reminded me of my ten brothers and sisters and my amazing parents.

My companion is great. Our personalities are so opposite it can be a roller coaster at times. But I know by the power of the atonement I can be made more humble and love him how I should.

I know that this is the Lord’s Work. And that means I don't understand how it works. I trust that he knows what He's doing and I can go out and whatever happens trust it's for the best. I have learned, however, that as I give all my heart and He changes me to become HIS missionary and do it HIS way He will send success. Not because I have any qualification of my own, but because I am willing to get out of the way and be His instrument so He can do it his way.

The Lord will baptize in every area He goes to. But it depends on us, His hands.  It can be a bit hard to take that you will never "have success" on your mission, because it's all His success, but I'm more happy and proud of who I am becoming.

We had an amazing day a few days back. We went to visit a potential investigator but she wasn't there. So by the direction of our mission president’s wife Sister Palmer, we tracted around the house. We found two potentials and then when we were walking back to our car the first potential investigator showed up and we taught her and her kids about prophets and set up a return appointment.

Then last night we visited that lady's neighbor who we tracted and he gave us a feed and we taught him as well! None of it would have happened if we hadn't looked for a reason for being in the neighborhood. If something doesn't work there is another reason you are there.

I hope you are "all alive and well".

Love yous!

Elder Weiss

Sunday, June 1, 2014

"Happy is the man whom God correcteth"-May 27, 2014

Sorry quick letter. We went to the Jenolan caves today and don't have time for anything!
I felt a bit overwhelmed by the mission conference we had yesterday. We were told about all these miracles and things and I got this image in my head that all of those things happen to a consecrated missionary all at once. My progress on my mission has been a bit discouraging. I have a tendency to scrutinize myself and lose the big picture.

Sometimes I wish my mission could be about helping other people. I don't like the thought that I'm the one that has benefited most from my mission but to this point that is how I see it. After the mission conference I felt rebuked. Not because anything anyone said was negative, but because it was all so positive it made me see my negativity and lack of faith. I felt the Lord correcting me and charting a new course for me.

This morning I read a scripture in Job 5:17 I think it was. It said, "Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:" Sometimes I don't like what reality has to offer. The reality that I came to is that the Lord can do whatever he pleases with my area. There aren't any boundaries short of my own faith. I told the Lord that I'm going to try and speak with his voice and submit completely to his will. Tracting wont be hard because it's the Lords time, the Lords work, and I am the Lords also.

Through these times of unreal spiritual and emotion soreness we emerge on the other side with a spiritual maturity that can't coming any other way. Growing pains are good and necessary, but painful none the less. But pain is temporary but our character is eternal. So we can't sell ourselves short.
I love my companion. Elder Roberts is great. We are both focused and learning to love each other. I thank the Lord daily that he is my companion.

Love you heaps!
BE THE LORD'S

Elder Weiss

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Marathon Letter / "He is carrying us!"

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Subject: Marathon Letter / Journal Entry
Date: May 18, 2014 at 6:58:42 PM MDT

Dear Family,

This past Monday speaking with my yous was so good. Lucky for me yous have all been on missions and I think you knew that talking about home would be distracting so you just asked me questions about my mission and gave me advice. Dad rebuked me and told me there are people ready for baptism and you need the revelation to find them. Then you can have four baptisms this month. I laughed but I know he's right. So I've been seeking out what we need to do to find them.

So we went tracting and GQing (Golden Questioning) for a whole day until it was too dark. Nothing happened all day. My companion and I decided to go console ourselves with some pizza. On our way driving home we saw three Maori kids crossing the road. I recognized them as the kids of a kiwi lady I met emailing at the beginning of the transfer. Due to some confusion we thought she gave us a bad address. But they moved down the street and we got their new address. We invited them to ping pong night and told them we would stop by the next day.

The next day we did heaps of tracting again and nothing worked. But called one of our half Maori members and asked if he could come meet this family with us before we went to branch ping pong night. He agreed and we met them a half hour before at their house. We talked and the member and them hit it off right away. They trusted each other right away. We told them we had to go to ping pong night and asked them if they would come. The single mom said they didn't have a car. So our member gave three of them a ride and we called the senior missionaries and they took the rest of the kids. We had 18 people at our ping pong night! The teenage girls met our teenage Young Women and they got along great. They knew each other’s faces from school but hadn't really talked before. It was perfect!

Saturday we went back and asked them about their religious background and answered some questions they had about our church. We invited them all to come to church and they all said they would. We organized rides. Sunday morning came and the mum stayed home with her sick daughter but the other four came.

On Friday we taught another investigator Katelyne. Her family has been taught by the missionaries for 6 months or so but the first missionaries were better friends than missionaries so they didn't keep commitments.

On Monday we asked who was actually interested enough to DO things. Katelyne and her sister Danielle said they were so we said we would focus more on teaching them. It made the mum really angry because she took it as a personal, "We don't care about you unless you want to be baptized". Her husband is a less active member and calmed her down but she sent a few interesting texts. Katelyne was always stand offish about the Gospel because she didn't see herself as a "Churchy person" but my companion (through some inspiration in one of her lessons) was persistent and committed her to pray. She got an answer and now she is full steam ahead.

My companion asked her in our lesson on Friday how Reading and Praying is going. She told us that the other night her back was hurting really bad. She has chronic back pain. She prayed and the next morning she woke up with no back pain at all! She also told us that her mum earlier in the week called the family together for a family scripture time! (So glad she's taking responsibility for her spirituality instead of wanting to be spoon fed all the time!) Danielle said she wasn't going to join in because she had a bad head ache. Katelyne told her, "I bet if you read the scriptures your head ache will go away!" NIKMINUT! Her headache is gone!

Katelyne and her mum and little sister all came to church. As well her nan and old nan. We also had some less active members come and bring a non member grandson. In all we had ten non-members and 7 investigators at church! Our little chapel was packed! We did so much finding we taught only 4 lessons all week but it has been the best week of my mission! I realized that lessons taught can be an indicator of the work of the missionaries but doesn't always represent the Lords hand in the area. He is carrying us!

I am continuing to seek the revelation I need to be able to see all these investigators all the way through to baptism.
Things with my companion are good. We are really working together well. It was tough at first but now we are working like a well oiled machine in some respects. I know the Lord IS the priesthood key to missionary work in our area. I know there are people waiting for us. I love finding because I know someone, somewhere is looking. It's like "Hide and Go Seek". :)

Something that hit me in my studies this morning is that so many people look for signs or physical experiences to strengthen their belief in God. This whole physical body thing is so new why would God speak to it? Was our body in the pre-existence? NO! Why would he speak to our body that has no recollection of the spirit world. That is why he speaks to our spirits!

WOW that's a long letter.. but I haven't written my journal this week so I just made a summary for you!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New Mission Pres. and Deep Blue

From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: May 4, 2014 at 10:18:42 PM MDT


Dear Family,

This may be one of the biggest letters ever because for the last two weeks or so I haven't written in my journal. So this is my Atonement Sacrifice letter.

Monday-Half -Pday and Mission Leadership conference. President Lew has been in Hospital for weeks now in ICU. His counselors presided at our meeting. We got a surprise visit from Sister Lew. She was very emotional and told us how much she loved us and how much she loved missionary work. She said the nurses call President their "Patient patient" because he never complains. She spoke for 20 min and left again for the hospital.

Tuesday- Drove back the three hour journey to Bathurst. Stopped at the Spanish elders new apartment to eat lunch but none of them had money on their cards because the are, lets say, "Unwise". So they made us some papusas. Not authentic but still pretty good. Then we finished our drive back. Trigger to SUPER COMP INVENTORY DAY

Wednesday-SUPER COMP INVENTORY DAY. Taught a lesson to a former and my comp was not too happy with me so he didn't talk. But it's understandable we both got a lot of things off our chest and things improved from there on out. That night we had our branch ping pong and the former we taught came as well as Danielle and five or so members plus the senior couple. This branch has improved my ping pong skills by %1000. There are lots of really good players haha.

That night we drove an hour and a bit down to Cowra for a trade off with the elders there. During planning the AP's called an emergency conference call with the Zone Leaders. The announcement was made that President Lew was released and will be going home to receive medical treatment. President Palmer had been called.

Thursday- Trade off with semi apostate Elder. Conclusion. He's a great guy but needs more motivation. We set goals and made plans to improve and hopefully it helps him out. Even though there are some missionaries I don't like as missionaries (as in lazy) I love them and would love to hang out after the mission. But hopefully I can lift them up while they are here. In the evening we had an conference call with all the Zone Leaders and the AP's. President Palmer introduced himself to us. From Christchurch NZ.

Friday- Zone Training Meeting. Trained on teach the members to go about doing good! YOU ALL NEED TO DO SERVICE. Get in a mentality of doing service the missionary experience will come.
After we had Zone P-day from 1-6. Because we live so far away from eachother we do half pday monday and zone pday friday every first week of the month.

Saturday- Taught two member present lessons. Both were good. Got some pretty interesting concerns. The problem I've found in Australia is that everyone is catholic and has been for so long it's become more like a gossipy social club than a way of worship. So now people don't trust church anymore so they make their own beliefs or just give up thinking about it all together. A bit tough but we're working on it.

Sunday- We had two hour church because of a lack of people... three investigators "were" coming... That night we made a member mad at us because we couldn't stay at their house for very long so we got guilt tripped and stuff but we had a set member present so we weren't having it. We brought a Samoan member to teach a guy from Papau New Guinea. He's our neighbor. The member and him connect straight away because they grew with the laid back Poly lifestyle and moved here to Australia. He wants to play rugby with our member on his team next season and he said if we wanted we could come to an Under 16's practice sometime and he'd coach us around a bit. (Just touch no tackle... I'd die).

And that was about it! I have to tell Tam that I've actually been using those essential oils for stuff. Very useful.. especially when you try to brake a massive stick over your leg but it doesn't brake... DEEP BLUE, Frankincense, and peppermint... hmmm relief I healed up so quick!
Love you all!

Elder Weiss

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Picture me skating in dress pants and a tie!"



From: Joseph Weiss <joseph.weiss@myldsmail.net>
Date: April 20, 2014 at 11:13:33 PM MDT



A few weeks ago I wrote yous a letter about diligence and tennis. My insights came from a talk by Elder Bednar that talks about not shrinking and about how Elder Maxwell endured well his trials with cancer and his insights from the experience.  I hope President Lew is ok. It sounds like he is "not shrinking" in the face of his trial. Please pray for President Lew that he does not shrink and that he recovers quickly.

General Conference was the best of my life. I was more zoned in than I ever have been. Going through my notes I found that I've learned too much to just make a summary but here are some gems I really liked.

Gratitude is a catalyst for all other Christ-like (or desirable) qualities. -President Uchtdorf

My brain still thinks in terms of sports. You look a Lionel Messi, well I haven't seen him in ten months but, he says very little. He talks a little and achieves a lot. He is humble and continues to want to learn and improve. His gratitude is what has kept him from becoming arrogant. He keeps things in perspective. So he, as of ten months ago, still hasn't peaked. The only path to our full potential runs along a stream called gratitude. Stay thirsty my friends... :D

Some people think that happiness is not carrying anything. Happiness is about carrying the right load. -Elder Bednar

This goes along with Elder Holland's talk. He said,

"Some people don't want a God that will rock their boat, some people don't even want God to row their boat." -Elder Holland

In order for us to reach our desired destination we have to let God load us up and rock the boat. It may be hard sometimes, but submitting everything is always the easiest route in the long run. Leave your old Sodom-self and never look back.

I love Elder Dallin H. Oak’s talk on the rights of the priesthood vs. the keys of the Priesthood. I think men and women ought to read this talk and study D&C 121:33-46. We recite this passage every morning in companion study and it is a gift that keeps on giving. It teaches me what I must do to have the powers of Heaven active in my life.

On my mission I have met so many people that believe that Christ is real but deny his power in their lives. Elder Christofferson talked about how if Christ did resurrect and that he was more that "just a great teacher or leader” but He was in reality the Son of God.

William R. Walker said, "The more connected we are to our righteous forefathers, the more likely we are to make wise and righteous decisions." When I am done with my mission I will be doing heaps of temple work and family history. I can't think of anything else that can bring the same spirituality as missionary work except temple work

I love my companion. It took two weeks but it came. This last week I got to skateboard!! It was so flippin' cool! These five skaters were skating in the parking lot when we rocked up and it's private property so I had to kick them out. But first I had to show them how it's done. I borrowed one of their shoes and stomped and fakie flip perfectly on my second attempt. Haha I love the weird things you do on your mission. Next time I see them I'll get a picture of me skating in dress pants and a tie!! Best day ever!

Yesterday we were visiting a less active member in the hospital when a different man came up to us and told us he's a less active member and an Aaronic priesthood holder. We'll go visit him tomorrow at the hospital. I love those miracles. I love using my talents... and my companion. Because he's a cowboy I get him to make all the bogans feel like city folk. It's pretty sweet!

Love you all.

Elder Weiss