From: Joseph Weiss <email@example.com>
Date: January 26, 2014 at 1:31:32 PM MST
A Miracle for this week is that we have reached our total lessons goal for the week. We are finding people by the way. The car kills missionary work. Although I thought I was going to die walking so much, it's the only way to find people to teach in Dubbo.
One experience that I had is we saw a lady getting her mail across the street and she saw us and hesitated so we walked towards her and she stood and waited for us. She was a typical "I don't think you can help me. I don't believe in God" Aussie. She said there is no evidence to show there is a God. And I asked her, "If I told you I had evidence that God exists, would you be willing to examine it?" She said yes and we told her about the Book of Mormon. As we testified of this evidence that God lives and he loves us I felt the spirit so strong it made my eyes water a little bit. Oh how bad I would like her to know what I know and to see what I see. In the end she accepted a Book of Mormon but not a return appointment, although, I hope she felt something.
In my studies and through that experience I think what I'm learning about feeling the spirit is that it's easy to do if you have love for someone and want the best for them. I think the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven. And these powers can only be controlled and handled based upon love. I feel as if God is softening my heart and making me love these people. Some people we meet are pretty hostile and just yesterday a lady told us, "You'll find most people here won't like what you're saying." And I said to her, "Well we know it's true and we have a job to do, so we'll keeping going." What I should have said, "I know, but we love yous so much that it's worth it!”.
The Lord is changing me. I can feel inside. It's uncomfortable, but I know it will be like that until I can be like him. Better get comfortable with being uncomfortable I guess.
This week I read about how much respect Nephi has for his little brother Jacob. Nephi was the younger brother being the example to his older brothers all the time and when he needed to learn from his little brother he did that as well. Shows me such an example of humble discipleship. It was impressive how he says, "Isaiah saw the Savior, and I've seen him too, and my little brother as well." What would I give to know him? But week by week I feel I know him better.
I read Luke Chapter 12 for my language study and I just felt he was talking to me. I felt His love encompass me. I know Jesus Christ is real. I have so little experience in this life but I know that one thing.
Will is home. Those pictures are crazy. Brothers Unite! 2015 Coming to an Airport near you!
Love you heaps!
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Date: January 19, 2014 at 5:37:00 PM MST
Today I was reading the chapter when Lehi talks to Joseph his son. Joseph and I share names so it was pretty cool to read and maybe relate in a way. I love how it talks about the sticks of Joseph and of Judah growing together to confound false doctrine and it really is true. The Book of Mormon makes clear things that are written maybe more confusing in the Bible due to translation and as well talks of things that aren't in the Bible. It really completes the big picture.
I love the prophecy of the "great seer" that he will be named after his father. People could say "that's just something Joseph Smith wrote so that we would believe that he is a prophet!" But then in the end finding out if Joseph made it up or not comes down to them reading a praying to know for themselves.
You cannot reach your full potential as a child of God in these latter days without gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon. It is our keystone to finding happiness.
So many miracle this week. Just last night we were debating on contacting these two referrals or going home to eat and plan. We decided to go for it and we got a new investigator and another lesson taught. There are heaps more miracles waiting for us if we focus on these key indicators.
This past week has been probably the best week of my mission. When I saw I was going to Dubbo at transfer meeting I was really not too excited. I guess I just lacked faith that it would all work out. It was like I was being condemned. But I'm here to testify that Dubbo is ready to explode. It's gonna fly away in the sky like the city of Enoch. Not quite. But this place is so great. I thought, “Man the Lord wants to send me out to Dubbo to plant lots of seeds and learn about patience and the next few months are going to be pretty tough." But I got here and start contacting people in the street, we started seeing miracles, and we set a record for total lessons in the last 6 months at least and things are just working out.
The Branch is a little strange but not as bad as you hear about and I'm confident that in two or three transfers our meetinghouse will be filling up. In my family we have a Christmas tradition called, "zingers". A "zinger" is a gift that you give to someone that they had never thought about before that makes them squeal or cry. Before they open it up they never would have expected how perfect it would be. That's how I feel right now in Dubbo after week 1 of unwrapping the gift I've found that it's just perfect.
So perfect infact we found some young aboriginal blokes who we asked if they wanted to play touch (rugby) with us sometime and they were full on for it mate! I met them and just thought to meself "eey?” Really, full on out eah in the bush. Bit scary at times.
Just the other night we be coming 'ome when some 12 year olds carrying on like lads (bad kids) came up to us a started harassing us. I said to them in my best Palangi accent, "Eay! Why you so mean to da missionary?" We were walking by and there was this bloke smoking 'eez 'omade cigarette. I asked how come they don't be botherin him too much. He said, "Because they wouldn't be stupid enough to mess with 'im". The lads went off running after that. Fairdinkum, that bloke was. Well I 'ope you enjoy me typin' like a bogan. Maybe I will pick the accent after all. I'm not too sure how people actually communicate out here because it's all implied so it leads me to believe they are also telepathic.
Well I hope you all enjoy Will's homecoming because this the only email I have to write and it took like 20 minutes and now my companion will be emailing for another hour and half while I watch mormon messages and maybe try and write some more emails to someone.
Love you heaps,
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
|Picture at this park on the Parramatta River before I got exiled! haha|
Date: January 13, 2014 at 5:26:08 PM MST
Miracle for the week! Transferred to Dubbo! Last thing I expected. Dubbo is a 5 to 6 hour drive from the mission office. We are close to 3 hours away from any other missionaries. Haha The missionaries in my old flat joked that I would get banished to Orange zone because it was the only place in the mission I didn't want to go. It has a rep for going really slow because there aren't many people and it's so far away from civilization. Orange is like 3-4 hours away from Sydney way out in the bush. And then if you keep driving for a few more hours deeper into the bush you get Dubbo. Last Sunday they had 9 people at church! haha. If God played in the MLB nobody would be able to hit his curveball. I'm really excited though.
My companion Elder Janes is the man. I'm excited to work with him out here in the bush. We are the same person I swear! We both love sports and have small feet and hands and we're short. It's like working with a twin or something. We are gonna turn Dubbo upside down.
I will deeply miss the spanish ward but I know that the Lord has a plan for me and he knew about all of this long before it happened. I really, really, really hope that one day before my mission ends I can go back home to the Spanish ward. I've seen how the Lord turned the Spanish ward around and I know he can do the same thing here in Dubbo. Unfortunately I don't get to see the Spanish Ward's baptism this coming saturday but I'll be back one day.
From reading the "Remember This" section in Preach My Gospel I learned that the basics apply everywhere. Doesn't matter if it's an English ward, Samoan Ward, or the Dubbo branch it's all the same. If it was any different the Lord would have a Preach My Gospel made for the Dubbo area. I really have loved the point to "Ask everyone for referrals". The last week in the spanish ward we got heaps of referrals from non-members and especially in the spanish ward, one leads to another which leads to another and so on.
I'm really looking forward to this transfer here in Dubbo. Somebody told me, "Elder Weiss, you wouldn't have been called to Australia spanish speaking if there weren't people that speaks spanish that are waiting to hear the truth." I know if there weren't people prepared God wouldn't have us here.
Picture at this park on the Parramatta River before I got exiled! haha
Love you all!
I swear Will's mission took for flipping ever but mine is going at like super speed. I'm so sad to see him go home but I know he left a legacy of righteousness over in the Chili Straw.
Monday, January 6, 2014
From: Joseph Weiss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: January 5, 2014 at 5:28:21 PM MST
You know how they say there are lots of poisonous dangerous things in Australia. Like spiders and snakes. I didn't believe it in 6 months of being here I hadn't seen anything frightening until this week. One day my companion and I are taking a walk into the forest to take care of some official business. I take a few steps into the bush to take care of said official business when I see this gigantic spider web. I jump and take a look at this thing and that's when I saw her... Shelob. I was about to walk through Shelob's web. Then she got insanely agressive. She started coming towards me and I had no clue what to do. Then I remembered a gift that was given to me in the MTC by Galadriel. Light of Elendil our beloved star. I whipped that puppy out and put the spider into submished. So that explains the picture in the email. And that's what actually happened. I did think about round house kicking it into the spirit world but as it's one of God's creations I just let it be.
We have a six month Book of Mormon reading chart that we are doing as a mission. In reading the Book of Mormon I have come to feel a connection between myself and Nephi. He had lots of older brothers as do I. I have 5 older brothers. Luckily for me I have had super examples of older siblings whereas he did not. But like always there have been times where I should have stood up to my older brothers and showed them the example and I didn't. I love seeing how courageous Nephi is in telling his older brothers how it is because I know how hard that can be.
This morning I read in the Doctrine & Covenants a scripture from Chapter 9 in preach my gospel in the section: Talk to Everyone. It says that if we open are mouths the Lord promises he will make us like Nephi of old. That is something I need help with is being courageous to find those unplanned opportunities to share the Gospel.
I feel that the Lord is blessing me with a love for this work. I find the most satisfaction when I am fulfilling my purpose. I love when we meet our goals at the end of the week and I don't know how but I know the Lord did it. I like that moment of satisfaction but even better is the feeling throughout the week that you get while you striving to reach these goals.
We've learned at night planning how important it is to go through the 13 points of Planning and how they really do focus you on your purpose. As well as looking at your weekly Goal that coincides with the daily goals and saying, "Ok what do we need to do tomorrow to knock out this weekly goal." It works! The Lord has prepared such an inspired way for us to do missionary work.
Love you all!
Elder Weiss VI