Monday, March 31, 2014

Inner Game of Ping Pong and Missionary Work

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: March 30, 2014 at 5:36:45 PM MDT
To: Cyndy Weiss <>

This week was awesome. We got five people to church! We are teaching a girl named Danielle who's dad is very less active and mum is “Catholic". Her dad is the toughest customer of them all but we taught with the spirit and committed the whole family to come to church. The miracle came at the end of the lesson. We promised to teach Danielle's sister Isabella to pray the lesson before. As we went to teach her, being just a kid, she got shy. Elder Moyes, "asked do you want me to help you?". She shook her head. "Do you want Elder Weiss to help you?" She shook her head again. We smiled and I asked, "Do you want Elder Moyes to help you then?" Again she shook her head but then she pointed to her dad. She got up and walked over to kneel by her dad.

He doesn't really believe in prayer. He talks to his dad but hasn't willingly prayed for years. I thought, "Perfect. Vicarious prayer, That's a step in the right direction!." He whispered to to her ear, "Dear Heavenly Father..." but she was silent.  So he tried again and she wouldn't say anything. I prayed so hard, "Heavenly Father please help her speak for his sake let it happen?" We sat there for a minute and then without being asked her dad said the prayer. He set such a wonderful example for his family and I think it really broke up some spiritual ice for him. The Lords answers to our prayers are far better than we can ever imagine.

I studied diligence and here is what I learned. I read a talk by President Bednar about "Not shrinking". He taught me that diligence is having faith that something good will happen and working hard, submitting your own will to Heavenly Fathers.

I think of it like tennis. In tennis when you make a bad shot and become frustrated it leads to more bad shots and more frustration. And then it's a downward spiral until you lose the match and wonder, "Why do I even like this game?". Same goes for golf. We need to see the big picture and keeping working hard even when things don't always go our way. We need to be ok losing if that is what will make us better in the end.

We need to submit to the Lords will. But that doesn't mean that the Lord's will can happen whether we have faith or not. If we give a hundred percent in a tennis match we can still lose but we will learn if we submit our will and say, "It's ok I lost, now how can I improve?" That is an example of Faithfully submitting. Sometimes by our diligence in a tennis match we will win; and other times we will not. Regardless, the Lord wants us to give 100% because doing your best helps you become your best whether you win or not. We need to play the game with no fear. Having faith that if we give our all, in the end we will be a better player, person, or missionary because of it.

This morning I taught my companion how to hit a topspin backhand in ping pong. I'll have to write the inner game of Ping Pong when I get back. Haha it's crazy. It only took him 10 min to figure it out. #timgalleway

Love you all

Elder Weiss

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Chemish and Journaling

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: March 23, 2014 at 6:44:22 PM MDT

Mum will be really happy about what I learned in my Book of Mormon study. I read the book of Omni and it taught me about keeping a journal. I think Chemish says in effect, "So my brother Amaron gave me this record cuz we are supposed to write on it because that's what dad said so he wrote a bit right before giving it to me..." and that is half of what Chemmish wrote! Very uninspiring stuff.

I forgot who it was, but another guy that wrote in there said, "I don't have any revelations or prophecies except what the others have said... so that's all." What the heck man! Hasn't the Lord helped you in your life? I'm sure he did but without reflecting back it was probably hard to see what they had that was of value to share.
I think that writing in a journal gives time to look back and to repent. It makes you more aware of who you are, who you were, and a vision of who you want to become.

Omni also gives a perfect example of the 3rd Missionary in verse two. Omni says, "I fought for my people all my days. But I was wicked and didn't keep the commandments like I should have." Essentially he did much good for his people, but it didn't do him any good because it never changed who he was. He continued in sin. I want to look back at the end of two years and say, "I fought for Australia. I fought for my zone. Most of all I fought for the Lord and now you don't even recognize me because I have become a Man of God."

We had a great week this week. We had the opportunity to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a Brother in our branch who is somewhat less active and to his daughter that is completely inactive. We taught faith in Jesus Christ and Repentance and helped her apply to her own life. Then we taught about the Baptismal Covenant and how she had felt the Holy Ghost in her life. It all made sense to her and she agreed. And then we talked about Enduring to the end. When we had finished teaching about Enduring, I felt inside myself that I needed to be bold and ask, "If you believe this why aren't you enduring?". I got that feeling right before you jump of a cliff into water. You know you have to take that leap of faith but you aren't sure what will happen exactly. But I jumped and asked her, "You have faith in Jesus Christ, you've repented, been baptised, and received the Holy Ghost; so why are you coming to church?". We taught the doctrine so clearly that she said, "I don't have a good excuse." So found out her bad excuse and told her the Lord would take care of it. She committed to coming.

The comforter that has been "left with me, teaches me all things that I should do". That promise in John 14 is true.
I was talking with my companion and told him how in my first transfer I did heaps of GQing or contacting in the train station in Fairfield. When you get rejected so many times you find out quickly that you won't get anywhere on your own. You need the spirit to "Guide you to them or guide them to you" like it says in PMG. It's such a privilege to be a missionary and be put in so many situations where you can't do it alone. To see the powers of heaven work within you and around you. It's a very special experience for me.

I love President Lew for being a consistent leader. I have learned from sports that good leaders do not need to be the best or the most flashy as long as they are consistent. People may disagree with you at times but you cannot be swayed because those people will not follow you if you do. We look for steadiness in a leader not happiness. I appreciate his steady leadership more than he'll know.

Love you all, Elder Weiss


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Apple Rolls Away From the Tree...

Well mum you'll be happy to hear this. I've been practicing playing the piano because on Sunday our pianist was gone so I had to play... the CD player.
So I'm gonna practice my Hymns so that I can play for meetings.

We have this less active guy that is crazy and smokes all the time and swears like crazy. He is so cool though. We are reading with him from the Book of Mormon and he is showing some progress. But being around his foul language is having its effect on me. Problem number one is that "Damn" and "Hell" are the equivalents of saying, "Dang" and "Heck" in Australia. So that's been slowly sneaking in there but then the other day I was quoting something our less active said and started swearing without even thinking.

I am repenting... the apple may not fall far from the tree but with the atonement it CAN roll a little bit away. haha jk

There is too much to talk about but I don't remember it and I stopped writing in my journal because we always of things to do in the evenings (making phone calls and garbage). I need to make time for it because I can't remember stuff.

Someday I'm going to write an essay about how stupid the world is. And how anyone that thinks they can live like a celebrity is uneducated and needs grow up. I loathe drugs, alcohol, and immorality. They do NOT make people happy and they NEVER made anyone a better person. All of the above are self-centered and devilish activities.  There's your sample.

And here’s what I wrote to president this week...

With the added emphasis of finding investigators through the members we have struggled to find new investigators. For three weeks we hadn't yet figured out an effective way of doing it. We decided we needed to start setting appointments with members to get to know and build trust with them. On Saturday we went to an appointment with a member and we talked to her about joining the church. We asked for her advice in teaching an investigator that was catholic (because she was previously Catholic). We got talking about some of her friends. All we did to start it was, "Do you think they'd like us to go around and see them?" And from there they would tell us no, or yes, or start talking about other friends that might be interested. Then we pulled out our Plan of Salvation pamphlets and started practicing explaining parts of the Plan in ten seconds. We told her how well she did and we left her with a pamphlet and then she asked if she could have more. So we gave her one for each lesson with our names and numbers on it. Later that we repeated the process with another member. They were so excited because they felt like they had something specific to share. And we were able to iron out so doctrinal wrinkles that had snuck into their minds over time.

I reckon if we keep this up it will end up paying huge dividends. If we have each member give us a referral every ten weeks we could potentially have 20 new investigators or more in ten weeks. Which is twelve in a transfer. A little bit of work from each member goes a long way!

Ok I love you all. ("Sleep well. Most likely kill you in the morning”-Princess Bride)

Elder Weiss


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Orange Zone Success

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: March 9, 2014 at 8:04:51 PM MDT

This week was a bit tough having Mission Leadership Council and Zone Training Meeting. Lots of driving and time outside of our area, however I am learning to love being a zone leader more but mostly I just love Bathurst. I reckon people in the city care too much about money and things, while people in dubbo don't care about anything, but Bathurst is right in the middle. People are very friendly and down to earth here.

Our Branch is awesome. Our Branch president has organized Wednesday nights for a branch tennis night to invite non-members and Less-actives. The Branch has heaps of potential right now and I hope we can capitalize on it. Our miracle was setting a baptismal date with our investigator. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ to her and asked her to be baptized and she was all for it. She said she would love to. The only thing is that we need her parents consent. Her mum is catholic and her dad is a Less-active member so I don't think that should be too much trouble. They said they'll discuss it and get back to us.

Also our zone is amazing. Orange was one short of twenty lessons. Our Missionaries are working really hard. Dubbo got a Branch mission leader! Bro Harlow out in Dubbo asked President Ryan if he could do it and President Ryan said that it'd be alright! I was afraid also of leaving Elder Janes and Elder Randall out in the Dubbstomp but they came through big this week with 13 lessons. I feel really good about the potential in our zone right now. I hope heaps of miracles come of it.

I studied repentance and something that stuck out to me is the last sentence in PMG on repentance says, "Repenting daily brings great joy.". Sometimes it's really hard but that clarity of conscience is worth it. I thought I offended my companion and so I was worried he was hurt by something I said. So I brought it up later and he said, "No it wasn't you it was something else." and I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. It truly is a blessing for us to repent. As a missionary you have to ask people to change their lives. You yourself need to have a strong testimony the repentance is what they need. You have to be bold and tell them how it is so they can know how to repent. President Joseph Fielding Smith said, "I call the church to repentance because I love the members of the church.". If we as Brothers and Sister love our neighbour we will try and help them to start living the gospel as well.

Man, My companion has been reading parts of History of the Church during lunch. Joseph Smith makes my head hurt. But I have gained a greater eternal perspective by reading about him and what he taught. The Gospel is becoming much more real to me. I bet you already now all this stuff but didn't want to explode my mind so you didn't tell. Hugh Nibley is a genius. When I get home I want to read some of his stuff. It astounds me how smart he is. He knows so much. I would love to sit with him for a month and just ask him questions... or I guess I'll just read his books when I get home.

Ok enjoy your nice weather!

Love you heaps, Elder Weiss

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Special Assignment

We received no letter this week from Joseph, but here it the letter from his Mission President:

4 March 2014

Elder Joseph Mark Weiss
Australia Sydney South Mission
P.O. Box 456
MortdaleNSW   2223

Dear Elder Weiss,

Thank you for accepting the call to serve as a Zone Leader.  You have been obedient in keeping the mission rules and you stand as an example to the other missionaries.  Thank you for being an excellent teacher who has the ability to articulate your thoughts with clarity and ease.  You have a good understanding of the scriptures, and the doctrines taught therein.

The responsibility of being a Zone Leader is one of the greatest opportunities of leadership a missionary can have and it is certainly one of the most trusted.  It is a very special assignment, and will have far-reaching effects on the missionaries you serve here in the Australia Sydney South Mission.

You are a wonderful example of the teachings of the gospel and also a wonderful representative of your home.  I feel that you will continue to be a tower of strength for good in our great mission.

I love you,

President Larry J. Lew