Sunday, May 18, 2014

Marathon Letter / "He is carrying us!"

From: Joseph Weiss <>
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 <>
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