Sunday, February 22, 2015


From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: February 22, 2015 at 9:16:19 PM MST

I don't feel like I should be emailing you every day, but that's what
it feels like because all last week feels like one day and here I am
again at the library.

This week was a roller coaster of emotions.
Having recommitted ourselves to the fundamentals we began to feel the
spirit hasten the work. Elder Shelton and I feel like we've built our
missionary work foundations on sand. We've over complicated it all and
now it's time to get back to basics.

On wednesday we had a trade offs.
I went with Elder Osmeni from Albania. We had a great day. The
highlight of the day was a lesson taught over the phone. Our
investigator called and left a message saying that she wanted to talk.
We had found her as a potential my second week here and have gone by
consistently once a week to follow up if she had read the book of
Mormon that we left the first time. She finally had last week and we
committed her to pray.

We began speaking on the phone and I asked her
about her prayer. She said it was awkward and that she didn't feel
anything so she quit. I didn't quite know what to say but the spirit
guided me to ask inspired questions. I asked her what she was praying
for? She replied, “For nothing. I just talked and it was weird." She
didn't even ask a question.

I began to ask her how committed she would
be if she got an answer. She replied that she'd follow the answer. I
asked if she would go to church and be baptized. She finally realized
that honestly she didn't want to give anything up to know God. I told
her that this knowledge is worth more than anything else in this world
and it doesn't come cheap. You have to be willing to act. She wanted
what she called "quick and easy”.

I told her you have to do something
extra if you wants something extraordinary. She agreed. I said, “Madaleine,
you know what’s extraordinary? 9am church for three hours."
The spirit spoke without me even thinking I promised, “Madaleine, you
will receive an answer to your prayer if you come to church this Sunday.
Will you come?" The phone was silent. Then eventually she said
“OK, I'll be there." When I hung up I was so pumped! It was an amazing
experience and I couldn't wait for Sunday to come.

On Saturday Elder Bednar came and gave us a conference. He was so
funny and different from how I would have thought. It was astounding. On
our way back we got caught up in Sydney traffic trying to get to the
mission office for some supplies and then later back home. We still
had an hour and a half to go at 9:30 at night. As we were driving I
began to feel sleepy as my companion drove.

I decided to check the
phone and I saw one new message. It was Madaleine. "Hi guys, I've
decided I don't want to go to church to tomorrow and I don't want to
go forward with reading the book or the prayers." Stunned I lay my
head up against the window and starred at the stars in the night sky
in painful agony asking myself over and over again, "Why?". Too
exhausted from the trip to cry and my mind running too quickly for me
to fall asleep I just lay there thinking.

We got home a little after 11 PM and staggered into the flat. I got
ready for bed then I kneeled down to say my prayers in the dark. As I
prayed I began to sob silently so that nobody could hear. Tears fell
from my eyes and dotted the floor. I was encompassed in spiritual
agony that I'd never before felt. "Why?" I thought, “would God let me
feel this way. Punch me, hit me, but don't let me feel this pain.”

Soon the answers came. God feels this way all the time when his
children disappoint him. I'd only met this lady and he has known her
forever. If I felt that bad then how would he feel? But to God, paying
that price is worth it. It was the price he knew he'd have to pay to
give his children all that he had. Our agency or freedom to choose
means that God weeps and soaks his pillow with his tears also. But he
also shouts for joy each time we choose to let him bless us.

The growth I've experience in 20 months is worth more than the entire
world to me. I hope I can give something back. I thank all of you for
the ways that you have touched my life and helped me to grow. So small
and so weak, but still people love me. I've have truly been broken.

Love Elder Weiss

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hastening the Work of Salvation

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: February 15, 2015 at 6:05:39 PM MST

This week has been crazy. Sunday we got up and showered straight away
and skipped breakfast so we could be studying at 7 because there was
no other time in the day that we could fit it.

We've accumulated so many new investigators
but we have a fair few not keeping appointments
so we are running all over everywhere to meet people but things keep
falling through. A lot of work and a little progress.

We began to
stray from the fundamentals. But now we are different. We can do it
today! Nothing can stop us when we are aligned with the most powerful
being in the universe. I'm ending my mission right where I began, with
the 12 week program and 8 fundamental lessons.

I've requested to be transferred to Merimbula to finish my mission.
It's a branch on the coast full of retired people. Pretty small town.
Elder Shelton started his mission there. He said it was great.
President was going to go see if they should go shut down the area
for missionary work. I'm sooo keen. You already know there would
be so much work to do. I really would like to give it a crack!

Life is soo good! Yesterday we received the Area Broadcast.
They essentially re-emphasized the same things as
in 2013 and 2014. Have you read the area broadcast for Northern Utah?
Are you in alignment with your priesthood leaders? The Friday before
last I gave a training at ZTM about individuals and families. That's
how God thinks. If we want to do what he does and be who he is we have
to think how he thinks. We need to constantly be thinking about
individuals and families. Letting that guide our actions is called
eternal life.

I learned this by the spirit but also by being prompted
from my studies of the Handbook 2. Handbook 2 was given me by Ofa
Amone the high councilor over missionary work in Fairfield Stake. He
said in affect that Zone Leaders are missionary works high councilor's
so I should know what's in that book. So I got a good read of a lot of
it but my fun all came to an end this past weekend when president told
me to turn it in.... Darn.

But this past weekend was stake conference
and it was quite validating. I told the missionaries in my training
the other week, "For the rest of your lives you will hear this phrase
again and again, 'Individuals and Families' because that is what our
church is about and that is how God thinks." Then in almost every talk
given on Saturday and Sunday and in the Area Broadcast they used the
phrase, "Individuals and Families". Each time they said it I looked at
my companion and smiled. He said to me with a grinn, "You've cracked
the code". All the Elders and Sisters were saying, "Elder Weiss did
you hear what they said? Individuals and Families!" It's amazing that
the weekend that God had taught me and guided me to teach others right
before this stake conference. It's a testimony to me of how important
it is to him that we understand what he's worried about. I hope that
at least one zone of missionaries has got the picture.

This is the Lords work. I've never done anything so ridiculously full on. And I've
never felt more satisfaction and joy. I hope you are all fully engaged
in hastening the work of salvation. What are you going to do
differently today to hasten the work? Today, Today, Today! Do it
today. Those who understand the Lord's work feel an incredible sense
of urgency. We don't have enough time to do all that we need to do. It
physically isn't possible. But the Lord likes doing impossible. So get
aligned and enjoy the ride.

Love, Elder Weiss

Monday, February 9, 2015

No End...

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: February 8, 2015 at 8:40:20 PM MST

This week was a big down and up and down and we are starting to come
up again. At the beginning of the week we had a meeting with other
zone leaders and the sister training leaders in the mission. We
counseled and discussed the needs and solutions for our mission.

In the estimation of myself and Elder Shelton we came to the wrong
conclussions. We were the only ones that disagreed. We wondered
together, "How can't they see that this is wrong?” We were afraid of the
negative consequences that this would have on our zone.

That night and the next day we went on trade-offs with the Assistants. When the
trade off ended we asked each other, "What are we supposed to do about
this?" "What can we do about this?”

Brother Baker had set up an appointment for us that night which ended
up falling through and notwithstanding his attempts to find other people to come,
nothing worked out and it was just us and him and another member, Julius.
We talked about our concern and he shared a similar experience that he
had. He fasted and prayed. We got home that night and decided we need
to fast as well.

The next morning in personal study I remembered
advice I'd received from Dad and David which was to expect revelation
on your feet while you're moving. So we decided an action we could take
would be to write a letter and express our concerns to President and
then call him and discuss it with him over the phone.

So in the middle of comp study we took off to the chapel and began organizing our
thoughts. After over two hours of disussion and writing we had a three
page thesis written. We sent it to Brother Baker to review because he
just happens to be a Journal Editor for Australia’s National
University. He gave us feedback, we reworked it, and sent it off.

After the whole process was over we gave President a call. He didn't
answer the first time but wanting to let him know it was important we
tried to leave another missed call on his phone but to our surprise he
answered the phone.

Elder Shelton explained the situation and asked if
he would read the letter. He said he would and then said, "You know
it's funny you should call, I was just thinking about you two and how
things turned out on Tuesday. I'm ready to say you can continue with
it the way you want and the rest of the mission will change.”

We were astounded. We thought this was going to be a messy process
and it was going to be a long conversation but the Lord just fixed it for us. I
know he only did that because he saw how serious we were but he made
that phone call last about 2 minutes and we got what we wanted.

I realized that God was aware of two 20 year old missionaries in
Canberra typing away on a clerk’s office computer. He knew the anxiety
in our hearts and the seriousness of our plea. Before we had even
started typing, God was already working to fix the situation because
he knew what we would do.

That is called Omniscience. That is the God I know.
The God that can make a big difference with just a little bit
of faith. The Church of Jesus Christ is on the earth again and will be
forever. And they all lived on happily ever after!


Love, Elder Weiss

Monday, February 2, 2015

On Top of the World

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: February 1, 2015 at 8:22:10 PM MST

Dear Family,

This week we were on top of the world again. We were given 8 more
souls to look after in our teaching pool. With investigators flooding
our area book it's never been more important to be organized than right

Tuesday Bro Green asked us if we could come with him to visit a
former investigator boy that lived in his neighborhood. We went and he
said he wants to be baptized but his mum doesn't think he should be
baptized twice. We asked him to pray about a date and we'd make a plan
to work with his mum. On Saturday we went to visit Bro Green to talk
about Ngor and when we got there he said "Elders we don't have much
time but I'll cook you lunch. We are about to go play soccer with
bishop’s kids." Nik minute he calls Ngor and invites him and his brother
and their friend and HIS brother to ALL go play at the park and then
he says Elders come along and you can teach a lesson! BOOM. That is
members and missionaries working together. This ward is amazing.

Last night we taught our Cambodian neighbors with Brother Baker. It
was a couple and their friend. He had previously shared with us an
experience about how he had prayed everyday for his boys back in
Cambodia since we had invited him to pray. Since then he's felt more
peace and slept better at night. Also when their kids skype they have
longer more engaging conversations. We taught him the gospel of Jesus
Christ and committed him to be baptized on the 28th of March. He and
his wife and their friend all accepted. Their childlike humility and
spiritual sensativity astounds me. I wonder if I had been born in a
different religion if I would have ever found my way back. I hope I
would be as humble as my Cambodian neighbors.

Love you all!

Elder Weiss