Thursday, May 28, 2015

Trade offs!!!! I'm so happy I got to stay in my area - I love my area. Sister Funaki came and we had a blast. A righteous blast. We went tracting and there was this guy middle aged or so and he was drunk as and bless her heart Sister Funaki she couldn't tell and we were talking to him and he was like "I'm not interested" but Sister Funaki just got to know him and talked to him and then he started asking questions like "so how do you know God is real?" "what makes you come here to my door and think you can tell me what to do? I already live a good life, why would I need God?" and the words just flowed and we replied I was really grateful because I've kind of been struggling with loving people lately - if that makes sense as in if someone is rude I just say thanks have a nice day and nurse my wounds whereas a more loving missionary would see past the rudeness and still try to help and still give love - so I was really glad to be with Sister Funaki because she helped me see past the fact that he was a drunk lone man at 5pm who had the signs of an alcoholic and who had made some bad choices in his life. And I told him that I knew Heavenly Father loved him, and I was able to tell him that because I just knew. And I knew that this was what our mission was for. We aren't just sent to those that are ready, to those who welcome us in with open arms, we are sent to help and serve. And that man needed kindness that night. I asked him a question before we went (and he will still a little aggressive) I asked him "are you even really happy?" and then he almost started to cry and he said I hit the nail on the head and all this bravado about how rubbish religion is really was just a covering for his insecurities and sadness. It was so sad, I wish I could help more. He was pretty adamant about no more religious talk but that was okay, we told him we would say hello when we were in the area. I think serving in lower socio-economic areas is very eye opening because growing up amidst it in Sydney, near it, not quite in it, I was always taught to avoid, to hold your bag, not to make eye contact and hopefully not to live near any housing commission. Which makes sense but as a missionary ah you just start to love the people and you wish, you wish that you could do more to help. But they have their agency.
So that was one tracting experience. I've had so many on my mission it all just blends together.
And Sister Funaki is a star! She just radiates love. I wish I could be more like that but I think I accept myself for who I am and I try to give where I have. It's so good having the opportunity to serve with others.

Now this is another interesting story. So Sasha the one with the beanie has been running a local live radio for Ramsay Place outside of Colonnades and we saw her there right after lunch with Dannielle after an appointment in the library (SO many things happened this week! it's so hard just picking the choicest experiences...) and when we went over to see what she was doing with that huge microphone we realised that it was live and it all started when she asked me for my first name because that launched into discussion about "Sister" and why I gave up my first name and what else I gave up and why on earth I gave it up in the first place and what it is like being a missionary in Adelaide. And then I told her about my two awesome friends Sister Funaki and Dannielle and she interviewed Dannielle who has just come back from her mission in the Marshall Islands!!!! Dannielle is so awesome. RM shines from her. I hope to be like that also (:  and she was able to share a bit about her mission experience also and contacting I think has never been more fun! Haha!

I'm not sure I told you about this but Marlene and Tom gave us a posh chip butty. It is posh because of fancy bread and being cut in quarters. It is Liverpool, England slang they said. It tasted really good and I am determined to remember it - haha!!
We had a lot of fun trying to say "butty" the way they do. Australia is so wonderful. So many cultures all in one!

MOSIAH 18:10
I love Mosiah 18:8-10. The words ring so true to me. And we had a really choice experience with it with Brian yesterday night. Everybody shared testimony to invite the spirit and then we shared Mosiah 18:8-9 and asked him what his "spiritual desires" are. After ascertaining that they were to return to live with God again and that they were very important to him, we asked him to read vs 10 out loud. And it stuck to him. Look it up! Read it yourself (:
I think watching him have a spiritual experience with the Book of Mormon - because it is spiritual, you know, when  you feel like these words written so long ago are talking directly to you - was so wonderful. We pray a lot that our investigators will have spiritual experiences. So that was really nice.

Okay I feel like I have so much more still to share about baptismal invites and stake conferences and other lessons and members doing missionary work and new people in our teaching pool but you are all probably getting tired so I will close with a poem our mission president sent us. Sadly I empathise with it way too much - especially the first two chapters? But that's okay! Christ helps us through :) He fills all sidewalk holes. I know that is true.

There is a Hole in My Sidewalk

Chapter One:
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost...I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two:
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend that I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe that I am in this same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall's a habit...but, my
eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five:
I walk down another street.

Chapter Six:
I walked down the street with the hole in the sidewalk.... I kneeled down and filled in the hole so that no one could fall in.

Missionary work is the best! It is so fulfilling being able to do what is most important to me, my soul feels so full when I pray after a day full of work because I can feel that I am doing what Heavenly Father wants me to do. Often it is so easy to lose sight of the difference that one makes and it is so easy to get bogged down because of my weaknesses, my limitations, shortcomings and sin, but this is what prayer is for.
Serving a mission has definitely not always been easy, there have been many times where I can't see past through to the next day, or even the next meal break .... but the rapid ascents and declines I know are moving me upward. Because I look back at my mission and my life and I know that I am stronger for those experiences, I know that I am closer to Heavenly Father and my Saviour for those experiences.
Maybe one day I'll learn how to get closer with suffering hahahhaaha but I don't think so. Even our Saviour had to suffer to know what our mortal condition would be like, even He once was cut off from the presence of our Father - He who was without sin!
I know you may not be able to exactly know what it is like being a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, maybe not even ever, and perhaps if you have been, you won't know what it was like to serve in Adelaide, and if you served in Adelaide, you won't know what it was like to be me, serving in Adelaide. But my dad always says that a wise person learns from the mistakes of others so I hope that reading the blog helps you to learn heaps! And I hope even if I still accidentally use too much jargon you can trust what you feel and have that taste of what missionary service is like. But it is different for everyone! Testimony and conversion is such so unique. But I hope that the sharing of my experiences adds some flavour and colour to your own spiritual journeys, wherever you are on that path. Feel free to talk to me when I am back.
Love to all! Have a great week. (: 

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