I feel like it's been a year since my last update, so much happens every week. It's hard for me to remember back that far! Okay okay...We had a districts activity on Monday, we went to this outdoor zoo place and saw some koalas, birds, wallabies etc. SO neat! Monday night was FHE. We had a group FHE in Nelson Bay, the A family called to cancel but then changed their mind. I'm not sure what happened but they showed up, all six kids and everything! The wife even made me a gluten free cake...she is so sweet. Side note: Probably the hardest mission rule for me to obey is not holding babies, there are about 4 brand new babies in our branch and I just wanna steal them but oh no..not allowed. The A kids are stretching their arms out for me to pick them up...and there's nothing I can do. haha It's TORTURE!
On Tuesday Sister Weeks and I got permission to take a trip down to Sydney to attend a temple sealing for a couple that was baptized about a year ago. They are awesome, there was only a few of us at the sealing, mostly those from our branch and other missionaries. I've never been to a sealing so that was very special, Sister Peterson has an amazing conversion story, I'll share it with you one day, but the woman is rock solid. She said she prayed for the missionaries to come and find her and one morning she woke up and just knew, this is the day the missionaries are going to find me. So her heart was racing all day long, she did yard work all day so she could be outside on the lookout. And sure enough, she sees two young men in shirts and ties walking down her street, she runs over to them in tears, "Finally! Don't you know I've been praying and waiting for you!?" Then the Elders instantly start to cry. I guess earlier that day they had argued about what route to take and one Elder felt prompted to go the long way but the other wanted to go the shortcut etc etc. So amazing. Sister Weeks and I were like...I wish people were out in their lawns waiting for us...haha. Love her.
We taught ________ (22 year old uni student) the Restoration. She was BLOWN away, she said "wait...you mean there's actually a prophet......like right now...like...today!?" umm......yes that's exactly what we're saying. Then Sister Spark talked about when she was first taught about prophets and general conference, in her mind she pictured a bunch of people worshiping some guy up on stage with laser lights and everyone chanting "Jesus, Jesus..." haha...then the missionaries showed her a general conference clip and she was like....."oh...okay, yeah, I can accept that." haha, she's awesome. Great lesson.
We visit ________ a couple times a week, she is also amazing. Reads the BOM every single day, she's really smart. GOLDEN investigator. She came to church on Sunday with her two 17 year old daughters, they also want us to start teaching them.
The missionaries used to teach this girl named ________, she is 15 and has run away from home multiple times. But we felt like going over to visit her and she has come back home and said she would like for us to start teaching her again, along with her friend and her friend's boyfriend. So we were thrilled, set up an appointment for Saturday. When we got there Saturday, her sister said she wasn't home, so we were really confused, then all of a sudden they pull up in the driveway, so we wave and what not, then they speed off and drive away! Sister Weeks and I look at each other like...."really? Did we just get.........ditched?" haha 15 year olds...what can you do. So now we're hunting them down, little punks.
We went over to the A's for dinner. As soon as we walk in, we notice there is primary music playing over the sound system in the living room....what?? Remember, this is coming from the household who didn't want to hear anything about the church, said they would feed us but that was it. Well, that was a few months ago, and now they are playing church music in the living room. The dinner was great, lesson was great. They invited us to join their FHE tonight...and also dinner again on Thursday. Not to mention they said to plan on seeing them at church next Sunday.....this was my face... :O so excited!
We visited a lot more people but I don't have the time to go through every one as you know, but this is a good update for now on some of our investigators. Just something interesting, our area isn't exactly....the most baptizing area. The average is about....2 baptisms per year I think...Sister Weeks has been in this area for 10 months and she said she's never had an investigator come to church more than once. And then she said I got here and all of a sudden investigators are coming and they are starting to progress. I know the work is going well because Sister Weeks and I are working very hard and praying every single spare second we have, the Lord is using us as his hands. We feel very blessed right now to have so much success, we are keeping very busy!
Last night we came home and I went in the back room to change after planning (keep in mind it's pitch black) and I just had a feeling I wasn't the only one in the room and to prepare myself...I flipped on the light and sure enough....this GIANT cockroach is perched on the wall and starts running for the hills. I scream for Sister Weeks and she comes running in, I'm like "It's behind the door!!"...so she looks behind the door..."there's nothing here Sister Raitt....." (as I see it run right over her head...) "Ahhh there he is, there he is!!" so then she's screaming and I'm screaming and this huge cockroach is running around our room...she's screaming at me "throw me a shoe!" so I'm sprinting trying to find a shoe, she's trying to get it but he's just too fast, then all of a sudden he would be gone, we can't find him. We are literally turning over every piece of furniture in our room and then all of a sudden..."ah there he goes!!!" haha this continued for probably 15 minutes and we finally got him. I've never laughed so hard in my life, but I've also never been so terrified. GOOD TIMES IN AUSTRALIA!
All is well here in the land down undahhh, it's nothing like what i pictured Australia to be. I would compare it to like living on the coast of Oregon, lots of tall trees, farms etc. There is a field with kangaroos always running around. It's an interesting place...but I LOVE IT. The cockroaches...not so much.
I see miracles every single day, I know without a doubt this is the restored gospel on earth and Jesus Christ leads the church. The Book of Mormon is true, I learn so much reading from the scriptures every day, even if it's just a single verse. Heavenly Father is very aware of us and our challenges, after all..."He is the one who shapes our backs for the burdens that might be placed upon us." It doesn't matter what challenges we face, the Lord has prepared a way for us to overcome it. I've started to read the BOM again and already I am learning so much from 1 Nephi, his faith amazes me. Please continue to read from the scriptures, this week we are focusing on Virtue. I invite all of you to study this Christlike attribute with me. Much love from Australia,