Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hangin' Up the Jersey

I thought that when I gave up a volleyball scholarship two years ago that I was "hangin' up the jersey" to follow what my Heavenly father wantd me to do. It was probably the hardest thing I have done. I say that because when I gave up that scholarship I gave up a big part of who I wanted to be and where I wanted to go, in order to follow blindly a prompting of the Holy Ghost.
Then this past week happened! We had a huge conference with all the zones in southern Queensland. Like 140 missionaries huge! Anyway, at this conference President talked to us and the one thing he said that has seemed to just stick to me is that we all need to "Hang up the old jersey." When he first said this I smirked a little bit, because I thought I had already done that. I gave up volleyball, and I gave up continuing my education for 18 months, I had hung up my jersey long before my mission started. However, as President continued to talk, I came to the realization that while I had hung up that beautiful #12 black spandex jersey with "Rock Hill High" on it, I had put on another jersey. I had put on the college life jersey of late nights, lots of friends, and studying new things in a new atmosphere. It wasn't a bad jersey, just like my volleyball jersey wasn't bad. I learned a lot in both, but now I needed to heed President's words and put on the newest jersey, taking the best parts of my old self and refining everything to put on the missionary jersey. It made a huge difference right then and there as I was guided by the Holy Ghost to change, become better and become focused on the "hastening of the work."
The rest of this past week has been amazing! Despite the fact that for th first time since coming to Australia we had zero people at church, it has been a week of learning, finding, and teaching!
Tony is coming along. He realizes that he needs to create room for church in his life, that it is not just meeting with us on Saturdays and coming to church on Sunday. That is amazing, because so many people think they can just be baptizd and then it's done. We have a lot of recent converts that are also less active! My goal is to not have any more baptisms that become less active!
Eric and Joyce are on date!!! They will be baptized the weekend after Christmas. Now we just have to dive more deeply into what the Law of Chastity is, but I don't think it will be a problem. They both read the scriptures and pray, and have a sincere desire to do whatever we commit them to do because they can feel themselves coming closer to Heavenly Father! It is amazing. Last night we taught them the Word of Wisdom and I told them that in English the intials are WOW. We then proceeded to open our mouths and put up three fingers on either side! The picture below shows it better than I can explain. They are progressing so well, and I truly love them.
As far as the bus stop goes...I am improving. This past week I was able to get more phone numbers and on guy agreed to meet with us! My Chinese is improving, but more importantly my social skills when talking in chinese are improving. I have been able to move beyond a couple of the rehersd lines I have been practicing so hard, in order to get more personal and friendly with those I talk to. I think that is why I am seeing more receptiveness.
I was able to experience what English Australia Missionaries experience this past Tusday as I went on exchanges with the STL (sister-training-leader). We tracted for 3 hours straight in the hot humid aussie weather. I saw bats and a turkey, and I ate food that wasn't Chinese! It was fun, hard work, but lots of fun and I gained a greater appreciation for my bus stop!
Oh we also have started the rainy season of Australia. Every night there are huge thunder storms with pouring down rain. Last night it even hailed! Oh what adventures we are having!
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It has been restored on the Earth again! Transfers were today and I will be staying in SunnyBank! Sister Chen and I are staying together with the addition of Sister Cambamunga, so we are in a threesome now! I knew Sister C from the MTC and she is going to be a great asset to our area. I am sure of it. I am also, the driver... pray for me!
I love letters and hearing from you all!

Just some photos below of the wildlife I have seen - kangaroos and bats!  and my pose for a photo in classic style!

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