Friday, June 13, 2014

May 2014 - 'An Effective Servant of the Lord'

4 May 2014
Transfer 1 Week 5

Another awesome week!!!! First transfer almost over, seriously, where has the time gone???  For anyone who doesn't know, a transfer is 6 weeks, and every 6 weeks you could go to a new area or stay. We're pretty sure that both Sis Bonilla and I are staying! lets hope so!!

A 'Sheep' one!

Da... It has been such a hectic week!!! Satan is so sneaky and really tries to bring people down. He expressed that he wanted to get baptised but didn't feel worthy and wasn't sure. So we told him to pray about being baptised. He told us "I prayed so much and 4 times received the word in my head saying yes, I was trying to get around it, as I dont want to be baptised now but the spirit told me otherwise and I cant deny it".  Then he said he wanted to wait a while. We told him to pray about a date he said "I prayed about a date Sisters and I thought 28th May, which is so soon but I heard it in my head".  

May 28th happens to be a Sunday (you usually get baptised on a Saturday and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost on a Sunday).  So that was incredible! AND THEN, he ran into a bunch of 'anti mormon' people who told him a lot of false doctorine and he got very confused.  All his concerns came down to whether or not the Book of Mormon was true. So we went over last night and told him that he HAD to pray about the Book of Mormon specifically. We told him, "don't listen to us, don't listen to anyone at church, don't listen to randoms you've met in the week.. pray to know for yourself whether it's true or not".  We called him this morning and he said he got an answer that it was true.

Everyone feels the Holy Ghost in different ways and receives answers to their prayers differently.. I understand through feelings.  Da receives words in his head.  Whilst walking on the beach the following thoughts also came to him "love conquers all" "trust and follow Jesus Christ, it will bring you true happiness".  How incredible is that! He said it's not his own voice, because sometimes it tells him things he doesn't want, it's someone else's voice.  He doesn't understand it but he knows it's from the Holy Ghost and it causes him to weep and be 'filled with joy'.

That's pretty much it.  Everyone else we have met has 'dropped' us.  A lot of people here are strong in their faith (which we respect, we just invite people to learn more) and have asked us to come back but when we do, their parents or partners have told us to not come around again. Which is hard. There's nothing more frustrating then when someone talks for someone else. We still have 2 people on holidays, one came back from Canada but went to Auckland and we are seeing her Wednesday. 

The other is Ja who gets back from Thailand on Tuesday.  Before he left he wanted to get baptised so hopefully we can continue to help him and teach him! We have a few people who want us to visit them but they live in Warkworth which is ages away.  We have a 1400km limit on the car and were trying to work out how we can get out there! 

We have done lots of service this week!!! 

I'm trying to focus on getting involved with the community more. When you knock on someone's door and they tell you they are Christian and ask you to leave - normally you would just do it.  But after receiving some advice I've been able to turn the conversation around and ask "how has your knowledge of Jesus Christ helped you in your life?" and ask them about their conversion story to Christianity and how they found their faith.  It leads to a normal civilized conversation where we can all bond and talk about how much we love Christ.  They then see us as Christians and realise we trully are spreading Gods word.  Although it hasn't gotten us into a house to teach any lessons yet - it has given us refferals of people we could visit to share an uplifting message and do some service. 

 So this week we did gardening for a lady whose husband is very sick and we are doing another one this week coming. And we now have a weekly spot volunteering at an old folks home. We organised bingo! About 13 people rocked up.  I sat there and called out the numbers and my companion would go around and help them.  One was blind and the others a bit deaf and the others had shaky hands.  So that was lovely.  At the end it was funny we were packing up in the next room and we could hear them saying "where are those girls from?" "theyre nuns!' "no they can't be nuns look at how they're dressed" "well their something like a nun" and we went back in to the room and they all stared and one shouted "YOU A NUN!?" haha was soooo funny. Anyway, we were able to explain that were not nuns we're missionaries :) 

Us with Mandy. We visit her and sing once a week!!
We went 5min out of the city to this sneaky area that turns out to be farm land.

And thats my week :) I have been asked by 2 people what I learn't this week... so here I will copy and paste it :)In regards to my study on doctorine: Its all about the story of Moses and the 10 commandments.Moses went up to the mountain and received commandments from God. He comes down the mountain and sees all his people drunk and dancing and adulterous etc etc etc. He SMASHED the plates and goes back up the mountain. He receives a new set of commandments. These are known as the "Law of Moses" which is a second set of law. Its the lower law. So the commandments we have that everyone talks abouts is the Law of Moses, which is the LOWEST, the bare minimum!!!  When Christ came down he established his church and we are told to be the covenant people, referring to the Abrahamic Covenant. Something like that... I still don't fully understand it but im working on it :) If anyone wants to explain it to me feel free to email me!!

In regards to personally:I am learning to be patient. And loving. Love is hard. It's hard to love someone who slams a door in your face or swears at you etc etc. But I am getting better!! And I am learning to keep my cool and just see that they still are a daughter/son of God. I know that sounds cheesy but it's true!!! So I am trying so hard to work on that.. Back in the day I could be a little snappy, a hot head sometimes. But I am no longer Madison.. for 18 months I am Sister Heal, an official representative of Jesus Christ. 

Sister Heal

12 May 2014
Transfer 2 Week 1

So transfers was this week and..... I AM IN THE SAME AREA!!  WITH THE SAME COMPANION! I am so stoked about that, I really do love this area, and my companion is 10/10 amazing.

So tomorrow we have zone conference, where about 50 companionship's get together and it's awesome. We have Elder Pearson who's a General Authority coming to talk to us. We all have to write a 3-5 minute talk on "What am I doing to become a more effective servant of the Lord" and then on the day, he will call about 10 people to come up. Those who don't speak are being asked to give him their talks to read. So either way he will read/hear mine. I personally don't like writing talks, I'm more of a 'do dotpoints, get up there and speak' kind of person. I feel when I'm reading from a sheet I sound robotic, but anyways, I typed up my talk and it will go a little something like this....

D&C 84:85 (Gives us the words to speak in that moment needed)
2 Nephi 33:1 (Carries the message to their hearts)
D&C 100:5-8 (Testify the truthfulness of what you say)

What am I doing to be an effective servant of the Lord?
Sister Heal, New Zealand Auckland Mission
To be the most effective servant of the Lord that I am capable to be, I am solely working on qualifying for the Holy Ghost. In the Book of Mormon in Alma chapter 17 it talks about the sons of Mosiah. In verse 9 it reads that they “fasted much and prayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of His Spirit”. The Holy Ghost works miracles, its what changes hearts. I want you to imagine you’re going to the house of a referral and you have the Holy Ghost deeply within you.
Alma 12:7 (Helps discern needs of referral)
The Holy Ghost is the 3rd member of the God Head. It’s a personage of Spirit and we can have it with us constantly. The scriptures have taught us many times the capabilities of the Holy Ghost – all we need to do is qualify for it, open our mouths and step aside.
So to be a more effective servant I asked myself, what is it I need to do to qualify? There are countless things we can do, but I have narrowed it down to 3 main prerequisites.
1.      Purify your heart (DC 112:28)
2.      Exercise faith (Moroni 10:7)
3.      Keep the commandments (DC 20:77,79)
When I think of purifying my heart I think of virtue. Page 118 of Preach My Gospel in the chapter on Christlike attributes speaks of virtue. “Virtue originates in your inner most thoughts and desires”. Naturally at times we have unrighteous thoughts and desires which we try to simply push out of our heads. I look at it like a maths problem, if you get the wrong answer you can’t just cover it up to try and fix it or ignore it, you need to look back to the point where it went wrong and restart from there, no matter how hard it is. Those around us often can’t see this problem. But the Holy Ghost can and we know that the Holy Ghost will not dwell in an unclean temple. Being virtuous is a requirement to having the Holy Ghost dwell within us. It comes from always thinking of Christ. In Doctrine and Covenants 6:36 it states to “Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not”. We must ALWAYS think of Christ, we must have faith and we must not doubt.
The second prerequisite we need is to exercise faith. The Bible Dictionary states that faith MUST be centred on Jesus Christ. Faith is a firm belief that motivates us to act. It doesn’t come through miracles, it comes through placing full confidence in him WITHOUT RESERVATION. To place full confidence in Him there are a few things that I must know as listed in the book “true to the faith.” I must have an assurance that he exists. Elders and Sisters, through the personal experiences I have had I have no doubt in my mind that He exists. I must have a correct idea of His character, which I learn about more and more every day as I study His life in the scriptures and Jesus the Christ. I must know that I am striving to always live His will. Obedience.
This leads to the final prerequisite – obedience and keeping the commandments. I cannot be an effective missionary if I am not always striving to be exactly obedient. Its not just simply following the commandments or following the rules in the white hand book. It goes above and beyond that. Each of us here today has made a covenant in the temple to fully consecrate all our talents, time and efforts. We have been set apart from the world. We have left our homes and come here to serve as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This is His church, and every minute that I waste on my mission I will be held accountable for at the last day. I remember hearing about the current 12 apostles, about how they actively search the scriptures for MORE ways to be obedient and follow him. We are disciples of Christ and I am working on having this same attitude. Because it states very simply in John, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”.
So I asked myself, do I really love my Saviour Jesus Christ? Do I think of Him in every thought? And do I place my full trust in Him without reservation?
I need to confidently answer in the affirmative to each of these questions, because only then will I qualify to have the Holy Ghost work through me, and only then will I be an effective servant of the Lord.

So thats my talk :) Alrighty back on to this week as a missionary:
Da... He has been having a lot of opposition from Satan this week. One thing I witness everyday is the more righteous someone becomes, the more Satan tries to pull them down. But one thing we learn from scriptures, personal experiences and also every superhero movie... Light always triumphs over darkness! He is becoming more committed and working even harder to make this next step in his life. It has been one of my sweetest experiences when he told my companion and I that we have changed his life and that every day he prays to God and thanks Him for sending us his way. He has so much faith, its an example to me!

Mi... We have a new investigator! He is so lovely and has had a lot of connection with the church. Before temples are dedicated as the house of the Lord, they open it to the public to walk through. He ha been inside the Hawaiian temple and has read parts of the Book of Mormon. We had about 10 minutes before an appointment so we went to the city centre to talk with everyone we see, we met him at a bus stop and he immediately recognized us. He asked us to come and teach him more and also asked for "those sign magazines". The church has a magazine every month called the Ensign. He is now working out a way to subscribe! He lives pretty far away and with limited K's its been hard to visit. But we went to Warkworth on Saturday and stopped by on the way home. He expressed his desire to come to church, read and pray about the Book of Mormon, and to keep studying. He is really seeking the truth!

We went to warkworth - had dinner on the river!
Br... We parked our car in the city centre and started talking to people when all of a sudden, it BUCKETED with rain. Like, full on. We jumped under a shelter and my companion asked "should we walk or drive to our next appointment". I felt the impression that we needed to walk, despite the weather. So we braced the rain and cold (peak winter in Adelaide type thunderstorm!!!) and walked to our next appointment. We came across a guy in his late twenties standing under a little bit of shelter. We started to talk and it turns out he just left home and was standing there praying for peace and guidance. Low and behold, we rock up! We were able to testify to him boldly that God loves him, and is mindful of him at this time. We shared our personal experiences with how we came to know this truth. He said he is looking for that same peace and happiness that we have! His mate picked him up but we are hoping to meet with him again this week :)

That is basically all. This work is the best!!!! I am looking forward to the next 6 weeks in this area. Anyone who's contemplating about a mission - just get yourself organised and come out. Their is nowhere else in the world I would rather be then right here.
Sister Heal
PS. Thankyou to everyone who has sent me letters!!! i am in the process of replying, was going to write letters this week but i have been so busy! I'm trying very hard to be a more consecrated missionary. Which means giving up my night time and lunch and diner to study and do work for investigators. I am trying to stay as focused as possible and really give it my all. But i LOVE reading what you all send me and slowly I will reply :)

19 May 2014
Transfer 2 Week 2 


So many people in New Zealand say G'Day, and I get sooooo confused, thought it was Australian? And when I turn around and ask they get so offended haha :) We have an activity tomorrow (ill explain more about in a tic) so we are cutting our pday short to work on planning that!!!

Zone Conference:
Zone conference was incredible, but I forgot my note book - and at risk of not giving it justice I will just write about it next week :)

This is our District

Come and See Fireside:
So in New Zealand they have 'come and see' firesides. It is aimed at those investigating the church. Missionaries only attend if they bring an investigator. This one was INCREDIBLE! It was the first one I've been to (they happen every month) and I have never seen so many people. It was like Firle chapel on a Sunday Morning session of General Conference. Chairs went onto the stage! It was the chapel on Pah road which is brown people central, so naturally - the singing would blow your socks off! I got to see sister Aisa one last time before she returns home this month! 

Stake Conference:
We had stake conference this Sunday! It was awesome - we had a broadcast from Salt Lake City which was played especially for New Zealand. The whole conference was focused on family, it was lovely, the spirit was felt strongly by all :)

Na... MIRACLE! We have been trying hard this week to be exactly obedient and the blessings have poured. On friday we got a call from the Church Office with a name and number of someone who wanted specifically Sister Missionaries to visit (she's in the Elder's area). We got permission so we called to set up a time. We planned to meet at church on Sunday, but she then called us on Saturday and invited us over and to bring a Book of Mormon. We weren't sure what to expect but when we rocked up she was SO EXCITED to see us. I have never seen someone so happy and welcoming to missionaries! Basically she used to investigate the church but then fell off for a while, and she has spent the last week on looking up talks and watching 'mormon messages' and just being in love with everything to do with church! When we walked in, she was even listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  She came to stake conference that night and the next day AND the fireside. She is set for baptism on the 31st May and she is so excited. She has an addiction and is working very hard to overcome it through the recovery program. I have never seen someone so ready and prepared to submit their life to the Gospel. She is an example to me!

Sisters in our District

Da... He was progressing really well but we are now handing him over to the Elders. Sometimes as missionaries when you come into someones life when they're going through a rough patch they can become too emotionally attached to you, which has happened in this case. So we prayed to seek inspiration specifically for him and felt it is best for the Elders to teach him. 

Sh... We were able to finally see her again this week as she is back from travelling! She is sick right now though and is in and out of hospital. But we were able to catch her at home and taught 'plan of salvation'. She was in tears and told us she knew it was true. She bore her testimony of Jesus Christ and expressed her desire to be baptised  She had been reading the Book of Mormon every day for the last 5 weeks whilst travelling!! The Book of Mormon truly is the word of God. It can bring the spirit into your life like nothing else. I have a strong personal witness of this for I know how I feel when I read and study and apply it into my life.. and also for the change I see it making in other peoples lives.

"True doctrine understood changes attitude and behavior more then the study of behavior does" or something like that.. an awesome quote from Preach My Gospel!

So this transfer I have been focusing my lunch-time studies on the Christ-Like attribute of faith. But after a week of study I have realized that faith comes through obedience. So I am now studying this. One thing I love is that Heavenly Father is bound to laws just as much as we are. If we are obedient he has to bless us. By saying this, I am not implying that I am obedient just because I want to receive blessings. But I have definitely recognized that connection. Obedience comes through 4 ways... Fear, Love, Duty, Reward. I have thought to myself, why am I obedient? Some people are obedient through fear of punishment, some through the love of their Savior and Heavenly father, others through duty and knowing they are supposed to be obedient, and others are obedient to receive reward. For myself I have identified that I am obedient out of DUTY (and a little reward). As a missionary we have rules and guidelines that we are supposed to follow. I do it because I am supposed to. I am focusing the next 5 weeks on changing that to Love. It states in John in the New Testament "if ye love me, keep my commandments". I want to try and be obedient through love.

Thanks everyone for the emails!!!
Sister Heal

26 May 2014
Transfer 2 Week 3

A busy week this week!
Na... Well this Miracle has left our area!!! Devastated!!! She is now in Massey Ward staying with a member, so that's good! She also went to the Temple earlier this week and spent some time at the Visitors Centre etc. Unfortunately because shes out of our area we can't communicate easily anymore, but I will be continuing to email her weekly! She should be getting baptised in the coming weeks :)
Sh... Has been in and out of hospital again this week. She got transferred from North Shore Hospital to Auckland Hospital. But she is still reading the Book of Mormon every single day and enjoying it!!

Em... So this Saturday we went with the Elders to a service project. It is out of our area and in the Elders but it's a single sister with a son, so we got special permission to teach her. So Bamboo is preeeeety cray cray stuff. We broke 4 shovels trying to dig it out! Coming back this Saturday armed with axes :) Anyway after the service project we taught her plan of salvation and had a Q&A type thing. In an hour we taught the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity and Plan of Salvation. It was a pretty full on lesson but the spirit was so strong! She works with a few people from our church and said she has always noticed the difference. Apparently us Mormons are way happy people! She said she felt so so comfortable with us and opened up, she has had a hard life. She is a successful business women but has been messed around twice by men. She also lost her 2 twin girls during child birth so it was a sweet experience to explain to her that they are living with God (other churches believe if they're unbaptised that they cant be with God, but we know that any child under the age of 8 who dies, automatically inherits the highest kingdom). This brought her a lot of comfort :) We are seeing her again this Saturday!
That's pretty much it for this week. We have done some more service for a lady called Dawn and an IHC (disabled) home. We also visited Warkworth and have a new investigator up there and have been working on strengthening the Kiribati community. They are very hard workers and find it hard to come to church as they work 70 hour weeks and don't have a car... but they are open to us visiting etc. Unfortunately no one is active in Warkworth, so we have struggled to find rides for people as church is 45minutes away. But we are working on a solution. Lots of praying for them!

Op... we have been working with her since day 1. She is 13 and her parents are members who don't attend church anymore. They still follow live the gospel, they call themselves 'dry mormons' (dont drink, etc). But they just don't want to come to church. At the start they were welcoming about us visiting but didn't want us teaching their kids and only simple messages. But over the weeks we have developed a good relationship. Op now wants to be baptised. Her parents want her to be also, they just want to wait a while to make sure that she is 100% sure. Which is understandable. But we saw the Dad during the week when the kids weren't home just to make sure it's ok to start teaching her, and its all sweeeeeeeeet :)

YOUTH.. So we had a 'missionary mutual' night. I had an idea about it a whilst ago and Sister Bonilla had done a similar thing before with primary. So we had a "mini mtc' experience.

The youth all rocked up (about 25) and we gathered in the chapel. Sung 'Called to Serve' and gave them all 'call letters'. Every mission call had 2 of the same one and they had to find their companion (the person going to the same place). We then split them into 3 groups. We then had 3 workshops... Elders - Door knocking experience.... where the youth knocked on doors in the chapel and the elders pretended to be randoms. Leaders did a 'write to your future self on a mission' where they wrote themselves a letter to open when they're on the plane to their mission about the type of missionary they want to be... and us Sisters did a "sharing the gospel with friends" one all about inviting your friends to activities etc. Then at the end of the night each group had to put on a play of a story from the Book of Mormon and the other teams had to guess what story it is... 


HILARIOUS night and it all ended in eating chocolate :0 word on the street is they LOVED it!!!

Today we are meeting up with the Elders and Sisters in our district and playing touch. Should be good fun :)
Thanks for the emails and letters everyone!!!

Sister Heal xx

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