Dear Mom and Dad,
Transfers have come and gone and guess what... I'm still in Tweed Heads!!! And I am still with Elder Tauiliili!! I'll be companions with him for 4 and a half months. We call that an Eternal Companionship. I was not expecting that but I am excited to have another transfer to learn from Elder Tauiliili.
On top of that excitement, there were 2 baptisms this week! They were baptisms in the area next to ours called the Mudgerabba Ward. Their names were Theo and Jessica. It was great because I got to teach Theo 2x and Jessica once.
Theo is the man. He is 14 and from New Zealand. He fits in with the young men like peas in a pot! (would that term make sense? :) He ordered a Lamb of God DVD and when Elder Richins contacted him he said "I wanna be a Mormon." He was so prepared and ready for baptism. Jessica is 16 and a friend of a young woman in the ward. Completely prepared as well. Theo and Jessica were baptized on Thursday night. I never feel the spirit more strong then when I see investigators close their eyes as the baptism prayer is said.
We have a full teaching pool now. We have great turn outs at church and great turn outs at our Ward Mission Leaders home for Family Home Evenings. The ward members LOVE the Family Home Evenings so I have no doubt that they are going to start bringing non-members. When we got in this area the only thing we had was a Ward Mission Leader. Now this ward is doing so much and we are about to have a Ward Mission Plan, coordination meetings, and Ward Missionaries. I love this ward so much.
We found 3 new investigators this week. Two of which were Lamb of God DVD referrals. One is Bobby's (one of our investigators) grandson. His name is Cody and he is pure Champion! He just moved over from New Zealand where he was very into his Youth group at his church over there. We are going to get him to the youth activity tonight. We taught him the Restoration.. He has been reading the Book of Mormon and he told us this week that he knows its true!! I asked him if he is ready to act on that answer and come to church and learn more and he said a firm "Yes!" In our Lesson with him tomorrow we will talk about Baptism.
All of our investigators love our Ward Mission Leader so much. Brother Taulepa has been such a blessing. Through his help we got a less-active to come back to church. His name is Alan King. He is such a good guy. He came to church yesterday in a suit and he says he absolutely fell in love with this ward. Alan King lives fairly close to us so he invited us to work out with him in the mornings, so Elder Tauiliili is soooo excited to start pumping iron. We have a really good relationship with Alan King now. Best of Friends.
You asked what I love about missionary work the most. I love the power of prayer. I was reading an Ensign article this week about a General Authority who was in a wrestling match and he almost lost- but he looked in the crowd and saw his father cheering him on. That gave him the confidence to eventually win the match- to see his father was on his side. I know that Heavenly Father is doing that for us on the other side. He always answers our prayers. I often get overwhelmed here in this area because of what my responsibility is. Every night when so many things are going through my head, I pray and Heavenly Father connects my thoughts and it becomes so much easier. Alan King was telling us this week how many blessings he has received since coming back to church and WOW- he has received so many!!! Heavenly Father is on our side and we can see that when we look to him through prayer. I love being a missionary so much. Elder Tauiliili often reminds me that I only have 9 months left. I wish he would stop! :)
I love you mom and Dad. Thank you for everything. I love you too Michael, Laura, Jessica, Chan, Cheri, Spencer, Emma, Tyler and Carly!!
God Speed the Right,