This week we had the awesome experience of going on exchanges with the Tamworth Elders! I was reunited with my MTC companion Elder Keefer, for a few days! ha, We cant seem to get away from each other... we are great friends though! great.WE aren't allowed to drive yet so we had to do some street contacting... Good thing the biggest Country Music Festival in Australia happens in Tamworth and started that day! ha. it was an adventure and there were MANY tourists in from out of town. However, in the Tamworth apartment there is a big book of names and pictures of missionaries who have previously served in the area. I began looking through the large photo book when I come across a whole page dedicated to "Elder Blake Andreason!" Oh, man! How cool is that!? One of my examples in choosing to serve a mission and a friend I was well fellow shipped with was right in front of me! It was so fun! What a guy.... Hope all is doing well for him and his whole family he has acquired since he wrote this page. ha so fun!
In my area, Port Macquarie, there are roughly 50 members at our small branch building every week. It is not a chapel but 2 homes that the church bought next to each other. We cover a large portion of land... about 40 minutes south, an hour and a half north and about the same amount of time inland! We are in a car most of the time but bike on occasion. There are many large rivers we have to cross over on bridges. I have never wanted to kayak and canoe so much in my life! They are jsut HUGE rivers and I want to explore them so bad! haha. It is the boy scout in me coming out I guess... In our zone we are at least an hour away from other missionaries and have district meeting over the phone! We see the other missionaries in our zone maybe once or twice a month... However we will see ALL the mission and the whole south Sydney mission in February as Elder Nelson from the quorum of the 12 comes to visit and speak to us! we are very excited!
President Howes is making a website were people can write their testimonies about the Book of Mormon and post them to it. he has asked all his missionaries to submit a testamony. here is mine:
The Book of Mormon claims to be "Another Testament of Jesus Christ." I believe every bit of that! When I was in my teenage years and contemplating my religious beliefs and spirituality I often fell short. I seemed to feel like that about all I did, even my recreational pursuits, falling short. I knelt down in prayer one evening and began to pray to my father in heaven. I expressed that I needed help! I was trying my hardest to get better at things and be more obedient to his commandments, I was putting so much pressure on my self to be the best I could that I was starting to break. I promised him that I would serve as faithfully as I could if he would bless me and help me in my worldly desires and aspirations. I had never really received a big or strong answer to any of my prayers before. Those seemed to just be nice stories people told... However, as soon as I said the word "Amen" in closing my prayer, the words "Ether 6:10" popped into my head. I had never before read this scripture out of the Book of Mormon, or even much out of the Book of Mormon. I quickly picked up my scriptures from the floor beside me and found the passage. it reads. "And thus they were driven forth; and no monster of the sea could break them, neither awhale that could mar them; and they did have light continually, whether it was above the water or under the water." Kind of a silly thing I know, but it gave me so much encouragement! I knew that by being obedient to the Lords commandments I would always have Gods help, that "no wave could break me," and that I would "have light continually!" It is no mere coincidence that this happened. heavenly Father answered my prayer using the Book of Mormon! To me, that definitely must mean that it is TRUE SCRIPTURE, and ACCEPTED as his word! There is no book that can bring you closer to god than the Book of Mormon!"
I love you all and hope all is going well! I am doing fantastic thank you for all of your love and support!