December 10, 2012

Hello All!

This week has been pretty good. First I would update you all on all the crazy things that have happened to me here in Townsville in my first transfer here. The transfer is almost over and have been an eventful 6 weeks. First, We had a baptism and we had to empty out the font with buckets because the pump was broken and the water would not drain. Then the next week our apartment was broken into while we were asleep, they realized we were poor and just took my wallet. I would of rather had them take anything else because they took my drivers license and my companion doesn't have a drivers license so we had to go on bikes until I could get something figured out. The same day I was able to get a drivers license, the other missionaries crashed the car because the other driver didn't yield in a roundabout. So we are on bikes for another 3 weeks waiting for the car to get fixed. But after all one of the cops that came to the crash was a lost in active member and we are going to try and get him to come back to church. I believe all of this happened for a reason because we had many opportunities to share the gospel with people while we were on bikes instead of a car. We got to talk to more people on the streets and I was able to become a better missionary because some pretty terrible things happened. Everything happens for a reason. I learned great lessons not having a car, and we found people we wouldn't have be able to find if we were in the car. None of the people are progressing, but we hope to make them progressing sometime in the future. I am kind of thankful that it happened because it has helped me grow as a person. We are going to be on bikes for another 2 weeks, so I am going to continue to lose some weight I gained from being stuffed by Samoans for 4.5 months. And we can share the gospel with people on the streets. So lots of crazy things happened in the last 6 weeks and I am learning from them greatly. Blessings can always be disguised in terrible things happening.

Anyways, This week has been a pretty slow week. We did a lot of tracting with not too much success, but we were able to teach a couple of people. We started teaching an African Girl. She is 15 and her parents told us we could start teaching her. We have only taught her the first lesson, but she said she would come to church next week, so we will see what happens with her. Her name is Mira. We also taught Qayyum one last lesson before he left. All that need to get done is his baptismal interview and then he can be baptized when he gets back in January. I am really excited for him. He already has plans on serving a mission and he isn't even baptized yet. So he is going to be a really strong convert, and it is all because A member invited his friend to come to church. I think sometimes members are afraid to share the gospel with their friends because it might ruin friendships, but we have to share is the greatest news that we have in this lifetime. Many people don't know what the purpose in life and that the same church that was on the earth in Jesus Christ's time is on the earth again today. I would love to encourage all of you to at least invite your friends to come to church with you because Qayyum just had to feel the spirit once in order to learn more. He knew he had to join right when he felt the spirit in the meeting. So it is easy to just invite your friend to church, because it makes missionary work a lot faster because missionaries don't know anyone and they rely on the members to share the gospel because conversions are so much greater when the members are involved.

I also had a miracle occur this Saturday when we were tracting. We came to a door where this guy was smoking on his front porch, He told us he had a lot of problems, we gave him a pamphlet and gave the regular sh peel about the restoration. We gave him the pamphlet and went on our way. As we got to the end of the street I felt like we needed to go back and talk to this guy. So we went back and talked with him and he said he just needed someone to talk to, So we talked with him for about an hour while sharing the restoration message. We all got along really well and formed a friendship fast. He said that he wanted to continue taking the lessons and he said that we came just at the right time and he recognized that God had sent us to him and that he needed to come to church. The only thing was that the next day he was flying and moving to Sydney. So we referred him to the missionaries down there. So if I ignored that prompting to go back and talk to him, he would have moved away being in a terrible mood about life, and since I followed it and went back to talk to him, he wants to learn more about the church and I hope that the missionaries down in Sydney will do a good job with that. I will never know if he gets baptized, but I hope that even though he moved he can still learn more about the gospel. This strengthened my testimony that the God does give missionaries promptings. And it is important that we stay worthy to receive those promptings. I love being a missionary and doing to work. That experience is just what I needed after a very long unsuccessful week.

Yesterday I had to chance to go to a small town named Ingham which is about 1.5 hours north of townsville. They hold a sacrament meeting up there once a month, so once a month a member of our bishopric and the missionaries go up there. I gave a talk in the sacrament meeting and the spirit was really strong. There was a total of 6 people at the sacrament meeting and there are 2 investigators up there the other missionaries are teaching. And they are great people. Some people who live in small towns are pretty crazy though. I guess this is good but one of the crazy old ladies said that she saw angels as I was giving my talk... so I guess I did a good job. It was a good experience to help out in the places where the church is just lingering, and growing slowly. North Queensland really struggles with the church, but with the influx of missionaries coming in, more missionaries will be able to go to North Queensland and some of the small places will be able to grow. I am excited to see what is going to be happening up here in the next couple years because there are going to be so many missionaries up here soon because of the age changes.

That was my week. I miss you all and I hope you have a great week. I attached some pictures of me on Mt. Stuart overlooking Townsville, a picture of me on Santa's lap at our branch Christmas party, and a picture of the tree we made out of wood, chicken wire, and garland.

Elder Kyler Powelson